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Auckland City FC


ASB Premiership - Week 9,
Newtown Park,  Wellington
Sunday 29 January 2012


Patrick Fleming 18'

Manel Exposito 19'



Halftime:     1-1              Referee:   Mark Hester                             Crowd: 351


Wellington keep Auckland in check

by Cameron Russell at Newtown Park

Patrick Fleming shares his pleasure at his opener. four rivals Team Wellington and Auckland City couldn’t be separated at Netwtown Park today, playing a hotly contested 1-1 draw that featured eight players picking up yellow cards.

Wellington took the lead in the 18th minute through a precise Patrick Fleming strike that curled into the bottom corner past a diving Jacob Spoonley.

The lead didn’t last long when Wellington failed to deal with an Auckland attack through the middle of the park. Manel Exposito broke through and slotted it past Phil Imray for the equaliser.

Auckland goalkeeper Spoonley had a shaky start after he spilled a Fleming shot behind him and required Angel Berlanga to clear off the line. In the resulting scramble the ball fell to the home side’s  new signing Ricky Zucco who saw his shot deflect back off the crossbar.

Both teams battled for possession in the centre of the park, but the teams couldn’t be separated at the break.

Wellington had the first chance of the second half when Luis Fenton was inches away from connecting with a Karl Whalen cross on a diving header at the back post.

The pressure continued when Luke Rowe delivered in a dangerous free-kick which was punched by Spoonley straight to James Musa whose well-placed header back over the keeper was again cleared off the line – this time by Alex Feneridis.

Auckland had a chance against the run of play fall to Exposito, but the striker who broke through one on one could only slide the ball past the post.

Wellington continued to cause problems from dead ball situations. Another Luke Rowe free-kick caused a scramble in the box and Johnny Raj hit a shot on the turn that required Spoonley to get down smartly at his near post to push it behind.

Both sides had chances in the final ten minutes, the best falling to Karl Whalen who smacked his volley from six yards out over the bar, but the deadlock couldn’t be broken by either side.

Although both coaches weren’t happy with the point, they admitted both sides had chances to take all three points and it was a fair result in the end.

“We had a lot of chances; they also had a lot of chances so I think a draw was a fair result. In the first half I think we were in control, but before you know they scored. We were in control but just couldn’t finish the opportunities that we created. So no, I’m not happy with the point but obviously it was a fair result” said Auckland coach Ramon Tribulietx.

Top of the table Auckland have now drawn their last two games, but Tribulietx trusts his side will regain form.

“Every game is different. When we played Waikato we were a little bit tired but still had the chances and then Wellington is a tough place to play. So from the playing side I don’t think there is any changes, I know it’s only two points out of six but we just have to take each game individually” added Tribulietx.

Wellington coach Matt Calcott had similar feelings that the draw was the right outcome.

“We could have taken our chances, but a draws a fair result in terms of some of their possession. I think we finished stronger and if there was another ten minutes then I think that momentum will have fully swung in our favour” said Calcott.

Calcott was pleased his side created so many chances, and it satisfied with his team’s recent run of form and the hard work they have been showing.

“All our boys have really been into it. They’re throwing themselves at everything and they want to defend the goal and they want to get on the end of everything and it’s just really great to see”.

Wellington, still four points off the league lead, now play a run of games against teams competing for playoff spots and Calcott is aware of the challenge his team faces in the coming weeks.

Calcott said: “We’ve got the teams around us in the next three weeks and you know were in good form but it can all change very quickly in a 14 game league. We just need to get our head down and keep a level of consistency”.


