Wrap Multimedia TW News AC News
Hawke's Bay United
NZFC - Round 4, Newtown Park, Sunday 25 November 2007
Peter Howe 26
Jarrod Smith 36
Halftime: 3-1 Referee: Jim Murphy Crowd: 1100
By Gordon Irving at Newtown Park
Team Wellington recorded a club record fourth successive New Zealand Football Championship regular season win and with it went clear at the top of the points table but not before giving their supporters heart palpitations in a breathtaking 4-3 win over Hawkes Bay United at Newtown Park on Sunday.
Raf de Gregorio’s stunning free kick in the 71st minute was a fitting finale to a sizzling football match played in temperatures more akin to mid February than late November in Wellington.
A crowd of 1100 turned up in the glorious conditions to see their top of the table side charge into a comfortable 3-0 lead after half an hour. That lead was erased midway through the second half however as Hawkes Bay fought their way back into the game against a faltering Team Wellington.
The first 25 minutes were uneventful as the two sides sized each other up with Wellington perhaps dominating possession but unable to turn that early possession into anything meaningful inside Hawkes Bay’s penalty area.
And then the fireworks began.
Wellington defender Peter Howe crashed in the opener with an effort from the edge of the penalty area and before the local fans knew it, their side was coasting at 3-0 and looking to bury Hawkes Bay in an avalanche of goals. Another defender, Sean Douglas made it 2-0 to Wellington just a minute after Howe’s opener and centre forward Peter Halstead increased that to 3-0, side footing into an empty net after some impressive approach play from Graham Little.
Game over you would think, and a chance for the home fans to sit back and enjoy a comfortable Team Wellington win that would confirm the side as genuine title contenders. Or at least that’s how it looked.
Jonathan Gould’s Hawke’s Bay side had other ideas as Wellington seemed to ease off and it was not a surprise when All Whites striker Jarrod Smith pulled a goal back for the visitors nine minutes from halftime.
Team Wellington coach Stu Jacobs admits his team eased off the accelerator at 3-0.
“That’s what happens sometimes in football. It’s not a conscious thing but the game looked over at that stage and then Hawke’s Bay started to expose us in wide areas,” said Jacobs.
Seven minutes into the second half and Bay midfielder Graham Fyfe made things interesting with the first of two beautifully executed free kicks in this match. From 25 metres Fyfe curled his kick high into the top right hand corner of Imray’s net.
Game back on.
Fifteen minutes later and Fyfe had his second, and the equalising goal, as he coolly stepped up and slotted home from the penalty spot.
If any team was going to win this game now it looked as though the momentum had swung towards the Bay until de Gregorio’s magical free kick with 19 minutes left on the clock. De Gregorio had already got through a power of work in the Wellington midfield but had enough in the tank to curl his effort in off the underside of the crossbar and edge the home side back in front.
This match could have finished four or five each as both sides had chances late in the game but the win for Wellington, who played without captain Andy Barron, top goalscorer Daniel Ellensohn and last weeks winning goalscorer Darren Cheriton, allowed the side to go two points clear at the top of the NZFC table.
Next week both teams venture south with Wellington heading to Christchurch to face Canterbury United and Hawke’s Bay meeting bottom-of-the-table Otago at Carisbrook.
Team Wellington coach Stu Jacobs said:
“This was a good game for the spectators and it could really have gone either way it was that close.”
“It took a top class free kick from Raf to win it for us and Hawkes Bay’s direct approach to the game really gave us trouble.”
“I have to be really pleased with the win and the overall performance however as we got the three points without three of our major contributors in recent weeks in Andy Barron, Daniel Ellensohn and Darren Cheriton. They left some big holes to fill and the group that we put out today came together really well and got a top result.”
“At 3-0 there was a chasm between us and Wellington but at the end of the game I felt we were as good as them.”
“For an hour of this match we showed that we are capable of having a say in the way this league goes.”
“At 3-0 Wellington appeared to relax and that can happen in a game and our first goal before halftime gave us the belief that we could get something out of this match. I believe a draw would have been a fair result. It was a great game.”
