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Waikato FC

Waitakere United


NZFC - Round 2, Waikato Stadium
11 Nov 2007



Commins Menapi 6



Halftime: 0-1                     Referee: Nick Waldron                            Crowd: 400


Waitakere notch first win

By Bruce Holloway at Waikato Stadium

If New Zealand Football Championship matches Commins Menapi gives Waitakere the perfect start. Picture: Tony Whitehead decided by a jury, Waitakere United would have waltzed home against Waikato FC.

Instead, for all their creative dominance at Waikato Stadium today, they had to settle for the smallest possible margin of victory with a 1-0 win.

Even then, it could have been a draw. Had referee Nick Waldron enjoyed the view afforded to those in the press box, he may well have awarded Waikato a last gasp penalty after striker Robert Gill crumpled under defensive pressure in the box as he prepared to turn and shoot from a Stu Watene long throw.

But that would have been an injustice. Waitakere were delightful to watch going forward, with Benjamin Totori and Commins Menapi forming a mercurial strike force, and Jason Hayne and Allan Pearce adding flair on the flanks. It was only their finishing which was remiss.

It promised to be a goal feast when Menapi put Waitakere ahead in the sixth minute, seizing on a rebound from a Dan Robinson save at close range after Totori had carved through.

But though Waitakere had two further close-range efforts ruled out for off-side, and continued to attack with a swagger for 75 minutes, that was the end of the scoring.

"Some days the goals go flying in, some days they donít," said Waitakere football manager Chris Milicich. "When we go forward, we are difficult to stop.

"It would have been a travesty if that match had been drawn.

"Every match we have played we have moved up a step. Today I thought we went up another two steps."

Jason Hayne had a field day on the right flank, while Totori was mesmerising when in possession.

Milicich said it was Chris Baleís best game to date in the midfield holding role, but felt Waikato made a tactical error in playing just Rob Gill up front for three quarters of the game.

"It allowed our back four to read the game and get forward."

Waikato will look back on a generally gritty performance, in which they were unable to match Waitakereís creative flair.

Gill worked hard up front to bring other players into the game, but in defence Waikato made a number of poor errors that they were lucky to emerge unpunished from.

Robinson pulled off two improbable saves to keep the scoreline down, while Hone Fowler was the pick of the defenders.

Waikato were well off the pace in the opening 20 minutes, with their midfield barely functioning, but were a lot stronger in the second half.

Waikato coach Roger Wilkinson was furious with his defence for Menapiís goal.

"We didnít make the best of it," he said, in acknowledging he was frustrated by the result.

"We were slow to get going and didnít create enough chances.

"But we showed a bit of character. In the second half we were still right in it and they were back-pedalling for all their experience."

Waikatoís Welsh import, Dale Williams, came off the bench for the last 20 minutes and showed he is continuing to improve, creating one good chance for Gill late in the match.

Elsehwere Shaun Van Rooyen put in a lot of earnest toil, but Gill appealed as the only Waikato player with a genuine nose for goal.

Waikato FC are at home again next Sunday hosting Team Wellington while Waitakere face another Sunday road trip - this time to Christchurch to face Canterbury United.

Photo: Tony Whitehead


Team Sheet

Waikato FC

NZFC - Round 2, Waikato Stadium


Waitakere United

11 November 2007 Kickoff 2pm

1. Dan Robinson

2. Jonathan Perry

3. Hone Fowler

5. Danny Hay

4. Jakub Sinkora

6. Darren Bazeley

5. Aaron Scott

7. Jason Hayne

7. Joe Simpkins

8. Commins Menapi  (off 61)

10. Luke Findley

9. Benjamin Totori (off 90)

11. Paul Stewart (off 52)

10 Allan Pearce

12. Robert Gill

11 Neil Sykes

14. Shaun Van Rooyen

15. Christopher Bale

18. Stanley Waita (off 73)

22. Simon Eaddy

25. Che Bunce

33. Paul Seaman (off 86)



2. David Samson

1. Richard Gillespie

9. Tom Edwards

3. Shane Pascoe (on 86)

17. Stewart Watene (on 52)

4. Matt Cunneen

23. Dale Williams (on 73)

13. Daniel Koprivic (on 61)

17. Jake Butler (on 90)


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

0 min:

Welcome to Waikato Stadium, where the weather is fine and conditions are perfect for football,
with a New Zealand Fiji XI having beaten a Waikato Brazilian XI 4-1 in the curtainraiser.

