ASB Premiership - Round 10
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Sunday 5 February, 2012
Harley RODEKA 14'
Suele SOROMON 18'
Halftime: 1-2 Referee: John Rowbury Crowd: ~500
by Rab Smith at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
A flying header by Harley Rodeka converted a top cross from attacking left fullback Craig Ferguson to put the home side ahead after 14 minutes.
But frailty often follows after scoring a goal, and Otago was totally switched off five minutes later as Seule Soromon’s pace enhanced a simple through ball, and the Vanuatu international chested and shot a goal that one suspects he has scored many times before..
Shellshocked Otago tried to regain its earlier composure in which Aajay Cunningham had looked so promising, sliding passes around and combining well with fellow midfielder Morgan Day.
But Manawatu had other ideas, and coach Stu Jacobs' young side was as busy as Otago, and in Jimmy Haidakis probably had the Man of the Match.
Haidakis lived well on the ball, slid some penetrating passes around and his runs from deep were always dangerous.
Despite a strong match by centrebacks Matt Joy and Tristan Prattley the astute Haidakis pushed forward, played a one-two and calmly slotted a 34th minute goal to give Manawatu a 2-1 lead.
What had looked an effective pattern for Otago of good wide runs, then Ant Hancock and Seamus Ryder up central, with midfield support pouring through – evaporated.
The final pass became erratic and only a series of corners and long throws from Joy threatened Manawatu, since Otago shots scared only seagulls.
Manawatu’s fill in keeper Ben Wilkes earned praise from his coach for battling in some congested goalmouth action under the cosh of set plays.
Otago’s gloveman Peter Evans was less active, but still had to make some razor sharp reflex saves from diagonal runs that unbalanced the defence in front of him.
In the second spell it was all action. Otago’s Hancock had a good penalty call ignored, Rodeka flew up the flanks, and both Cunningham and Day settled in midfield.
Frenetic and increasingly tough tackles minimized space, and it was Cunningham who calmed Otago with a piece of quality technique to flight a half clearance back into the Manawatu goalmouth, over keeper Wilkes and into the net to equalize in the 55th minute.
If anything, the goal cranked up more miles and goalmouth action as both teams brought on fresh legs, and Joel Stevens and Sam Mepham got shots on target for Otago.
Yet Manawatu was probably unlucky not grab all three points as Soromon sliced through, and on his best run, went round keeper Evans – requiring a superb tackle from Ferguson that forced the striker only to hit Otago’s woodwork.
Both coaches were pleased with some aspects of play, and Jacobs said,’ Its still work in progress.’ While Otago’s Murray grimaced, ‘ On our home ground after scoring first – it was a disappointing result.’
22. Pete EVANS
1. Ben WILKES
3. Tristan PRATTLEY
3. Josh CHETTLEBURGH
5. Matt JOY
4. Jamie O'CONNOR
6. Morgan DAY
6. Matt KENNEDY
7. Regan COLDICOTT
9. Suele SOROMON
8. Seamus RYDER (Stevens, 68')
11. Jimmy HAIDAKIS
10. Ant HANCOCK (Govan, 83')
14. Pablo MOYA
18. Harley RODEKA
15. Stuart LAWRIE (Milne, 46')
21. Jose CANTILLA
16. Michael FRASER (Stewart, 82')
25. Craig FERGUSON
17. Jordan MARTENS (Randell, 56')
27. Aajay CUNNINGHAM (Mepham, 68')
24. Michael McKNIGHT
1. Oswaldo RODRIGUEZ (RGK)
12. Dom MILNE (On, 46')
14. Sam MEPHAM (On, 68')
19. Andrew DRAKE
20. Matt BROOK
23. Perry STEWART (On, 82')
21. James GOVAN (On, 83')
25. Wade RANDALL (On, 56')
23. Joel STEVENS (On, 68')
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Play by Play
Welcome to the Forsyth Barr Stadium for this Round 10 ASB Premiership match between Otago United and Youngheart Manawatu. Both sides came of 5-0 losses last week and would appear to be out of the playoff race, but both sides will be targeting this one as a chance to get so much needed points, if only for the sake of pride. Pitch is magnificent, weather is warm without been hot and no wind to speak of.
Teams entering now to a warm welcome from a solid albeit unspectacular crowd.
Otago nearly open the scoring as Regan COLDICOTT curls a cross into the Manawatu penalty area. Jamie O'CONNOR attempts a very poor clearance, which only just skims his own cross bar. More luck than judgment. Corner is headed wide.
