ASB Premiership - Round 12
Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai
Sunday 26 February, 2012
Chris BALE 23', 49'
Louis FENTON 19'
Halftime: 2-1 Referee: Matt Conger Crowd: 300
by Staff Reporter at Fred Taylor
AUCKLAND – A Chris Bale double that included a stunning long-range strike has helped keep Waitakere firmly in the hunt for Champions League football with a 3-1 win over Team Wellington today.
The ball fell to the Welshman 27 metres out from goal and he unleashed a fierce shot for which impressive Wellington goalkeeper Phil Imray didn’t even bother to move.
“We spoke during the week about how we could help the strikers and we wanted to get Jake Butler and Chris a little bit closer.
“When Chris goes he just explodes. He’s such a dangerous player and he looked like he could have even had a few more today.
Louis Fenton was a standout for a Team Wellington side that started five players who returned yesterday from U-23 duty in Melbourne and when he tapped Ethan Galbraith’s cross in for a 19th minute lead, Waitakere responded with a brace of goals to stun the visitors.
Ross McKenzie slipped a freekick to Bale who cleverly scooped the ball over Imray and in off the back post and before Wellington had time to recover Ryan De Vries had volleyed the home side in front.
O-League football has been a hot topic of conversation among the Waitakere faithful in recent weeks. Neil Emblen’s charges have been pushed to the wire by Canterbury and Wellington in pursuit of an O-League spot next season. And last week they crashed 0-3 to AS Tefana in Tahiti to place their hopes of a final's berth in doubt.
“We were a team that was hurting from recent results and they showed a lot of grit and determination which is what we were looking for,” added Emblen.
“I still always look at the team and think there’s more to come. But Phil Imray has made some great saves for them from decent shots and one day all those go in, and let’s hope it’s come finals time.”
Wellington’s cause wasn’t helped by Ethan Galbraith’s dismissal late in the game as he attracted a second caution for collecting Aaron Scott’s head with his boot as he tried to connect with a back-post cross.
Adding further frustrating was the fact that a Galbraith was just moments away from being substituted, although Wellington coach Matt Calcott was clearly unhappy with the decision anyway.
“I don’t want that to be the focus here. I’m disappointed but Waitakere deserved their win,” said Calcott.
“They’ve got some rock stars who scored some good individual goals.
“We had some tired young lads today, but we're supportive of the opportunities they are getting.”
Wellington’s hopes of finishing in the top two ended with today’s defeat but Calcott was defiant about his team’s ability to bounce back.
“We’ve had a good run and we’ll be back come finals time as far as I’m concerned.”
The big matches keep coming for Waitakere with a testing trip to Fiji to meet Ba next week followed by a match against Canterbury that could settle the race for the remianing O-League spot.
1. Danny ROBINSON (GK)
1. Phil IMRAY(GK)
2. Jason ROWLEY
3. Jamie DUNCAN
4. Tim MYERS
4. Michael EAGAR
6. Matt CUNNEEN
5. Jonny RAJ
7. Martin BULLOCK
6. Darren CHERITON (PATRICK 74')
8. Chris BALE (HOLLOWAY 80')
9. Patrick FLEMING
10. Allan PEARCE
10. Dakota LUCAS
11. Ross MCKENZIE (TURNER 84')
11. Henry FA'ARODO (ROWE 79')
12. Roy KRISHNA
12. Ethan GALBRAITH
17. Jake BUTLER (c)
13. Karl WHALEN (c)
20. Ryan De VRIES (SCOTT 57')
23. Louis FENTON
3. Aaron SCOTT (in 57')
2. Tim SCHAEFFERS
18. Steven HOLLOWAY (in 80')
7. Wiremu PATRICK(in 74')
22. Matt UPTON (RGK)
18. Dominic ROWE (in 79')
29. Jordan VALE
22. Scott BASALAJ (RGK)
30. Rory TURNER (In 84')
=2 yellow cards
= red card
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