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NZFC - Round 7, FMG Stadium, 16 December 2007
Ian Robinson 7, 59
Ryan Faichnie 42
Halftime: 1-1 Referee: Kevin Stolenkamp Crowd: 300
Ian double-act gets YoungHeart back on track
by Jonathan Galuszka at FMG Stadium
Goals from Ian Sandbrook and Ian Robinson steered YoungHeart Manawatu to a 3-2 victory over Canterbury United Dragons at FMG Stadium in Palmerston North today to get YoungHeart’s season back on track.
However, the game was far from memorable for either team, with YoungHeart taking their time to put the game beyond doubt.
“I think we should have killed the game as a contest a lot earlier,” said YoungHeart coach Shane Rufer. “We made it hard for ourselves.”
“However, I’m happy with the three points.”
YoungHeart failed to stamp a solid dominance on the game, even though Ian Robinson gave them the perfect start by blasting a free kick past Canterbury keeper Adam Highfield in the seventh minute.
Dominic Rowe could have doubled their score just two minutes later but put the ball wide when one-on-one with Highfield. That was only the beginning of Rowe’s woes, going on to miss many more golden opportunities.
“We’re better than that. But we make a few mistakes and we get a bit of uncertainty,” said Rufer.
“We still need to find our wish team, wish combinations and wish formation. Once we do that, players will begin to find form.”
It took until the 42nd minute for Canterbury to find the back of the net, with Ryan Faichnie blasting one past a diving Michael Utting from 25 yards out.
During the rest of the first half and the beginning of the second half, YoungHeart continued to get forward in numbers but failed to find that elusive finishing touch from strikers Dominic Rowe and Osea Vakatalesau who either put the ball wide or were kept from getting a shot off by the Canterbury defence.
“I think that we managed to defend really well,” said Canterbury coach Danny Halligan. “We got men behind the ball and managed to shut them down when we could.”
However, in the 59th minute, Robinson managed to latch onto a through ball and place it into the bottom corner of the net, giving YoungHeart the lead once again.
This was followed 14 minutes later by an Ian Sandbrook strike from 18 yards out that found the back of the net.
Canterbury managed to pull on back quickly, with good build up play putting new signing Rhodri Payne one-on-one with Utting where he made no mistakes.
Canterbury kept on pressing forward, looking for the equaliser, but could not find it.
Canterbury coach Danny Halligan was upbeat about his players' performances today, even though this was their seventh game in a row without a win – a new club record.
“It was a scrappy game today that rarely produced any quality football. However, there was always only a goal in it,” he said.
“I’m not one to go pointing the finger [at specific players]. We worked hard and managed to penetrate their defence of various occasions.”
Although Rufer was not happy with his team’s performance, he was positive about the performances of Sandbrook and Robinson.
“When the two Ian’s are on form, YoungHeart Manawatu is on form. It’s as simple as that,” said Rufer.
Both coaches also hinted today at their plans for when the transfer window opens on February 11.
“YoungHeart is always interested with who is available when the transfer window opens,” Rufer hinted.
“There may be some new players coming into the club.”
Danny Halligan, however, had a different take on the transfer window.
“Just because you are losing doesn’t mean that we should just tell our players to leave and bring in new ones. It just doesn’t work like that,” he said.
“We will continue to work with the players that we have and continue to build their experience.”
Photos: Rowena Duncum
19 Michael Utting (GK)
1 Adam Highfield (GK)
3 Pablo Yackson
2 Glen Squire
4 Peni Finau
3 Andy Pitman
5 Trent Watson
4 Bill Robertson
9 Osea Vakatalesau ( 82)
8 Blair Scoullar
11 Ian Sandbrook
10 Stuart Kelly
12 Nick Roydhouse ( 90+3)
12 Jeremy Wild
16 Ian Robinson
15 Rhodri Payne
17 Dominic Rowe ( 85)
17 Ryan Faichnie ( 85)
21 Tim Richardson
19 Matt Boyd
23 Scott Robson
21 Sam Jasper ( 65 min)
1 Andrew Bailey (GK)
22 Michael O'Keeffe (GK)
7 Gouzalo Nieres ( 82)
6 Garry McDermott
8 Nathan Cooksley ( 90+3)
7 Michael Fifii ( 85)
14 Daniel Aliaga
11 Tom Lancaster ( 65)
15 Prince Quansah ( 85)
= Sub On
= Sub Off
=2 yellow cards
= red card
It is a beautiful day for a game of football with clear skies and a light breeze blowing down the ground. Adam Cowan is missing from YoungHeart's lineup due to suspension, but they welcome back Osea Vakatalesau from his suspension.
