NZFC - Round 5, English Park, Sunday 2 December
Wiremu Patrick 21
Halftime: 0 - 1 Referee: Matthew Conger Crowd: 350
By Gavin Searle at English Park
The game itself may have been far from perfect, but Team Wellington maintained their perfect record with a 1-0 win over Canterbury United at English Park on Sunday.
In a game that was a bit of a yawn in the second half, leaders Team Wellington not only maintained their unblemished record but set a new league mark for the most wins in succession at the start of the season.
The winning – and only – goal in an otherwise lacklustre affair came midway through the first half. Canterbury failed to fully clear a Wellington corner with the ball falling to Wiremu Patrick who found the back of the net with a low shot from 20 metres out.
“Pretty horrible really, but we will take the three points as I am sure some teams will find it hard to get a win down here”, was how Team Wellington coach Stu Jacobs summed up the game.
“It was a battle and one that we are happy to win and it is good to be still on top of the tree,” added Jacobs.
The game followed a similar pattern to other home games for Canterbury this season with the home side not taking the early chances that they created before Patrick struck, with a shot from Dave Walker just going over the bar and then Michael Fifii wasting a gilt-edged chance when blasting the ball wide.
After the goal the visitors created the better of the chances and should have gone into to the break with a bigger margin with Canterbury keeper Adam Highfield called on to make several reflect saves.
A goal was needed in the second half to lift the game as both side struggled to string together more than a few passes before losing possession. The best chance fell to Wellington’s Graham Little late in the game but his shot was well and truly over the bar.
Canterbury, who have yet to record a win this season now face Hawke’s Bay and YoungHeart Manawatu before the Christmas break.
Canterbury assistant coach, John Brown, said with a wry Scottish smile, “We are still unbeaten on the road this season”, when asked how his team would face the coming few weeks.
With Waitakere on FIFA Club World Cup duty in Japan next week, Team Wellington get the week off before hosting Auckland City in a highly anticipated top-of-the-table clash in round 7.
Photos: Kevin Clarke www.cmgsport.co.nz
NZFC - Round 5, English Park
Sunday 2 December Kickoff 4pm
1. Adam Highfield (GK)
24. Phil Imray (GK)
3. Andy Pitman
2. Sam Peters
4. Bill Robertson
5. Peter Howe
5. Michael Bothwell (out 63)
19. Sean Douglas
7. Michael Fifii (out 46)
8. Michael Wilson
9. Dave Walker
16. Raf De Gregorio
10. Stu Kelly (Capt)
17. Wremu Patrick
12. Jeremy Wild
6. Adam Birch (Capt)
17. Ryan Faichnie
11. George Barbarouses (out 46)
19. Matt Boyd
18. Peter Halstead (out 66)
21. Sam Jasper (out 80)
15. Graham Little
2. Glen Squire (in 46)
3. Steven Gulley (in 46)
8. Blair Scoullar (in 63)
10. Luis Corrales (in 66)
11. Tom Lancaster
7. Sam Blackburn
16. Yusaku Okubo (in 80)
13. Karl Whalen
22. Jordan Ashton (RGK)
1. Dylan Hall (RGK)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Welcome to English Park for this fifth round fixture between Canterbury United and league leaders Team Wellington. The over night rain has cleared leaving overcast conditions with a temperture of 18. The home side has Blair Scoullar back from a calf injury but the former All White will be warming the bench, with vice captain Andy Pitman coming starigh back into the side after suspension. Team Wellington will set a record if they win today and record their fifth straight win at the start of the season.
Here we go
After half chances at both ends shot by Dave Walker just over bar for Canterbury
Good Canterbury build up wasted as Ryan Faichnie crossed to Walker who feeds Michael Fifii but blasts the ball wide
GOAL! 0 - 1 From a TW corner ball only half cleared to Wiremu Patrick who scores with a low shot from well outside the penalty area
Yellow card - Faichnie in the book for Canty
Yellow card - Sam Peter cautioned for TW
Ball bouncing around the Canterbury goal like a pin ball with Adam Highfield called on to make three stops in quick succession
Yellow card - Patrick cautioned for TW for slowing freekick
Yellow card - Matt Boyd also in the book for Canterbury
Halftime: 0 - 1 TW go the the break finishing the stronger and would consider themselves unlucky not to be more the a goal up
SUB - Canterbury, Squire in, Fifii out
SUB - TW, Gulley in, Barbarouses out
We're away in the second half
SUB - Canterbury, Scoullar in, Bothwell out
SUB - TW, Corrales in, Halstead out
Game needs a goal has gone a little flat
Yellow card - Adam Birch also in the book for TWy
Yellow card - Sean Douglas also in the book for TW
SUB - Canterbury, Okubo in, Jasper out
Little should have wrapped the three points up for TW but blasts ball well over bar
Into 2 minutes stoppage time
90 mins + 2
Fulltime 0 - 1 Not a great second half , but it finally comes to an end with TW maintaining their perfect record and Canterbury now hit the road before Christmas.
Match report and photos to follow