Team Sheet

Team Wellington


Auckland City

1. Phil Imray

1. Jacob Spoonley

5. Johnny Raj

5. Angel Berlanga

6. Darren Cheriton

7. James Pritchett (Coombes, 72')

7. Wiremu Patrick (Galbraith, 63')

8. David Mulligan

8. Ricky Zucco

9. Manel Exposito

9. Patrick Fleming

11. Daniel Koprivcic

10. Dakota Lucas

13. Alex Feneridis

13. Karl Whalen

15. Ivan Vicelich

19. James Musa

16. Albert Riera (Carmichael, 83')

20. Luke Rowe

20. Emiliano Tade

23. Louis Fenton (Gulley, 87')

22. Andrew Milne



2. Jamie Duncan

6. Chad Coombes (On, 72)

12. Ethan Galbraith (On, 63')

17. Adam McGeorge

15. Sam Mason-Smith (On, 87')

24. Stephen Carmichael (On, 83)

22. Justin Gulley

25. Mario Ilich

25. Dan Clarke

26. Liam Anderson


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play

...and just on time the Vodem springs in to life and we're on.  Overcast but calm (honestly) for kick-off.  Amsuingly the program says it's February 29th.

1 Min

Johnny Raj at right back for Team Wellington knocks a gentle ball back to Imray but it pulls up short and Imray clears it just ahead of an advancing Tade.

5 Min

Team Wellington controlling the ball around the City area.  Fenton looks to have been knocked down on the edge of the area but nothing is given, then a penalty shout on the other side.

6 Min

Louis Fenton shoots and Spoonley's attempted save spills behind him.  and his blushes are saved by Berlanga clearing off the line.  Possession falls to Wellington and Zucco shoots from the penalty spot but hits the upright.  Team Wellington argue it crossed the line before being cleared but the officials are not moved.

15 Min

So it's been a bit end to end, no clear-cut chances but we've been busy getting the match details sorted

16 Min

Ptichett bursts in to the area wide on the right and Rowe missed the run and forces Imray in to a good save.  Rowe picks it up and breaks.

18 Min

GOAL! Patrick Fleming scores,  a great hit from the edge of the area beats Spoonley all ends up.

19 Min

GOAL! Auckland City replies.  Exposito scores.  Raj tries to make a tackle and gets it all wrong.  The ball that broke then falls to Exposito and it's two on one vs Imray with Musa scrambling to cover.  Raj lucky not get booked for the initial challenge.

22 Min

Rowe escapes down the left but Spoonley makes a good save.

23 Min

Koprivcic bundles Patrick over in the area but the ref plays on, much to the angst of the home fans.

25 Min

Spoonley.  Ball bounces around the area before Fleming gets a shot off and Spoonley makes a smart save down to his right to deflect it clear.  Wellington look great going forward but the addition of Raj and Centre back and Whalen's move to the right sees them looking a little nervous at the back.  A few hurried clearances and short passes back to Imray.

26 Min

Fenton vs Pritchett has been a cracking battle so far.  This time Fenton wins a corner off the City Stalwart.

31 Min

First card.  Cheriton in the book for a solid challenge just outside the area on the Team Wellington left.  Exposito gets some care, dangerous set piece here.

32 Min

Goes to Vicelich but under pressure from Musa he fails to get it on target.

33 Min

Aucklands five minutes here, Team Wellington missing Eager to calm things in the middle or at the back.

34 Min

Wiremu Patrick in the book.  Exposito breaking and Patrick clatters in to the back of him brining him down.  The resulting free kick is well cleared by Wellington but Lucas can't keep possession to create the decisive break.

36 Min

The referee not particularly popular here.  A feeling among the Wellington side that some early fouls from Auckland were ignored yet the home side have picked up yellows for two similar challenges.

38 Min

Threatening chance from Auckland falls apart with a careless  pass from Koprivcic gives it away at the top of the area.

45 Min

Last action of the game and Auckland break again but Wellington scramble clear.

HT 1-1.  Auckland probably shaded possession but the chances probably favoured the home side.

No changes at the half.

46 Min

Zucco puts Berlanga under pressure and gets him with the ball.  The vet has been called to put Berlanga down but miraculously he's back up again in seconds.