Aajay CUNNINGHAM shoots from the edge of the penalty box, but it is high over the bat.
Suele SOROMON gets in behind the Otago defense and his shot keeps Pete EVANS alert, but narrowly wide.
Again Regan COLDICOTT crosses from the left, this time along the ground and again CUNNINGHAM has another great opportunity but again his shot is over the bar.
First yellow card of the afternoon goes to Matt Kennedy, for a stupid trip on Craig FERGUSON as he was breaking on the counter attack.
COLDICOTT breaking again from the left and makes a darting run into the box. His shot is blocked by a defender then gathered by Keeper WILKES.
GOAL OTAGO! Craig FERGUSON this time with a cross from the left, which found the head of Harley RODEKA who made a superb near post run. His header gave keeper WILKES no chance. Otago lead 1-0.
GOAL MANAWATU! What a response! A long ariel ball from the left found Suele SOROMON perfectly about 8 yards out in front of goal. He controlled on his chest, turned and put a thuderbolt past keeper EVANS. hH doesn't miss from there and Manawatu are level. Otago 1 Manawatu 1
Ant HANCOCK does well to win the ball from underneath the feet of Pablo MOYA, but referee decides he did it illegally, awards a free kick and gives HANCOCK a talking to.
GOAL MANAWATU! The game was very much going through the motions but then with 2 quick passes Jimmy HAIDAKIS found himself in front of goal, and he slotted it away. Manawatu lead 2-1.
Ant HANCOCK taken down in the box. Otago penalty appeals waved away.
Free kick awarded to Otago after a foul by Stu LAWRIE who gets a firm talking to. PRATTLEY's free kick is headed away.
A long throw-in into the Manawatu area from Matt JOY causes some problems before it is easily cleared.
One minute to be added.
Halftime called. Manawatu lead 2-1. A fairly even first half, Otago had the better of it in terms of possesion and territory, but it's Manawatu who lead and they will be the happier of the 2 teams at this stage.
Crowd has swelled a bit, no doubt in part to the fact that the morning games in the New Zealand Masters games across the road have finished. At a guess probably one of Otago's biggest crowds this season.
Manawatu kick off.
I've been informed that there was possibly a halftime substitution. Will try and confirm that now.
Ant HANCOCK fouled, so Otago win a free kick about 25 yeards out, just to the right of the box. Free kick was low and blocked follow up shot sees Otago win a corner which was easily defended.
Jimmy HAIDAKIS tests Pete EVANS, who responds with a diving save to his right.
GOAL OTAGO! Again Aajay CUNNINGHAM shoots from distance, this time beating keeper WILKES who was out of position after dealing with an earlier attack. 2-2
The injured Jordan Martens leaves for Manawatu, replaced by Wade Randall. Can confirm the halftime sub saw Dom Milne replacing Stuart Lawrie for Manawatu
Ant HANCOCK brings the best out of keeper WILKES with a powerful shot from close distance.
Aajay Cunningham receives a yellow card for a reckless tacke
Header from the resulting free kick, draws a wonderful one handed save from Keeper EVANS.
Yellow Card to Pablo MOYA for an incident off the ball.
Harley RODEKA cross across the face of goal but there is no Otago player to deliver the final touch.
Double Sub for Otago with Joel Stevens and Sam Mepham coming on, and Seamus Ryder and Aajay Cunningham coming off.
Ant HANCOCK bought down. Free kick defended and Otago win a corner.
Suele Soromon picks up a great through ball, Otago look for the offside flag, it doesn't come, he rounds keeper EVANS, but because of good pressure from FERGUSON, the best he can do is hit the post. Otago survive
Sam MEPHAM shoots from distance, WILKES spills the ball, but is quick enough to regather.
Ant Hancock has a great chance, but shoots narrowly wide
Sub for Manawatu, Perry Stewart comes on, Michael Fraser comes off.
Sub for Otago, Jame Govan on, Ant Hancock off.
Jose Contillo curls one into the Manawatu penalty area, Ben WILKES intercepts.
Manawatu had 3 big chances to score past an out position Pete EVANS, bout Otago survive thanks to some wonderful scrambling defence.
Three minutes to be added on.
In what will likely be the last chance of the match, Jose Cantillo puts it high over the bar.
And thats full time, final score Otago 2, Manawatu 2. Even game, Otago will probably be the more disappointed of the 2 teams, but Manawatu were well worth their share of the points.