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Hawke's Bay United

Otago United


ASB Premiership - Round 11
Bluewater Stadium, Napier
Sunday 12 February, 2012


Own goal (Jude FITZPATRICK) 63'
Hamish WATSON 64'
Leon BIRNIE 75'
Stu WILSON (79')

Ant HANCOCK 16', 45'



Halftime:                                                          Referee:   Chris KERR                             Crowd: 360

Bluewater blitz gets Bay home 

by David Gearey at Bluewater Stadium

Hamish Watson (L) and Leon Birnie celebrate Hawke's Bay's final goal.’s Bay United produced a blistering second half performance to overcome a two goal deficit and cruise to a 4-2 victory over Otago United at Bluewater Stadium this afternoon.

The remarkable comeback has kept the home side in touching distance of the top four and are now the only other side that can force their way into a playoff position.

The Bay began the first half with a lion’s share of possession but quickly found themselves a goal down when sloppy defending in the 16th minute allowed the impressive Ant Hitchcock to toe home a goal mouth melee and give the southerners a shock lead.

Both sides then lost all composure and the remaining first half fizzled by until Hitchcock grabbed himself a late first half double when he neatly headed home a pinpoint cross from Regan Coldicott.

The break couldn’t have come any sooner for Hawke’s Bay and they began the second half in the same fashion as the first, controlling possession and asking questions of the visitors defence.

They finally got the breakthrough they needed when Otago’s Jude Fitzpatrick lofted the ball back to his  advancing goalkeeper Peter Evans.  The Otago shot stopper was caught in no man’s land and the ball bounced into an open net to give the home side some much needed momentum.

Hawke’s Bay then piled on the pressure and were quickly rewarded when imposing substitute striker Hamish Watson struck a minute later after he superbly volleyed home from six yards.

Hawke’s Bay continued to dominate and in the 75th minute veteran Leon Birnie put the home side ahead for the first time in the match.  The 29-year-old controlled the ball magnificently from an Adam Cowan cross and dummied to shoot twice before finishing into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.

That was to be Birnie’s last action in the game and he was replaced by Stu Wilson who, with his first touch, put the result beyond doubt when he smashed another Cowan cross into Evan’s top corner giving the Otago keeper no chance and earning his side the all important three points.

Hawke’s Bay’s coach Chris Greatholder was noticeably pleased in picking up the points and paid tribute to Otago’s resilience and pressure in the first half.

“We are obviously delighted, we stepped up today and won a very important game,” Greatholder said.

He added, “Credit to you Richard (Murray) for setting up the way you did, and in stopping us playing.”

For Otago their season is mathematically over as they can’t reach the playoffs.  Coach Richard Murray was visibly disappointed with the result and wished Greatholder and his side all the all the best for the remainder of the season.

“This will be a tremendous boost for your side and I hope you can push into top four from here and push those teams for the playoffs,” Murray said.

“We are mentally fatigued and have lost that ‘how to win’. That’s two times I’ve been here and lead both times at half time, only to end up losing,” he added.

Hawke’s Bay are now in a situation of “must win” if they want to grab that elusive playoff spot.  Next up is a daunting trip to Kiwitea Street to take on Auckland City in two weeks’ time.


Team Sheet

Hawke's Bay United


Otago United

26. Shaun PETA

22. Peter EVANS

2. Fergus NEIL

3. Tristan PRATTLEY (c)

5. Bill ROBERTSON (c)

4. Jude FITZPATRICK (off 73'

6. Stephen HINDMARCH

5. Matt JOY


6. Morgan DAY

8. Adam COWAN

7. Regan COLDICUTT (off 62')

10. Sam MARGETTS (off 58')


11. Conor TINNION

14. Sam MEPHAM

17. Tom BISS

18. Harley RODEKA

20. Leon BIRNIE (off 76')


21. Josh MARGETTS (off 81')

27. Aajay CUNNINGHAM (off 81')



1. Richard GILLESPIE (rgk)

8. Seamus RYDER (on 73')

4. Stu WILSON (on 76')

17. Andrew RIDDEN

14. Danny WILSON (on 81')

23. Joel STEVENS (on 62')

18. Hamish WATSON (on 58')

29. James WATSON (on 81')

22. Jerome GROTT


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play

-15'  Overcast conditions greet the players here at Bluewater Stadium for this Round 11 ASB Premiership clash between Hawke's Bay United and Otago United.  Both sides have made changes from their previous fixtures with Danny WILSON making way for Matt HASTINGS while for Otago Jude FITZPATRICK and Sam MEPHAM take the places of Craig FERGUSON and Seamus RYDER.   

-5' The TAB have offered up some juicy odds for todays match and if i was a betting man then I'd be sure to have a dabble.  But I'm not so ill leave that for the professionals (Stevo).

1' Otago kickoff but Hawke's Bay gain early possession and Sam MARGETTS draws an early foul.