YoungHeart playing with the wind this half.
YoungHeart get an early corner. Robinson curls it out.
Robinson tripped on the edge of the Canterbury area. Free kick to YoungHeart.
GOAL! Robinson beats Highfield with a beautiful free kick. 1-0 YoungHeart.
Dominic Rowe gets one-on-one with the keeper but chips it wide of the goal.
Canterbury get a chance with a free kick 30 yards out.
Cross met with a bouncing header but goes wide.
Through ball from Sandbrook finds Rowe up front. Ball tackled away for a corner.
Looping header from Osea Vakatalesau is tipped over the bar by Highfield.
Canterbury counter-attack leads to a shot from Rhodri Payne. Easily saved by Utting.
Good buildup play by YoungHeart ends poorly with Tim Richardson's cross met by no one.
Ryan Faichnie gets a telling off for pushing. YoungHeart free kick goes wide of the inside post.
Yellow Card. Peni Finau picks up a yellow for a poor challenge on Blair Scoullar. Scoullar looks injured but recovers.
A brilliant through ball from Vakatalesau splits the defence but Canterbury keeper Highfield beats a chasing Sandbrook to the ball.
Glenn Squire looks to be in some grief on the touchline. Play continues otherwise.
Beautiful work from Vakatalesau sets Rowe up for a volley. Highfield pulls off a brilliant save in the bottom right corner. Vakatalesau puts a head over the bar from the resulting corner.
Yellow Card. Pablo Yackson gets a yellow for a silly challenge just outside his area.
Sandbrook has a dig from 35 yards out. Sails over the bar.
GOAL! Ryan Faichnie buries one with a cracking drive from 25 yards out. 1-1.
Yellow Card. Sam Jasper picks up a yellow for a poor challenge.
45 min + 2
Yellow Card. Vakatalesau picks up a yellow card for what seems a forgivealbe push on a Canterbury defender.
Halftime. The scores are locked but YoungHeart seem to be applying more pressure when they have the ball.
No changes to the teams at halftime. The wind seems to have picked up a little bit.
Rowe has a shot early but puts it wide and high of the near post.
Rowe gets a beautiful through ball from Yackson but puts it straight to the keeper. YoungHeart corner.
Robinson puts in a low cross for Rowe who puts it wide. He has really left his shooting boots at home today.
Slack option taking by Vakatalesau in the box leaves YoungHeart with another wasted opportunity.
GOAL! Robinson latches onto a through ball and places it into the bottom left corner of the net. 2-1.
Vakatalesau should have added another but manages to hook the ball into the pitch with just the keeper to beat.
Vakatalesau and Jasper clash heads. Boyd comes off worse and is on the ground getting medical attention.
SUB Jasper is off for Lancaster.
Vakatalesau beats the keeper but has one cleared off the line.
Vakatalesau sets himself for a shot but is thwarted by clever Canterbury defending. YoungHeart's strikers just don't seem to be able to finish today.
Scott Robson has a clear sideline to run down but somehow trips himself up on the ball.
GOAL! Ian Sandbrook places one into the back of the net from just outside the 18 yard area. 3-1.
GOAL! Rhodri Payne gets one-on-one with Utting and finishes on the near post. 3-2.
SUB Gouzalo Nieres on for Vakatalesau
Yellow Card. Glenn Squire picks up a yellow card. Robinson puts the free kick high over the bar.
SUB Dominic Rowe goes off for Prince Quansah
SUB Ryan Faichnie goes off for Michael Fifii.
Nieres puts a cross across the face of the goal but no one latches onto it.
Jeremy Wild puts a looping shot on goal from the touchline that just sails over the bar.
90 + 1 min
Roydhouse wins a corner for YoungHeart. Highfield watches the header from the corner bounce off the top of the bar.
90 + 3 min
SUB Roydhouse leaves the field for Nathan Cooksley
90 + 5 min
Fulltime. 3-2. YoungHeart - despite slack finishing - get the result they deserve.