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YoungHeart Manawatu

Auckland City


ASB Premiership - Round 11
Memorial Park, Palmerston North
Sunday 12 February, 2012


Andrew MILNE 12'
Chad COOMBES 37', 38', 45'



Halftime:          0-6             Referee:    Jamie CROSS                            Crowd: 115


Coombes hat-trick sends Auckland to brink of minor title

by NZF Staff writer at Memorial Park

PALMERSTON NORTH – YoungHeart Manawatu coach Stu Jacobs was scathing  after his team were taken apart 6-0 by league leaders Auckland City who were inspired by a Chad Coombes hat-trick.

Buoyed by last week’s 2-2 draw with Otago United, YoungHeart Manawatu began brightly enough but quickly reverted to their pre-Waitangi weekend form within 12 minutes of kick-off when Andrew Milne put Auckland City 1-0 up.

“We conceded four goals in a very short space of time and I think sometimes it’s simply through a lack of heart,” Jacobs said.

Manawatu had been competitive until they conceded a second goal when Alex Feneridis lashed home an unstoppable free-kick after 34 minutes.

That goal opened the floodgates in a nightmare ten minutes that saw the home side capitulate under a swathe of Auckland attacks.

Chad Coombes – who has struggled with a knee injury this season - scored twice in the space of one minute as the Manawatu defence was torn asunder.

Manawatu goalkeeper Ben Wilkes barely had time to collect his thoughts before he was picking the ball out of the net again.

Within three minutes of racing into a 4-0 lead, Adam Dickinson – another Auckland player on the comeback trail – sped past a flat defence before rifling a shot into the base of Wilkes left hand upright.

The Englishman kept his cool to fire home the rebound to make it 5-0.

Coombes completed his hat-trick on the stroke of halftime when he caressed home an Alex Feneridis pass with the Manawatu defence posted missing in action yet again.

The second half was little more than a training ground run for the visitors who chose to give Mario Ilich, Iwa Shakar and Stephen Carmichael game time.

The exercise proved worthwhile for coach Ramon Tribulietx who also saw fit to start defender Simon Arms.

For Manawatu supporters – just over 100 of them - the fervent hope was that no further damage would be suffered in the second half.

They got their wish but only – as Jacobs observed afterwards – because Auckland took their foot off the pedal and home side got back to doing the basics to a reasonable degree.

But Jacobs pulled no punches with what he said in the halftime team talk.

“(I said) Nothing. They don’t listen to me. I just said to them go out there and do what they think they need to,” he said.

“We were lucky they took the foot off the pedal in the second half. They were reasonably comfortable at six.”

“Ben Wilkes summed it up perfectly. He said there was no value in the YoungHeart Manawatu jersey. Too many people in this organisation don’t have pride in the shirt. They don’t put their heart into it. We have to move those people out over time.”

“We show determination and guts against Otago and then play like pussycats against the top team in the league.”

“I’m not sure there’s too much value placed in YoungHeart Manawatu shirt – winter football seems to be the players’ priority. I could get fit and play Central League football. This is the pinnacle and should be their focus,” he said.
Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx was satisfied with the result and performance.

He said: “I thought the first half we played well. We knocked six goals in and the intensity carried on. We gave some young players a run and they did well.”

Coombes’ first goals of the ASB Premiership campaign were a major boost to the utility player who has struggled with an injury picked up during the first Super City derby of the regular season.

“Chad played well before he got injured and he’s had a bad run. He’s a confidence player and he’s had some game time over the last three games and he brings a lot to the team because he can play in a number of positions,” Tribulietx said.

With the draw between Canterbury and Team Wellington inviting Waitakere back into the hunt for an O-League berth, Tribulietx preferred to remain focussed on Auckland’s task at hand.

“Those three teams are very tight – we have to look after ourselves and get a win next week and get the minor premiership wrapped up,” he said.

Tribulietx empathised with his YoungHeart Manawatu colleague Stu Jacobs and the home side’s barren season.

“It’s difficult for Stu he’s getting some tough results and the team is conceding a lot of goals. It is difficult to see how they go on from here,” he said, “But they are clearly a young team and I hope he can get something going before the end of the season.”

Auckland City’s next match is with Koloale in the O-League on 18 February, while YoungHeart Manawatu face Waikato FC away on February 26.