46 Min

Gorgeous soft cross from Whalen wide on the right just evades the head of Louis Fenton with the goal at his mercy.

49 Min

Auckland get their first corner of the match but it sails over everyone to fall at the feet of Tade.  His shot is blocked by Musa though.  Clearance is another corner.

50 Min

Taken short and run in to the area by Koprivcic but Musa jams it on him.

52 Min

Free kick wide taken by Rowe following an agricultural challenge on Fenton results in a great header from Musa over Spoonley but Feneridis stretches to his full height to clear it away.  Great chance.

53 Min

Exposito with a tame shot from distance straight in to Imray's arms.

55 Min

Musa with another dangerous header from a Rowe ball after Fenton was cleaned up again.  Just over.

56 Min

Then at the other end Exposito drives in to the area but Musa is back to shield it over the goal line.

Team Wellington their own worst enemies.  They are doing good things around the attacking area but just not executing well enough with the play from the back and putting themselves under pressure.

63 Min

SUB : Wiremu Patrick replaced by Ethan Galbraith

65 Min

Awful pass from Rowe turns the ball over and AUckland pounce.  A diving header from Raj to put the resulting cross out for the corner saves Rowe's blushes.

Resulting corner falls to Koprivcic who just gets it all wrong

66 Min

Galbraith and Fenton combine to open Auckland up, but the cross is a little high and Whalen heads wide.

Tade slips Exposito in, beautifully weighted but Exposito under pressure from imray sends it just inches wide of Imray's right hand upright.

67 Min

Auckland break again.  Riera creates a wide opening but Musa scrambles across to clear the ball.

68 Min

Zucco breaks and drops it out to Dakota but he slices the shot when he perhaps had more time than he thought.

70 Min

Milne collects city's first  card for cleaning up Fleming to ironic cheers from the stands.

71 Min

Auckland then break and Mulligan puts Tade through but it's high, wide and handsome.

72 Min

Luke Rowe in the book.  Meanwhile SUB : Coombes replaces Pritchett.

73 Min

Tade again.  Musa scrambling defence but his clearance falls to Riera who feeds tade.

75 Min

Team Wellington free kick, central 40 out.  Played in by Rowe and Vicilech gets his clearance wrong and it falls to Raj who's shot is saved by Spoonley at the near post and a corner conceded.

Auckland clear the corner and break but Wellington scramble back and Rowe clears it for a throw.

  Fleming booked this time.  Following a challenge from Galbraith on Mulligan that resulted in a foul considered questionable by some. Then Auckland take it 12 metres from the spot much to the Team Wellington

Daniel Koprivcic this time.  Game very stop start currently. Too many fouls.

Coombes gets his obligatory Yellow.

83 Min

Flash point.  Referee has to seperate Galbraith and the City defence.  Meanwhile SUB:  Viera off for Carmichael.

Fleming close to his second.  Galbraith plays a great ball down the left and Fenton beats Coombes to cross but Fleming sliding in can't quite get a two to it and Spoonley holds.

87 Min

Exposito in the area, shoots bit Imray sprawls low to save.

SUB : Louis Fenton off.  Sam Mason-Smith on.

89 Min

Galbraith makes the run and crosses behind Vicelich, Zucco gets the ball and tries to get the shot off but it deflects for a corner.  Rowe's resulting corner doesn't beat the first man.

90 Min

3 Minutes extra time.  Wellington corner comes back across the area to Whalen who's header just goes high with the goal begging.

Cynical foul by Vicelich outside the area to clean up Rowe after the ball has gone.  Play continues and Lewis puts the ball in for Zucco but it's played out for a corner.  Rowe needs treatment.


Corner is threatening, cleared to Whalen who puts it back in but the entire Wellington forward line is offside.


Vicelich again in the same spot brings down a Wellington player, another clear yellow but the referee isn't brave enough.

Auckland break, powrful Tade shot on target hit's Charmichael and that's it.

Final score 1-1.  Probably a fair result.