2' Hawke's Bay look in the mood today.  Some great early touches for the home side results in MARGETTS shooting straight into EVANS hands.

5' Otago becoming more involved in the game now.  Hawke's Bay resorting to alot of long ball early on in the hope of catching the visitors out.

10' HINDMARCH is breaking alot of Otago's midfield play up as the home side continue to dominate the early stages of the match.

15' RODEKA nearly catches PETA out but the Hawke's Bay keeper palms his shot away for a corner.

16' GOAL From the resulting corner the home side fail to clear and HANCOCK stabs the ball home for Otago.

17' HASTINGS can't beat the first man with an attcking freekick and Otago break.  Josh MARGETTS can only just clear in time but can't prevent the corner.

20' Hawke's Bay seemed rattled by conceeding early and need to put their foot on the ball and slow their attacks down.

27' Very average football from both sides!!!!

30'  HINDMARCH just gets his body in the way as RODEKA smashes a shot towards PETA in the Bay goal.

32'  Hawke's Bay get their first corner of the match after BIRNIE'S cross is deflected wide.

33'  From the resulting corner Sam MARGETTS whips in a beauty but HINDMARCH and the ROBERTSON both fail to get that all important touch.

35' TINNION does well down the left, then slips just as he looks to whip his cross in.  Hawke's Bay starting to get more into the match.

36' COWAN gets taken down 35 yards from goal.  BISS sees EVANS off his line and tries a quick one only to see it cannon of the bar and cleared away from danger.

40' YELLOW CARD  MEPHAM again takes down COWAN and this time earns himself the first booking of the match.

45' GOAL HANCOCK grabs himself a double on the stroke of halftime after good work by COLDICOTT has him beat NEIL on the right and whip a perfect cross for HANCOCK to head home.

45' The fourth official has indicated a minimum of 1 minute additional time to be played.


HALFTIME - Disappointing first half for the hosts after they started very brightly.  No urgency has been their main downfall and Otago have capitalised and head into the changing rooms with a lead that will be tough to peg back.

46' 2nd half is underway.  No changes to either side......suprisingly... 


47' MARGETTS gets clear but is chased down by JOY and he does enough to break the attack down.

49'  MARGETTS does well inside the box as he takes the ball to the byline and chips it back across goal but no ones home to tap in

52'  Hawke's Bay have started the 2nd half as they did the 1st with the majority of possession but they can't break the visitors down.

55'  TINNION beats CANTILO down the left wing and whips an inviting cross in but BIRNIE can't get his bald head to it.

58' SUBSTITUTE Hawke's Bay - Hamish WATSON replaces Sam MARGETTS

60'  Hawke's Bay on top here.  I can see a goal coming very soon....

62'  SUBSTITUTE Otago - Joel STEVENS replaces Regan COLDICOTT

63'  GOAL  Hawke's Bay claw 1 back but its not by any of the home side.  FITZPATRICK has just scored the oggie of the season as he chips an advancing EVANS in his own net.

64'  GOAL WATSON makes an immediate impact as he smashes in a volley from a flicked on BIRNIE header from 6 yards.  Game on...

68' TINNION pounces on a defensive error, rounds EVANS but can't catch up with the ball and it trickles over the line for a goal kick.  Home side dominating.

73' SUBSTITUTE - Otago Jude FITZPATRICK is replaced by Seamus RYDER

74'  BIRNIE releases BISS and he finds WATSON charging through but the big man trips on the ball when he was about to shoot.

75'  GOAL Comeback complete. BIRNIE shows great composure after he recieves a cross from COWAN.  The Bay veteran cuts inside 2 defenders before calmly slotting home from 10 yards.

76' SUBSTITUTE - Hawke's Bay Stu WILSON replaces Leon BIRNIE

79'  GOAL They are on fire now.  COWAN again is the provider and this time WILSON gets in on the act as he smashes his first time shot into the top corner with his first touch since coming on.

80' Birthday boy NEIL clears of the line as Otago make a rare second half attack.

81' YELLOW CARD Josh MARGETTS recieves a yellow card for a challenge on Joel STEVENS

81' SUBSTITUTE - Hawke's Bay Josh MARGETTS is replaced by Danny WILSON, Otago Aajay CUNNINGHAM is replaced by James WATSON. 

85' Seamus RYDER shows some magic skill as he beats 3 bay players and drives a cross in.

90' The fourth official has indicated an additional of 4 minutes will be played.

90'+2' WATSON again makes his way into the Otago box and unleashes a thunderous strike that EVANS can only parry away.  WATSON has been impressive since coming on for the Bay.


FULLTIME - An impressive 2nd half performance by the Bay has seen them come back from 2 goals down at halftime to beat Otago by 4 goals to 2. Thanks for joining us this afternoon.  Wrap to follow.