ASB Premiership - Round 11
Memorial Park, Palmerston North
Sunday 3 February, 2013
Wiremu PATRICK 2', 7'
Rowe DOMINIC 39'
Luke ROWE 41'
Hamish WATSON 80', 83'
Halftime: 0-4 Referee: J Rowbury Crowd: 200
by Matt Barnes at Memorial Park
PALMERSTON NORTH – Team Wellington keep up the pressure for the top-four play-off spots with a big 6-0 win over Youngheart Manawatu, despite operating off little possession.
Wellington scored their goals in pairs, with two early goals joined by two near the break and two in the last ten minutes, while in between the home side controlled the match but foundered on a colossal defensive performance from Alec Solomons.
The match was barely a minute old when Manawatu goalkeeper Matt Borren came out to collect a through-ball, arriving at the same time as the flying Dominic Rowe. The players collided and, much to the dismay of the home bench, referee John Rowbury pointed to the spot.
Wiremu Patrick took the responsibility and his coolly-placed penalty gave Wellington a dream start.
It was to get even better six minutes later when Patrick cut in from the left and hit a fierce drive from a narrow angle. Borren dropped well to save, but the deflection bounced straight up and the quickest to react was Patrick on his follow through, heading into the empty net to double his account.
Manawatu then took control of the game, but despite struggled to create clear chances. The few they did create were either spurned, such as when Tom Mosquera blazed a volley over the bar with the goal yawning, or else found Scott Basalaj a steadfast figure in the Wellington goal.
With half-time approaching, Team Wellington scored another double.
First the energetic Dominic Rowe scored a one-on-one his hard-running deserved before the goal of the match from Luke Rowe. A free-kick two minutes later was hit by Luke Rowe with a swerving shot that dipped over the wall and gave Borren no chance at all.
The second half saw Manawatu again trying to dominate, but the energy-draining summer sun and the seemingly omnipresent Solomons combined to take the sting out of the home side.
As they faded, Wellington coach Matt Calcott brought on Hamish Watson in what proved to be an inspired change.
Within five minutes of coming on, the big striker had racked up a double through identical shots from the right edge of the box across goal. He almost picked up a hat-trick when he tried to repeat the dose six minutes later, but this time his low shot was agonisingly wide.
It was a mission accomplished for Team Wellington and a potential banana peel situation avoided. The three points mean they remain in fifth spot, but keep the pressure on the teams above them.
On the other side of the coin, it was another heavy defeat for an ailing Manawatu side that has conceded 23 goals in its last five matches.
It is a young team and the surprise non-selection of experienced captain Adam Cowan was a deliberate choice by coach Stu Jacobs, who believes the future of the club is in working to a long-term vision.
“It’s whether we want to go and buy a team that’s going to be competitive and maybe get into the top four or develop within and give a pathway for the local players.” Said Jacobs after the match.
“Yes, we want to win games and we want to win leagues, but if it takes us four years to develop some players so we can genuinely do that, then I think that’s a positive for the franchise.”
“I think next year Jordie [Martens], Wade [Randle], Kade [Schrijvers] and Dale [Higham], they’ll all be a year better off. That’s the difference with young players – if they’re given a chance, they learn from it.”
Jacobs is quick to identify the need for experience in the line-up, but that external recruitment should be carried out with an eye for ability off the field, as well as on.
“It’s important that we have the right players in the mix because the young players will learn good habits from older players. If we’re going to bring in older players into Youngheart Manawatu, they need to be good people and not just good players.”
Team Wellington have a much shorter timeframe for their focus. Next week they host third-placed Auckland City while second-placed Hawke’s Bay play fourth-placed Canterbury United in a round that presents an opportunity for the capital side to cut the gap to the leading pack.
1- Matt BORREN (GK)
1- Scott BASALAJ (GK)
3- Wade RANDLE
2- Tim SCHAEFFERS
4- Kade SCHRIJVERS (C)
4- Darren CHERITON
8- Nathan COOKSLEY
7- Wiremu PATRICK
9- Seule SOROMON
9- Cory CHETTLEBURGH
11- Tom MOSQUERA
10- Henry FA'ARODO
12- Khair JONES
13- Karl WHALEN
15- Billy SCOTT
14- Rowe DOMINIC
17- Jordan MARTENS
20- Luke ROWE
18- Dale HIGHAM
21- Justin GULLEY
22- Grant ROBSON
24- Alec SOLOMANS
2- Liam HIGGINS
22- Hamish WATSON
13- Michael FRASER
3- Jamie DUNCAN
14- Tyson BRANDT
8- Adam McGEORGE
20- Sam REDWOOD
23- Tom BISS
21- Souleymane CISSOKO
25- Daniel CLARK
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Play by Play
Welcome to another gloriously sunny day at Memorial Park for this ASB Premiership clash between Youngheart Manawatu and Team Wellington.
