ASB Premiership - Round 8
Sunday 22 January, 2012
Harley RODEKA 41'
Karl WHALEN 39'
Halftime: 1-1 Referee: Mirko Benischke Crowd: ~210
by Rab Smith at the Caledonian
The roofed Forsyth Barr Stadium would have provided protection but it had a prior booking, which infuriatingly was later cancelled leaving Otago and Wellington players to squelch around on at the Caledonian ground.
Considering the weather – it was a decent game of football.
Wellington opened brightly, Otago then hit the pace, and both sides played box to box football. Wellington played a short passing style, Otago passed longer and used the wings to threaten.
Dakota Lucas showed menace early with darting runs across the pitch, but Otago was resolute in front of goal, with Tristan Prattley emanating calm, and Matt Joy unbeatable in the air.
Regan Coldicott showed his springheeled ability in heading and strong runs, while targetman James Govan ploughed a lonely furrow up the middle, and got little change from the Wellington defence.
A Lucas corner broke the deadlock when in the 39th minute, Karl Whalen launched a sharp header back through the crowded goalmouth to beat turning Otago defenders.
Within two minutes, Prattley punished a foul by James Musa, when he flighted in a freekick, Govan arched in the air to head the ball back across goal, and in acres of space Harley Rodeka clipped in Otago’s equalizer.
Some intense halftime team talks preceded Wellington's winner. Two minutes into the second half a jagged run by Lucas and a rash tackle by Joy created Wellington’s second goal.
Referee Mirko Benischke pointed to the spot and Michael Eagar slammed in the 46th minute goal to nose Wellington ahead 2-1. Benischke also flashed a red card at Joy, and the locals roared their dissent at the official.
Otago then probably played its best football, with Darren Overton becoming more active, and a string of corners had Wellington on the ropes.
Sam Mepham and Morgan Day covered miles in midfield, breaking down attacks and setting up steady possession with Wellington’s Patrick Fleming and Sam Mason-Smith doing similar.
Right fullback Joel Stevens made some scintillating runs that belied his youth, and Seamus Ryder carved past defenders on the left. Then Overton had a goalscoring shot charged down and Regan Coldicott was chopped in the penalty area, but referee Benischke waved play on.
However, Otago’s recent goalscoring jinx continued, as good chances were spurned, and Wellington keeper Phil Imray was well protected by a hard tackling defence.
Wellington weathered that storm, and from some steady passing forced Otago keeper Evans into a couple of brave saves, as the class of Prattley and Craig Ferguson tried to calm the local defence.
Then a strong run by Ferguson was halted by a scything tackle from Tim Schaeffers, and centre stage again, referee Benischke flashed another red card to reduce the game to 10 v 10.
Otago battled to the final whistle, as some cool passing from Wellington ran the clock down.
Wellington coach Matt Calcott applauded his teams effort.
22. Peter EVANS
1. Phil IMRAY
2. Tristan PRATTLEY
2. Tim SCHAEFFERS
5. Matt JOY
3. Jamie DUNCAN (Galbrath, 80')
6. Morgan DAY
4. Michael EAGER (pen)
7. Regan COLDICOTT
6. Darren CHERITON
14. Sam MEPHAM
9. Patrick FLEMING
15. Darren OVERTON
10. Dakota LUCAS
18. Harley RODEKA
13. Karl WHALEN
11. James GOVAN (Ryder, 64')
15. Sam MASON-SMITH (Gulley, 77')
23. Joel STEVENS
19. James MUSA
25. Craig FERGUSON (MacGregor, 79')
20. Luke ROWE
2. Liam LOCKHART
7. Wiremu PATRICK
8. Seamus RYDER (On, 64')
12. Ethan GALBRAITH (On, 80')
9. Donnie MacGREGOR (On, 79')
22. Justin GULLEY (On, 77')
1. Oswaldo RODREIGUEZ
27. Daniel CLARKE
24. Andrew RIDDEN
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Play by Play
Welcome to the Caledonian Ground, here in Dunedin, for this Round 8, ASB Premiership clash between Otago United and Team Wellington. Weather is awful, there is a lot of wind and a lot of rain. This is a must win match for Otago and its hard to see them being in playoff contention if they don't get up today.
Otago win the toss and Wellington kickoff.
A couple of early free kicks awarded, alot of passion in this one already.
Karl WHALEN with an early header, in a good position. Put well wide.
Harley RODEKA with an sharp run into the box, but well defended by Michael EAGER.
Rain has cleared and unbelievably, the sun is shining, but I wouldn't bet on it staying like this all game.
Play has settled down, some great passing from both teams, Wellington with the bulk of possession and territory.