Team Sheet

YoungHeart Manawatu


Auckland City

1- Ben WILKES (GK)

12- Tamati WILLIAMS (GK)


6- Chad COOMBES (SHAKAR 73')

4- Jamie O'CONNOR


6- Matt KENNEDY (c)


9- Seule SOROMON

23- Simon ARMS


11- Daniel KOPRIVCIC

14- Pablo MOYA


16- Michael FRASER (RANDLE 64')


17- Jordan MARTENS

15- Ivan VICELICH (c)

24- Michael McKNIGHT

16- Albert RIERA (ILICH 58')

12- Dom MILNE (COOKSLEY 46')

22- Andrew MILNE



8- Nathan COOKSLEY (MILNE 46')

26- Liam ANDERSON (GK)

23- Wade RANDLE (HAIDAKIS 46')

25- Mario ILICH (RIERA 58')

19- Andrew DRAKE (GK)


18- Barry LEWIS (FRASER 64')

19- Iwa SHAKAR (COOMBES 73')

22- Perry STEWART



=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play


Welcome to Memorial Park for the Round 11 showdown between top and bottom of the ASB Premiership - its YoungHeart Manawatu up against Auckland City in what shapes as a tough task for the home side who are yet to win a match this season. By contrast Auckland City are in that winning habit - unbeaten in ten matches and unbeaten away from home in the regular season for three years.

Only Kashiwa Reysol, the J-League champions, have bettered Auckland this term, a perfect illustration of the size of the challenge ahead for Stu Jacobs' toiling charges. Manawatu can point to last week's 2-2 draw away to Otago as a sign of progress and a fascinating 90 minutes lies in wait.

The referee for today's game is Jamie Cross from Wellington.


The TAB are offering head to head odds as follows:

YoungHeart Manawatu $11.00
Auckland City $1.15
Draw $6.50


A small crowd slowly building here at Memorial Park - excellent weather conditions, stiff cool breeze blowing across a finely groomed but heavy playing surface. This is going to suit the visitors to a tee based on the possession game employed by coach Ramon Tribulietx.


Auckland City in an all white away kit up against a home side bedecked in all green. We're moments away from kick-off with the visitors attacking the Palmerston North end of the ground. They will also kick off with DICKINSON and EXPOSITO.


Auckland take up camp in the Manawatu half but the home side look up for the challenge today - plenty of verbal encouragement amongst their number so far.


Ivan VICELICH passes straight to a Michael FRASER but Manawatu turn the ball over - they can't afford to pass up gilt-edged possession that easily today.


Manawatu are pressing the game high every chance they get.


Auckland City caught offside.


Auckland City repel a Manawatu long ball and PRITCHETT takes the throw-in.


Manawatu exerting pressure on the Auckland City back line and earn a corner - Simon ARMS heads clear but great delivery by Jordan MARTENS.


Chad COOMBES cross to the far post eludes Manel EXPOSITO.


Jordan MARTENS is dispossessed by Albert RIERA and Auckland fire a shot over the bar - Jamie O'CONNOR remonstrates with the referee - that looked a foul to the home team.


There is a different intensity to Manawatu from what we've seen in recent weeks - through ball finds Suele SOROMON offisde. High tempo to this one.


GOAL! Andrew MILNE brings down a Manel EXPOSITO cross, takes a touch past the defender and hits one with the outside of his right foot to give Auckland the lead! How will the home side respond to this setback after such an encouraging start?!


Auckland City hitting their stride now but Manawatu are showing greater resilience.


Chad COOMBES handball - VICELICH heads free-kick clear.


Adam DICKINSON clattered over in the penalty area - no foul says referee Jamie CROSS.


Manawatu build play through Matt KENNEDY and Jimmy HAIDAKIS - no way through this Auckland defence but encouraging signs for the home side.


Adam DICKINSON rounds Ben WILKES and crosses for Chad COOMBES but he shanks an easy chance wide of an empty goal - let off for Manawatu.


Ben WILKES saves at the feet of Chad COOMBES - well played WILKES.


Manawatu look a team with an injection of confidence today despite going a goal behind - SOROMON, FRASER and KENNEDY have looked sharp.


Matt KENNEDY sprays a wide pass for Jordan MARTENS but it runs out for a goal kick.


Jordan MARTENS loses out in a challenge to Chad COOMBES - Auckland win a free kick.


Auckland City keep getting caught offside - Manawatu trying to press at every opportunity.


Ivan VICELICH sprays a wonderful pass into the path of MILNE who cuts inside but fires his right foot shot high and wide - some pass that, shot wasn't the best.


PRITCHETT wins the ball off MARTENS and plays in EXPOSITO - his pass for DICKINSON is picked up by WILKES.


Manawatu battle gamely on making Auckland work hard - Michael McKNIGHT and Alex FENERIDIS exchange shoves on halfway - proof of the frenetic energy to the match.


Free-kick to Auckland City outside the Manawatu penalty area. EXPOSITO stands over it - as does FENERIDIS.


GOAL! Alex FENERIDIS blasts a wicked right foot curling shot around the wall beyond WILKES left hand and the left hand upright!