The visitors will be absolutely desperate for three points today. They are one spot outside the top four, but six big points away. Playing the bottom side - as Manawatu are - means they simply must win if they are to have any chance of making the play-offs. Indeed, with only 15 possible points left, coach Matt Calcott would have targetted their matches against Manawatu and Otago for six and then will have to hope they can grab something out of their remaining matches against Auckland (twice) and Hawke's Bay.
That pressure may play on their minds and it means Manawatu might just fancy themselves a chance here. Adam COWAN is available, but coach Stu JACOBS is keeping with the players who did well against Waitakere, with the exception of Nathan COOKSLEY, who returns and Alex RUFER, who has been away in Canberra. Kade SCHRIJVERS wears the captain's armband again this week.
And we're away! Conditions for today's match are spectacular. The pitch is smooth and rock-hard. The only negative factor could come later in the game, with the heat likely to test the fitness of the two sides - apparently there is no scheduled drinks dreak, despite temperatures expected to clear 30 degrees.
PENALTY! A loose ball into the Manawatu area and Matt Borren comes out on the angle. He doesn't quite get there and Rowe DOMINIC arrives at the same time. They go down in a pile and the ref points at the spot! Booking for BORREN, as well...
Goal! 1-0 Wellington. Wiremu PATRICK goes low and to the right and it's an early lead for Wellington. That'll settle the nerves.
And it's 2-0! PATRICK breaks into the area from the left and hammers in a shot. BORREN drops well to save, but the ball just bounces up near the line and PATRICK, following through, heads into the empty net. Manawatu are shell-shocked.
Wellington are absolutely dominant in midfield. Manawatu are already being forced into long ball tactics - but wait, one finds its mark and SOROMON gets on the end of it. He twists back and forth before hitting the shot. BASALAJ throws up a big glove and it deflects to MOSQUERA who can't keep his volley down and it flies over the bar. Real opportunity for the home side there.
Cross from JONES loops over the Wellington defence just as MOSQUERA arrives, but his attempted volley is an air-ball. No connection at all. MOSQUERA passed a fitness test to play, but the touch that has led to him racking up seven goals so far this season doesn't seem to be there just yet.
A good turn from JONES in midfield wins him enough space to square it to HIGHAM, who hits a low drive from range. BASALAJ can relax, though, as it is well wide.
Manawatu starting to dominate possession now. But finding space in midfield seems a problem. FA'ARODO pounces and sets DOMINIC away down the right, but his cross ends up being harmless.
Manawatu press again, but SOLOMANS is a tower of strength in the air and is stopping everything at the moment.
Manawatu keep up the pressure. JONES whips it in and SOROMON goes for the acrobatic bicycle kick, but he doesn't quite get hold of it and the diving BASALAJ tips it around the post.
A bit of ball for the yellow-and-blacks now, but a low cross goes all the way through to FA'ARODO, whose shot would've gone over three goals.
Free kick for Manawatu won by SOROMON. Just left of centre, some 28 yards out. HIGHAM and MOSQUERA stand over the ball...and it's MOSQUERA who drills it, but deflected away for a corner.
The corner is taken and COOKSLEY climbs highest, but his header is straight at BASALAJ, whose hands are safe once more. The Wellington custodian is continuing his excellent form.
ROBSON squares it to Billy SCOTT who fancies a long range effort...which he probably shouldn't have. That's very wide.
Another corner for Youngheart. They're really piling it on now. This one is an inswinger from MARTENS that is half-cleared to SCOTT. His shot is blocked, but it falls to COOKSLEY and his shot is blocked as well!
Another corner and another scramble, but BASALAJ manages to punch it clear. This is incredibly one-sided at the moment. Can Manawatu break through?
Finally, a bit of possession for Wellington. They win a corner, which is played deep to ROWE, who plays a terrific ball to SOLOMANS at the six-yard line, but the big central defender can only head over.
Luke ROWE collects a loose ball some 30 yards out and decides to play the lottery with a long range drive that is shanked a bit. No danger for BORREN's goal there.
GOAL! 3-0! Rowe DOMINIC gallops away and collects a through-ball. He keeps his cool and plays it low and to his left, past the onrushing BORREN.
GOAL! It's four! And what a goal! Free-kick 22 yards out and ROWE steps up to curl it with his left. Over the wall and dipping down into the net. That was class.
Justin GULLEY picks up a card, but this scoreline is blowing out badly, despite the balance of play being in the home side's favour. The Wellington strike force are in deadly form. And, MOSQUERA picks up a yellow for a rash challenge, too.
And that's half-time.