1 mins

Waikato kick off, playing towards the Seddon Rd goal.

3 mins

Totori goes down in the penalty box but referee Nick Waldron waves play on

4 mins

Bunce makes a blistering run forward but fails to collect a wayward ball.

5 mins

Simpkins plays in a good ball from right back but Findley loses his footing in trying to receive.

6 mins

GOAL!! Commins Menapi scores on the rebound after Dan Robinson blocked Totori 's initial shot from just inside the area.

12 min

Hay heads just wide from a Waitakere corner.

13 min

Hayne goes around a defender but ball goes out for a corner as Waitakere continue to dominate.

16 min

A firm Bunce tackle floors Allan Pearce just outside the area. Totori has the ball in the net but it is ruled out for offside.

23 min

Gill tries an audacious 40m chip over Simon Eady, but the ball flies over the Waitakere bar

24 min

Menapi should have scored but stabs just wide when free inside the six yard box.

27 min

Van Rooyen receives inside the penalty area but is pulled up for fouling a Waitakere defender in the process

31 min

Paul Seaman bursts into the area but Robinson collects .

31 min

Robinson makes a one-on-one save from Totori, who has carved through from the right.

32 min

Allan Pearce makes a good run but shoots high.

34 min

Gill shoots from distance after getting the better of Perry, but it is comfortably saved byEady.

36 min

Findley shoots from wide on the left with an optimistic effort

38 min

Pearce curls a shot just wide after good work down the left.

42 min

Robinson saves brilliantly from Pearce, who robbed Simpkins of the ball inside the area and looked certain to score.

43 min

Waikato are working hard, but lack the creativity of Waitakere.

45 min

Bale gives away a free kick 30m out and right in front of goal.
Gill's shot hits the wall and it is half time, with Waikaato lucky to be trailing by just one goal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Second half

46 min

Waitakere kick it out from the kick off.

46 min

Hone Fowler gets a yellow card for holding

47 min

Paul Stewart gets a yellow card

48 min

Sykes takes a free kick on the right, played into the area where Seaman fouls Fowler and earns a yellow card

49 min

Totori has the ball in the net but it is ruled out for offside. Hayne got the better of Sinkora to create the chance.

52 min

Paul Stewart is injured in a challenge. Stu Watene replaces him for his first action of the summer.

55 min

Gill appeals for hand ball unsuccessfully after his cross into the waitakere area is blocked.

56 min

Gill header saved from great cross from Hone Fowler, only for seaman to then enjoy a good chance at the other end.

59 min

All hands on deck in the Waikato area as Totori wreaks havoc.

60 min

Waita and Sinkora create a half chance for Shaun Van Rooyen.

61 min

Substitute: Menapi is off and Daniel Koprivcic on for Waitakere

62 min

Aaron Scott does welllli dispossess Totori as Waitakere's attacks continue.

64 min

Totori turns nicely and shoots but straight at Robinson.

66 min

Waikato attack as news comes through that Waikato BOP have beaten United Soccer 1 2-0 in the women's national league.

67 min

Fowler is making a strong showing at the back for Waikato against his old club.

70 min

Seaman robs Waita and muscles through but has his shot deflected

71 min

Welshman Dale Williams is warming up for Waikato

73 min

Williams, very left-footed, is on for Waita and takes a position up front with Gill.

74 min

Williams introduces himself to Danny Hay with an elbow that draws a free kick.

75 min

Bunce gets a yellow card for holding Koprivvcic back

79 min

Fowler robs Hayne on the left and surges into the six yard box before being stopped.

80 min

Scott makes a great run down the right but Williams is flagged for offside.

82 min

Hayne cuts in the from the right, but his lef foot shot is well wide.

84 min

Totori loses his touch when unmarked in front of goal.

85 min

Gill passes a clever ball for Williams to run onto, but williams stands and watches.

85 min

Seaman hits the post with a header, but the whistle had gone for offside.

86 min

Eaddy makes his first real save of the afternoon, at full stretch after a great williams run makes an opportunity for Watene,
who can't quite get enoug power into the shot.

87 min

Seaman is subbed off and Shane Pascoe comes on.

89 min

Watene long throw into the box. Gill looks to be pulled down as he receives but referee Waldron won't give it.

90 min

Totori subbed for Jake Butler as Waitakere look to kill time.

93 min

Waitakere take no chances and waste time in the corner.

94 min

That's it folks. Waitakere have their first points of the season.