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NZFC - Round 1
Carisbrook - November 3, 2007
Robert Gill 33
Halftime: 0 - 1 Referee: Kevin Stoltenkamp (Auckland). Crowd:
By Rab Smith at Carisbrook
The pendulum tipped Waikato FC's way at Carisbrook where Roger Wilkinson’s side notched a well merited 2-0 win over Otago United in Saturday's New Zealand Football Championship opener.
Pivotal happenings in the match were a 15th minute injury that sidelined Otago playmaker Pedro Santos, and a first half penalty that Rob Gill drilled in to give Waikato a 1-0 halftime lead.
Santos actually might have scored in the skirmish that saw a Waikato defender tread on his hand, producing a suspected broken bone which had the Brazilian writhing in agony.
Gill was worth his penalty, which came from a clumsy challenge by Otago centreback Kevin Taylor. The goal capped a impressive display bu the former Doncaster striker.
Otago passed the ball around well enough, but lacked ‘devil’ in the Waikato goalmouth where Hone Fowler led a well organised defence. Otago's best efforts came from set-plays where the giant centreback Taylor twice went close from towering headers.
In contrast, Waikato’s Gill and Luke Findley produced cultured attacks with willing support from Shaun Van Rooyen and Jakub Sinkora.
Sinkora scored Waikato’s second goal in the game’s dying minutes as Otago pushed forward chasing an equaliser.
"We didn’t deserve to win," was Otago manager Andy Deeley's assessment afterwards.
"We didn’t really hurt them. But having said that, our keeper, big Liam [Little] did not have much to do – except pick the ball out the net."
Wilkinson reckoned his side was without some key players in Che Bunce, Steve Holloway and Sam Wilkinson.
Possibly giving his age away a wee bit, Wilkinson admitted that he has modelled his tactics this season on General Montgomery in the battle of Alemaine.
"He had his decoys, and kept reserves in hand," said Wilkinson, "which fooled the enemy and gave him a brilliant victory."
Possibly the only one at Carisbrook capable of remembering war time tactics was former All Whites coach Allan Jones sitting in the grandstand, but he was unavailable for military reminiscences since he had to dash away immediately after the match to catch Sunday's games between Canterbury United and Hawke's Bay United in Christchurch.
NZFC - Round 1
November 3, 2007
1. Liam Little (GK)
1. Dan Robinson (GK)
3. Terry Phelan
2. David Samson
5. Kevin Taylor
3. Hone Fowler
6. Terry Alvino (61 off)
4. Jakub Sinkora
10. Pedro Santos (12 off)
5. Aaron Scott
11. Andy Coburn
7. Joe Simpkins
14. Chad Severs
10. Luke Findley
15. John Chisholm
11. Paul Stewart
17. Croydon Wheeler
12. Robert Gill
18. Mike Smith
14. Shaun Van Rooyen
19. Richard Smith (61 off)
18. Stanley Waita (73 off)
2. Nick Dale (61 on)
6. Sam Wilkinson
7. Robbie Dealey (12 on)
9. Thomas Edwards
12. Aaron Burgess (61 on)
23. Dale Williams (73 on)
16. Jessie Malloy
13. Callum Flaws
1 min Perdo Santos gives away free kick 35 yards out, Otago clear lines.
5 min Alvino makes a bursting run through the centre of midfield winning a free kick
7 min Joe Simpkin whips ball in from right and Gill powers header just over bar
9 min Ball though to Pedro finds space in area and shot is wide, Pedro clashes with defender and is down injured
12 min Pedro substituted for Robbie Deeley
13 min Great attacking move from the left as Waikato left back Paul Stewert drills a half volley off the bar from 20 yards out
16 min Paul Stewert makes great over lapping run but over hits cross
20 min great opening 20min box-to-box football both teams playing good passing football
22 min Richard Smith goes down in the box after clash with defender
25 min Swift turn by Robert Gill beats defender on edge of box, puts powerful shot just wide
30 min PENALTY!, Gill brought down by Taylor
32 min GOAL! 0-1 Gill blasts his shot past Little to make it 1-0 for the visitors
36 min Richard Smith half turn volley just wide
40 min Otago building well from the back and getting forward in numbers, however they are finding the Waikato defence hard to break down
45 min - Halftime. A good half to open the season.
46 min Luke Findley breaks down left only for his cross to be shot wide
50 min Otago pressing but Waikato defence holding firm
53 min Luke Findley has a good chance but glances header wide
56 min Yellow card, David Samson
57 min Kevin Taylor powers header over from Phelan's free kick
58 min Gill hits free kick into wall, 20 yards out
61 min Otago make changes, Alvino and Smith replaced by Dale and Burgess
63 min Otago corner - Kevin Taylor rises above everyone but puts header wide
65 min Otago are missing the attacking flair of Pedro Santos in the final third
68 min Chisholm clears off line as Gill fails to capitalise on a golden opportunity
73 min Waito substituted for Williams
76 min corner to Otago, Phelan delivers but can't capitalise
78 min free kick to Waikato 20 yards out just left of the D, Gill shoots wide
80 min Simpkin shows classy touches in midfield
85 min Otago corner, thunderous clearance by Paul Stewart
86 min Blistering run and great ball by Phelan only to by headed over by Burgess
88 min GOAL! 0-2 Taylor tackled by Sinkora, Gill gets ball and breaks, playing Sinkora in one-on-one, Sinkora rounds keeper and slots it home
Final 0-2 - Waikato have opened the season with an impressive 2-0 win.