GOAL! Chad COOMBES makes it 3-0


GOAL! Chad COOMBES rounds Ben WILKES and slots into an empty net!


GOAL!Adam DICKINSON hits the post gathers the rebound and slams it beyond Ben WILKES.


Auckland City pour forward at every opportunity and Manawatu are being swept aside - Alex FENERIDIS is through on goal and trundles a pass into the path of COOMBES...


GOAL! Chad COOMBES can't miss and it's 6-0. Where have Manawatu gone?! What a nightmare spell - take nothing away from Auckland City that was a scintillating passage of football.


YoungHeart Manawatu 0-6 Auckland City - Keeping up with the final moments of the first half was a full time job - Manawatu - who began so brightly - simply fell to pieces. Auckland were ruthless in the final third and the home side crumbled. The ball kid standing over my shoulder said, "That's ok - my mum's from Auckland." Another tough lesson for Manawatu.


Substitution - Stephen CARMICHAEL on for Adam DICKINSON


Substitution - Nathan COOKSLEY on for Jimmy HAIDAKIS


Substitution - Wade RANDLE on for Dom MILNE


Both sides make changes but the pattern of the first half looks likely to be repeated with Auckland City dominating.


Auckland City stroking the ball around with supreme confidence.


Auckland camped on the edge of a shell-shocked Manawatu penalty area - they have a free-kick wide on the right.


CARMICHAEL fires a shot into the legs of Ben WILKES.


Manawatu on the break but they are forced back into their own half.


YELLOW CARD -Seule SOROMON crashes into Andrew MILNE late - third time and referee Jamie CROSS doesn't hesitate.


Andrew MILNE rattles in a shot but it's headed clear by the Manawatu defence.


Manawatu are no longer pressing the game they look happier sitting deep and getting players behind the ball.


Substitution - Mario ILICH on for Albert RIERA


Brief stoppage in play for Manel EXPOSITO to receive treatment.


This match has the look of a training exercise now with the pace of the match slowed to a trot.


SOROMON hauled down - free-kick to Manawatu.


Nathan COOKSLEY lashes a thunderbolt and Tamati WILLIAMS punches it over the bar for a corner.


Substitution - Michael FRASER is replaced by Wade RANDLE


Auckland City counter attack but CARMICHAEL's cross is headed clear.


Michael McKNIGHT heads for the Auckland byline but Simon ARMS is across to run it out for a goal kick.


Mario ILICH cross into the penalty area volleyed clear by Jamie O'CONNOR.


CARMICHAEL cross to the far post is overhit.


Manel EXPOSITO is offside.


Manawatu have the ball for spell and look to play out but Jordan MARTENS tries a Cryuff turn and loses the ball on halfway.


Neat build up by Auckland - PRITCHETT plays EXPOSITO who tries a cheeky chip but WILKES flicks it over for a corner.


SOROMON tries a shot from an impossible angle and improbable distance - WILLIAMS makes a comfortable save. Not a bad effort but never likely to trouble the keeper unduly.


Substitution - Chad COOMBES replaced by Iwa SHAKAR


James PRITCHETT through on WILKES but instead of going for goal he plays in a team-mate - chance gone.


Simon ARMS long ball for EXPOSITO - MOYA challenges and the ball breaks for Manawatu.


Wade RANDLE breaks down the right and tries a quick right foot through ball for SOROMON but he overhits it.


SOROMON shot is easily gathered by WILLIAMS.


Iwa SHAKAR and Stephen CARMICHAEL combine but Ben WILKES snatches the ball.


Matt KENNEDY lashes a 30 metre shot high, wide and handsome.


Ivan VICELICH ball finds EXPOSITO in an offside position.


SOROMON slips CHETTLEBURGH through on WILLIAMS but the Auckland goalkeeper saves his shot.


WILLIAMS claims the home side's corner with ease.


Nathan COOKSLEY chips a cute pass in for CHETTLEBURGH but its too high for him.


Barry LEWIS nabs the ball off Stephen CARMICHAEL - Auckland City throw in.


Ben WILKES saves at the feet of Manel EXPOSITO.


Iwa SHAKAR cross is bashed clear by the Manawatu defence.


Simon ARMS heads a Manawatu corner clear.


Simon ARMS repeats the act from a second corner.


Mario ILICH fouls Jordan MARTENS in Manawatu territory.


Two additional minutes to be played.


KENNEDY's raking pass finds CHETTLEBURGH but his cross is claimed by WILLIAMS at the near post.


SOROMON concedes a corner - one last chance for Auckland to add to their tally? No such luck for the visitors.


YoungHeart Manawatu 0-6 Auckland City - that's it from Memorial Park, Palmerston North, an easy win for the league leaders and more suffering for the home side.