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NZFC - Round 2, Carisbrook 11 Nov 2007
Halftime: 0 - 0 Referee: Matthew Conger Crowd: 800
By Rab Smith at Carisbrook
Both teams left their shooting boots at home, as Otago United and Canterbury United battled out a 0-0 draw in the New Zealand Football Championship at Carisbrook today.
There was plenty passing, plenty tackling and lots of hard running, but neither goalkeeper was troubled apart from fielding some hopeful crosses.
Otago earned the lion’s share of ball possession, and worked it round the edges quite well, but the final pass – or more important – the final shot was rarely on target.
Once again Otago player coach Terry Phelan made space for himself wherever he went, and delivered some searching crosses, for which striker Richard Smith challenged and set up a parade of half chances.
But half chances do not win games, and despite the best efforts of Chad Severs, Jesse Malloy and Croyden Wheeler that had the Otago support bobbing off their seats – the hoped for first goal of the season never arrived.
Late substitute John Lang probably went closest, as his fresh pace had Canterbury defenders scrambling, and an alert keeper Adam Highfield darting off his line to snuff out some loose balls in his area.
Canterbury again fielded a youthful side that looked technically good, but its seasoned campaigners Blair Scoullar and Dave Walker up front were ineffectual.
Stu Kelly showed more menace with darting runs in midfield, and some clever passing, yet he never showed the firepower that has earned him 15 NZFC goals and a respectable bag of 12 for Woolston/Technical in the winter league.
Credit must be given to Otago centrebacks, Kevin Taylor and John Chisholm who were dominant in the air and on the ground allowed no free shots.
Otago pushed more support forward from midfield, and either a defensive error or a mass scramble at set plays looked likeliest to produce a goal for the home side.
Canterbury’s few dangerous situations stemmed from Kelly’s skills and a strong match by Sam Jasper who almost slid through a couple of gaps.
Canterbury coach Danny Halligan thought it was a battling performance by both sides.
“We got better as the game progressed, and had our best chances early in the second half,” he said.
Otago assistant coach Mike Fridge was almost pleased with the point.
“Obviously we would have preferred a win, and we made enough chances to win several games but our finishing let us down.”
“Having said that, we are starting to hit our straps after almost no preparation before the League started. The lads are training well. Things we are doing in training started to show up today, and we are continuing to improve.”
“For the moment we are happy to have made so many goalscoring chances, and opened our account with a clean sheet,” he said.
Pictures: Rab Smith
NZFC - Round 2, Carisbrook
11 November 2007 Kickoff 4pm
1. Liam Little
1. Adam Highfield
3. Terry Phelan
3. Andy Pittman
5. Keven Taylor
4. Bill Robertson
6. Terry Alvino (Off,81)
5. Michael Bothwell
11. Andy Coburn
11. Tommy Lancaster (off,45)
14. Chad Sveres
8. Blair Scoullar
15. John Chishlom
9. Dave Walker
16. Jesse Malloy
10. Stuart Kelly
17 Croyden Wheeler
12. Jeremy Wild
18. Mike Smith
14. Darren Overton (off,28)
19. Richard Smith (Off,63)
21. Sam Jasper (Off,81)
7. Robbie Deeley (On,81)
16. Yusaki Okubo (On,81)
9. John Lange (On,63)
17. Ryan Faichnie (On,45)
12. Aaron Burgess
19. Matt Boyd (On,29)
13. Callum Flaws
22. Jordan Ashton
21. Ben Keat
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Phelan delivers cross Richard Smith puts it wide
Both teams have come out firing, box to box football
Phelan delivers free from 35 yards out, Alvino just unable to finish
Corner to Otago, cleared by defence
Ball played in to box, Otago's Croyden Wheeler attempts bicycle from from 8 yards out in front straight to keepers hands
Wheeler has shot deflected by defender, out for a corner
Corner cleared by Canterbury's defence
Good build up play by Otago finds Jesse Malloy on the left side of box, scuffed shot straight to keepers hands
Free kick to Canterbury from poor tackle by Mike Smith, Jasper puts free kick over from 25 yards out
Canterbury's number 21 fires a shot over the bar
Substitution Canterbury 19 Matt Boyed on for 14 Darren Overton
Yellow Card Coburn receives Yellow card for late challenge
Good pressure from Otago see's Phelan one on one with Canteburys right back, Phelan side steps defender and whips in a great cross that narrowly misses Richard Smith's head
Coburn hits 20 yard shot straight at keeper
Substitution for Canterbury 11 Tommy Lancaster off, 17 Ryan Faichnie on
Fast paced start to the second half looks like both coaches had a bit to say at half time, end to end stuff
Neat interplay by Canterbury comes to nothing as Otago's defense holds firm, both teams are lacking any real attacking penetration
Substitution Otago look to injected some speed into their attack with the introduction of number 9 John Lange for 19 Richard Smith
Lange involved straight away, his pace gets him through on goal, shot put high and wide
Mike Bothwell receives yellow card
Dave Walker has weak shot at goal from out in front, straight to keeper
Canterbury lacking width as they try to break down Otago's defence
Wild finds Smith in box header put over
Severs one on one with keeper, keeper saves, out for a corner
double substitution Otago's number 7 Robbie Deeley on for Terry Alvino, and Canterbury's number 16 Yusaki Okubo on for Sam Jasper
Yellow Card Canterburys number 10 Stuart Kelly receives Yellow
Yellow Card to Otago's Deeley
Hopeful ball into box leads to a skyed shot by Lange
its all Otago with Wheeler breaking into box, the resulting corner is cleared by Canterbury
firey finish to game leading to several big challangers by both teams.
0 - 0 the points will be shared after a midfield battle that resulted in few goalscoring opportunites, however both teams had chances to win it