Photos: Tim Hales
NZFC - Round 4, Newtown Park
Hawke's Bay United
Sunday 25 Nov. Kickoff 3:00pm
2 Sam Peters
1 Mitch O'Brien
5 Peter Howe
3 Cole Peverley
6 Adam Birch
4 Greig Henslee
8 Mike Wilson
5 Campbell Parkin
11 George Barbarouses (off 65)
6 Ian Hogg
15 Graham Little
9 Sam Messam (off 74)
16 Raf de Gregorio
10 Jeremy Brockie (off 89)
17 Wiremu Patrick
11 Graham Fyfe
18 Peter Halstead
16 Jimmy Cudd (off 82)
19 Sean Douglas (off 65)
20 Sam Jenkins
24 Phil Imray
25 Jarrod Smith
1 Dylan Hall (RGK)
7 Stu Wilson (on 74)
3 Steve Gulley
12 Dean Johnston
7 Sam Blackburn
17 David Gearey (on 89)
10 Luis Corrales (on 65)
19 Jonathon Taylor (on 82)
13 Karl Whalan (on 65)
24 Jonathan Gould (RGK)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
The day has dawned sunny and warm in the capital and with no rain in Wellington for some time, the Newtown Park pitch will be hard and fast.
Just over an hour from kick off and a stiff breeze has got up at Newtown Park but it's still a sunny and very warm Wellington day.
Big news from Newtown Park and Team Wellington leading goalscorer Daniel Ellensohn is out of today's match with Hawkes Bay with a leg injury picked up on international duty.
Round 4 of the NZFC is underway at Newtown Park
Team Wellington playing left to right in their all black strip, Hawkes Bay in all white
2' early chance for TW as Peter Halstead sidefoots past the post
6' touch on from Halstead and weak attempt from de Gregorio easily saved by HB keeper O'Brien
8' good run and shot from HB's Smith easily saved by Imray in TW goal
10' and little for the keepers to do, some regulation saves just keeping them alert
13' dangerous corner from TW's Howe touched away for another corner on opposite side of field, scrambled away by HB
15' TW peppering the HB penalty area with crosses but the Bay dealing with it comfortably so far
20' TW dominating but not creating too much in the danger area on a hot Wellington day
25' TW camped in HB half but still unable to unlock the defence. HB looking very sound at the back
26' GOAL!!!!! cracking drive from the edge of the box from Peter Howe and TW take a deserved 1-0 lead
27' GOAL!!!! Two in a minute for TW. This time from a corner and headed home by Sean Douglas. 2-0 to TW
29' GOAL!!!! Lovely jinking run into the box from Graham Little and slid across for Peter Halstead to tap into an empty net. 3-0 to TW
36' GOAL!!!! HB get one back before halftime with a cool finish from Jarrod Smith, TW lead 3-1
Halftime - and it's 3-1 to TW at the break. Three goals in almost as many minutes put the home side into a comfortable lead but HB have come back strongly scoring once and causing a few headaches in the TW defence. Porbably enough to give Jonathan Gould some hope that his side can get back into a game that seemed well beyond them at the half hour mark.
Second half - TW playing from right to left kick off the second spell at Newtown Parl leading 3-1
49' good early pressure from HB and good strike from Graham Fyfe goes narrowly past the post
52' GOAL!!!! free kick to HB 25 metres out and Graham Fyfe curls a beauty into the top right hand corner of TW net. HB have their tails up now. TW lead 3-2
57' great chance for TW after a scramble in the box and Halstead puts a difficult chance wide
60' another great free kick from HB's Fyfe touched away for a corner by TW's Douglas
HB looking the better side now. After looking dead and buried at 0-3 they are definitely back in this game and looking nthe more dangerous
65' TW make two substitutions with Whalen on for Douglas and Corrales on for Barbarouses
67' penalty to HB
68' GOAL!!!! Graham Fyfe puts away the penalty to secure a great fightback for HB. 3-3
71' GOAL!!!! Another great free kick this time from TW's Raf de Gregorio and the home town team is back in the lead at 4-3
75' what a miss from HB Smith puts one high over the bar from what appeared to be four yards
83' HB make sub with Taylor on for Cudd
88' Brockie shot for HB after a good run but tame in the end and easy for Imray in TW goal
90' final moments and HB looking for an equaliser force a corner. TW looking jittery but good clean catch from Imray in TW goal eases nerves
92' another corner for HB will the pressure tell........not this time but as the ball is cleared fullback Sam Jenkins lets fly from 30 metres and it is narrowly wide of the TW goal
FULL TIME and TW have lived dangerously throwing away a 3-0 lead to eventually win 4-3.