Manawatu coach Stu Jacobs must be a frustrated man. His team have looked good on the ball, steadily gaining ascension as the match wore on. Khair JONES began to impose himself and the supply of ball to SOROMAN and MOSQUERA up front was ever-increasing. And yet, somehow, they're 4-0 down.
SOLOMANS has been a rock at the back for Wellington, defusing the long balls with ease. On attack, both FA'ARODO on the right and PATRICK on the left have been dangerous with pace and tight skills. When Wellington go forward, they are carving through the Manawatu defence, with Rowe DOMINIC getting through a power of work up front, with or without the ball.
Youngheart are going to need to score early in the second half and find some way of shutting down the Wellington wide men if they are going to have a chance of finding any way back into this. Even if they do, Scott BASALAJ is already proving an imposing figure in the capital city goal and it looks like it is going to take something special to get past him even once, let alone four times.
With Canterbury leading in their match, Wellington will be relieved to have a four-goal buffer in this one.
And we're underway for the second half. Half-time changes for Manawatu as Tyson BRANDT and Liam HIGGINS join the fray for MOSQUERA and ROBSON, respectively. I can only assume MOSQUERA has succumbed to that injury concern, because he was starting to look dangerous.
DOMINIC controls well on the break and puts it across to CHETTLEBURGH, who tries to curl it in with his right, but it doesn't come around and it's wide of the far post.
Wellington press and rain a succession of shots on the Manawatu goal, but all are blocked by bodies and the barrage ends up in a goal kick. Wellington look to have come out with a purpose in the second half.
The game is starting to open up now. Manawatu are throwing men forward - JONES has been pushed into the front line - and it means gaps are opening up in their own defence. We may be in for some more goals here very shortly...
The ball falls to CHETTLEBURGH on a tight angle and he absolutely hammers it in, but BORREN is equal to the task and saves with both fists.
Changes for Wellington with Tom BISS and Jamie DUNCAN on for PATRICK and CHETTLEBURGH. Looks like Matt Calcott is shoring things up a bit now.
Dale HIGHAM charges off down the right with full intent. SOLOMANS gives him a push, then both go down in the box and the whistle goes...no, it's for the initial contact. Free kick and a booking.
MARTENS SMASHES the free kick across the face of goal. Any touch on that would've been in the back of the net, but it goes right through for a goal kick.
SCOTT chips it through for JONES to get around the back, he cuts it back across goal to MARTENS, but his eyes light up and he blazes miles over the bar.
GULLEY runs at SCHRIJVERS, checks on to his left, but then lifts his shot high, wide, and not very handsome.
Another chance for Manawatu. MARTENS makes way and on comes Soulemayne CISSOKO in an attacking change by coach Jacobs.
Manawatu have again had the lion's share of possession, but despite it, BASALAJ hasn't really had to make a save this half. A lot of that has to go down to Alec SOLOMANS, who is seemingly everywhere.
Free kick for Manawatu, wide on the left. HIGHAM takes it and HIGGINS climbs highest, but he is off-balance and his header is well over.
Now it's FA'ARODO's turn to blaze over the bar. There are less shots over the bar in an England rugby game.
Final change for Team wellington with Rowe DOMINIC making way. He was running out of steam a bit in the sun, but still he's had an excellent match. Hamish WATSON is on in his place.
GOAL! And the substitute makes an immediate impact! WATSON cuts in from the right, back out again and then drills it across goal into the net at the far post. Clinical strike for Wellington's fifth.
Intricate interchange between SCOTT and SOROMON, but they still can't unlock this Wellington defence.
GOAL! A double for WATSON! A mistake from COOKSLEY and the substitute pounces, slotting from pretty much the identical spot as his first and the exact same result. This scoreline is getting pretty hefty now...
SCHAEFFERS clatters CISSOKO and stays down. There are no subs left, though, so he'll have to play on. Just to rub it in, he gets a yellow card for the challenge as well. HIGHAM takes the free kick but, guess what? Over the bar.
Ooohhh! WATSON was a foot away from a hat-trick. A couple of quick stepovers buy him space at the edge of the box, but his low shot is narrowly wide of the left-hand upright.
A deep cross from DUNCAN goes right over the back where WATSON climbs highest, but HIGGINS does enough on defence to force him to head wide.
And that's full-time. 6-0 is the final result, and Wellington will consider that a job done. With Hawke's Bay and Canterbury also winning, it means they don't bridge the gap at all to the top four but crucially, they don't lose pace, either.
Manawatu dominated for long periods, particularly in the first half, but just lacked that creative spark in the final third to make the difference. Wellington, on the other hand, were clinical to start with and then were able to soak up the pressure before WATSON's late cameo put the icing on the cake.