Morgan DAY receives a talking to from referee Beneshke, from use of the arms, in an ariel contest. Free kick into the area leads to a powerful shot from Patrick FLEMING which brings the best out of keeper EVANS. Corner causes Otago defense no issues.
Darren OVERTON had momentum going forward, but was tripped by Tim SCHAEFFERS. Free kick awarded and a yellow card given for breaking up a promising attack.
Not a bad free kick from PRATTLEY, but not good enough.
Regan COLICOTT was in a promising position at the top of the 18 yard box, but the ball just slipped away from him.
After absorbing alot of early Wellington pressure, Otago have settled down are are starting to construct some positive play.
The rain and wind is back, and its as bad as I've ever seen it for National League football. Rain is nearly vertical, hoardings are flying over and the stadium across the road is looking exceptionally appealing, but the show must go on here.
Craig Ferguson breaks down a brilliant attacking play from Wellington.
Otago with the wind are looking to go ariel into the box.
Otago corner, is well hit. Finds the head of Harley RODEKA, who puts it narrowly over the bar. The referee must have seen a deflection that I missed, Corner awarded. Wellington not happy, Otago suprised but not complaining.
Tristan PRATTLEY with some last gasp defending, deflects Jamie DUNCAN's cross out for a corner.
Dakota LUCAS shoots from about 6 yards out. Blocked by Matt JOY, but I suspect that was more luck than anything else.
Sam MEPHAM puts a header on goal, but the flag is up, for offside. No complaints.
Wellington are using the wind to put in ariel balls that hold up in the wind and drop.
Karl WHALEN with a header that worries his own keeper, but well away to the left. Otago corner given.
A Tristan PRATTLEY free kick from deep inside his own half, finds the run of an unmarked Matt JOY, but the ball just gets away from him. Goal kick Wellington.
Darren OVERTON finds himself with the ball near the edge of the 18 yard box. His low shot is not good enough to trouble keeper IMRAY.
GOAL Wellington! A Dakota Lucas corner is headed down to Karl WHALEN, on the far post, who taps it in. Well taken, but Otago made it too easy for them.
GOAL Otago! James Musa concedes a free kick, PRATTLEY's free kick is headed across the face of the goal, by someone who I believe was Matt JOY, and tapped in by Harley RODEKA who was lurking at the far post. Otago 1, Wellington 1.
1 minute more to be added.
Halftime called. 1 all at halftime is probably a fair reflection of an even half where the weather was real influence. Wellington probably narrowly had the better of territory and possession. I'm advised by the referee coach that free kicks were shared evenly at 5 each, reflecting the even nature of this one. Any weather advantage will favour Team Wellington in the second half. Rain looking like it could clear.
RED CARD AND PENALTY. Dakota LUCAS bought down in the box, going straight for goal by Matt JOY. Penalty awarded and red card given. There were 2 other defenders closing in, which makes me think a yellow card would have been the better decision. But a push in the box is asking for trouble and JOY can have no one else but himself to blame.
Penalty converted by Michael Eager.
Otago have responded well, forcing a number of corners.
Jamie DUNCAN has a diving header which is just wide.
Wellington using their extra man well and peppering the Otago penalty area.
Goal scorer Michael EAGER given a yellow card for kicking the ball away after Otago were given a free kick.
Patrick FLEMING goes very close to doubling the Wellington lead.
Pete EVANS pulls of the save of the match and deflects over.
A great cross from Jamie DUNCAN sees Craig FERGUSON scrape his own crossbar.
Seamus RYDER makes progress down the left hand flank. Wins a throw in which comes to nothing.
Darren OVERTON finds his way out of being surrounded by four different Wellington defenders. Shot is blocked.
Regan COLDICOTT tripped in the box by James MUSA. Loud Otago crowd begging Beneshcke for the penalty. Not given. Crowd not happy.
Craig Ferguson bought down by Tim SCHAEFFERS who was on the ground. Clear yellow card, his second and he has to go and its 10v10.
Injury delay as Craig Ferguson is down after a clash of some sorts.
Otago playing with a real sense of urgency. Wellington still looking calm and solid
GALBRATH puts it right across the front of the Otago goal, with no team mate there to tap it in
Seamus RYDER curls one into the Wellington area. Harley RODEKA, barely centimetres too short.
Yellow card to Otago's Donnie McGregor for a reckless tackle.
Brief conversation between Referee and assistant. PRATTLEY and Otago crowd adamant there was a swinging elbow of the ball from Ethan GALBRATH. Nothing comes of it.
Harley RODEKA fires just wide.
Four minutes to be added.
Nothing comes of the 4 minutes of stoppage time, and it finishes Team Wellington 2, Otago United 1. Wellington were probably narrowly the better in a brilliant game.
Yellow Card given to Ethan GALBRATH after the final whistle.