Hawke's Bay United
ASB Premiership - Round 1
Jake Butler 41'
Halftime: 1-0 Referee: Peter O'LEARY Crowd 413
by Bob PEARCE at Fred Taylor Park
Waitakere United began the 2011/12 ASB Premiership as they finished the last with a win on home territory at Fred Taylor Park.
The victims this time were Hawkes Bay United, beaten 3-0 after trailing by a goal at halftime and rarely troubling the Waitakere defence.
It was a measure of Waitakere’s dominance that their goalkeeper, Danny Robinson, barely fielded a threatening shot all game while his counterpart, Richard Gillespie, came through a very busy afternoon with credit.
The young Bay team, without captain and key defender Bill Robertson through a hold-over suspension, made the mistake of defending too deep and allowing the home team to create a succession of attacks. That first spell produced 13 clear goal chances for Waitakere but their only reward came four minutes before the break when captain Jake Butler finally capitalised on a cross from Allan Pearce.
Bay pushed forward more in the second half and enjoyed a period of possession, though they still barely threatened the goal. The crushing blow came in the 78th minute when referee Peter O’Leary waved away a Waitakere foul flagged by a linesman and then awarded a penalty when Pearce was lowered by Alex Barlow.
Pearce took the spot kick, which Gillespie parried but could not hold, and followed up to score the second goal. With seven minutes to go Sean Lovemore, who had come on as a substitute, did the hard work for Roy Krishna to make it 3-0.
For Hawkes Bay, who fielded a very young side, there were plenty of might-have-beens with the absence of Robertson and striker Milos Nikolic, but coach Matt Chandler was far from down-hearted.
“Judge us when we’re at full strength,” he said. “We’ll be back. At this level you’ve got to score goals. I thought the penalty was a bit harsh and that was a defining moment. We changed our shape and tactics in the second half and had a good 20-minute spell but we needed to score.”
Without the suspended Robertson he was forced to play new recruit Adam Cowan in central defence rather than the midfield and that tended to make the team one dimensional in the first half, particularly.
Waitakere coach Neil Emblen was happy to take the points – “Top of the Premiership!” he quipped. But he was not too happy with the finishing when the first-half performance was so dominant.
“Our first half was very good,” he said. “We dictated the game like we wanted to. The second half was more of a scrappy game. The second goal allowed us to relax and play more football.
“It was a good start and the clean sheet was an added bonus.”
In a game where there was plenty of rust in the combinations one of the more experienced players stood out for the winners. Chris Bale seemed to be everywhere and earned the plaudits of his coach for his work in the midfield. Krishna, only back from Fiji a couple of days ago, was a handful for the defence to counter.
The Bay showed plenty of promise and defended valiantly. They will be a force in the league when they can make use of Cowan in midfield and add the injured Nikolic to their strike force.
Hawke's Bay United
1. Danny ROBINSON (GK)
1. Richard GILLESPIE (GK)
2. Jason ROWLEY
2. Fergus NEIL
4. Tim MYERS
3. Alex BARLOW
7. Martin BULLOCK (Vale 86)
6. Stephen HINDMARCH
8. Chris BALE (Feni 81)
7. Matt HASTINGS (McIvor 46)
10. Alan PEARCE
8. Adam COWAN
11. Ross McKENZIE
11. Coner TINNION
12. Roy KRISHNA
14. Danny WILSON
17. Jake BUTLER
15. Rudi BAUERFIEND (Margetts 46)
20.Ryan DE VRIES
17. Tom BISS
24. Luke ADAMS
10. Sam MARGETTS
3. Aaron SCOTT
12. Adam CHANDLER
15. Gagame FENI
19. Chris MCIVOR
23. Andy RALPH (gk)
20. Josh MARGETTS
25. Sean LOVEMORE
25. Shaun PETA (rk)
29. Jordan VALE
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Cloudy day for the start with a stiff wind from the Kumeu end. Waitakere's Aaron Scott fails a fitness test and is listed on the bench.
0 mins still
Modest crowd in this city living the rugby dream, but more rolling in.
Hawkes Bay playing from the Kumeu end
Bay kickoff and Waitakere make first attack of the season, easily repulsed
Goalkick for Waitakere, slow build from back, Danny Wilson is shadowing dangerman Krishna.
Adams long-range shot, Butler followup blocked, Krishna fires over top.
Bullock yellow card for tackle on Tinnion. Freekick over top
Adams makes good ground on right but cross blocked.
Biss makes good ground but last pass goes astray.
De Vries through but fires wide
Everybody looks a bit rusty with passes going astray and team-mates looking at each other.
Margetts slips defence but final pass goes awol
Freekick by McKenzie well ahndled by Robinson.
Bale and Bullock combine to setup chance, cleared for corner.
Pearce outflanks defence on left and his tantalising shot/cross scrambled away by Gillespie
Shot from de Vries, sails into the rough.
Second shot by de Vries curls over the bar.
Krishna beats defence on left but Pearce misses in front of goal.
Pearce's green boots shoot wide from distance.
One-way traffic at the moment with Waitakere dominating and the Bay drifting back in defence.
Promising move by Hastings but Tinnion is caught offside.
Krishna works his magic but his team-mates are not picking up on the tricks
Long-range chip by Margetts sails over bar.
Header by Butler from Bullock's pass, easily handled.
McKenzie pass back forces Robinson into good save.
Neither goalkeeper has yet been really stretched. Though Bay's defence has been tested.
Yellow card for Krishna tackle on Cowan.
GOAL! Butler finally fastens on to a cross from Pearce.
Nearly another as Pearce and Krishna combine before Gillespie intervenes
One minute to be added.Bale fires in last shot before the break. Waitakere are deserved leaders after dominating possession. Bay have defended well but they have barely tested Robinson in the Waitakere goal.
Changes for the Bay. Margetts and McIvor on for Hastings and Bauerfiend.
Pearce again makes ground on the right but Krishna botches finish
A sprinkler comes on! Quickly off again.
Corner to Bay, first of match. Creative lineup but Robinson catches easily.
Nice riposte from Waitakere with Bale Krishna and de Vries combining, but final shot poor.
Bale through but can't pull the trigger.
Yellow for Myers for dissent
Long range shot by Pearce catches Gillespie off his line, just tips it round for corner.
Not a lot of football being played as the wind tests skills.
Right wing corner for Waitakere, crossed by McKenzie, header by Pearce flies wide
Rare Bay shotby Tinnion, no trouble for Robinson
Barlow fouled on edge of area by Adams. Margetts freekick heads for Kumeu.
Yellow for Cowan for tackle on Krishna, Lovemore on for de Vries.
Freekick by Pearce easily saved.
Penalty to Waitakere, Pearce lowered by Barlow who gets yellow. Pearce takes kick. GOAL! Gillespie dives and saves but Pearce follows up ans scores.
Feni on for Bale.
GOAL! Lovemore gets behind defence and Krishna finishes well.
Waitakere line up for last shot and Krishna hit the bar.
Two minutes to add.
Bay earned second corner of game easily cleared.
Final whistle. Deserved win for home tem but plenty of work to do for both