NZFC - Round 8, FMG Stadium, Sunday 6 January 2008
Graham Little 5, 20, 72
Halftime: 0-3 Referee: Kevin Stolenkamp Crowd: 500
by Jonathan Galuszka at FMG Stadium
The two teams were as different as ying and yang today, with everything going right for Wellington while nothing would go the way of YoungHeart.
Rebounding from their 5-1 pre-Christmas loss to Waitakere United, Wellington equalled Waitakere's 8-0 win over Otago United last season.
“You can’t really say a lot at 8-0,” Manawatu coach Shane Rufer said afterwards.
“It’s very easy to be critical of our performance today.”
YoungHeart were on the back foot early when a Wellington corner in the fifth minute missed every head in the box and instead landed at the feet of striker Graham Little who made no mistake from three yards out.
Costa Rican Luis Corrales doubled the score 11 minutes later with some stunning solo work to beat his man and then curl the ball around the out-stretched arms of Manawatu goalkeeper Michael Utting.
Just four minutes later Manawatu were guilty of tripping in the box. Utting did well to save the low penalty but Little made sure that they were punished through good following up to plant the ball into the back of the net.
“You just can’t start a game like that...3-0 down 20 minutes into the game and you just fail to switch on,” Rufer said.
Manawatu captain Ian Robinson also saw the three early goals as crucial to the outcome of the game.
“It’s just disappointing. If any team lets two or three early goals through then they are bound to struggle,” Robinson said.
For the rest of the first half, both teams continued to share possession but also began to get aggressive. YoungHeart were especially guilty of going in a bit too hard for referee Kevin Stolenkamp’s liking.
“I think that we began to get back into the game when things started getting ugly,” Robinson said.
However, any initiative that they had begun to gather going into halftime was lost after it when Wellington finished the game off by scoring three goals in the space of 11 minutes.
It was these two scoring sprees at the start of either half that Wellington coach Stu Jacobs credited to settling the win for his side.
“We managed to put our goals away in very intense spells,” Jacobs said. “This helped us take the life out of YoungHeart.”
However, Jacobs saw his defence – coming off a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Waitakere before the Christmas break – as being key today.
“All credit goes to the backs today. They set the platform for us and managed to keep Manawatu out all day,” Jacobs said.
Wellington strikers Louis Corrales and Graham Little were also in top form, each bagging themselves a hat-trick. This will boost their confidence to no end for their next game against Waikato on January 20.
“It was also good to see Louis and Graham get on the scoresheet today. Goals have been hard to come by for them so hopefully they will start coming freely more often,” Jacobs said.
“All in all it was a very comprehensive performance.”
While Stu Jacobs will be going back to Wellington a happy man today, Shane Rufer will be wondering where to go next when his team hosts Hawkes Bay next week.
One area that he will desperately need to figure out is his combinations up front, with Fijian Osea Vakatalesau yet to find the back of the net this season.
“We obviously have some team difficulties that we need to sort out,” he said.
“But you cook with the food you got and you get what you deserve.”
Photos: Rowena Duncum
19. Michael Utting (GK)
24. Phil Imray (GK)
4. Peni Finau (off 75 min)
2. Sam Peters
5. Trent Watson
5. Peter Howe
9. Osea Vakatalesau (off 64 min)
6. Adam Birch (C)
11. Ian Sandbrook
8. Michael Wilson
12. Nick Roydhouse
9. Daniel Ellensohn (off 68 min)
15. Prince Quansar
10. Luis Corrales (off 76 min)
16. Ian Robinson (C)
13. Karl Whalen
17. Dominic Rowe (off 64 min)
15. Graham Little
20. Adam Cowan
17. Wiremu Patrick
23. Scott Robson
19. Sean Douglas (off 62 min)
1. Andrew Bailey (GK)
1. Dylan Hall (GK)
3. Pablo Yackson
3. Steven Gulley (on 68 min)
7. Gouzalo Nieres (on 64)
4. Jamie Farrington
8. Nathan Cooksley (on 75 min)
7. Sam Blackburn (on 76 min)
21. Tim Richardson (on 64)
21. Cole Tinkler (on 62 min)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
It's a typically cloudy day here in Palmerston North with a light breeze swirling around the park unlikely to hamper play. Team Wellington welcome back captain Adam Birch while YoungHeart see Adam Cowan return from suspension.
We're away with YoungHeart playing north to south this half.
Vakatalesau takes a fall in the box after a run down the left flank but the ref points for a goal kick.
GOAL! 0-1 Graham Little puts it in from 3 yards after untidy defending from YoungHeart.
Wellington win another corner. The cross goes straight into the hands of Utting.
Roydhouse gets the ball on the wing but takes a shot instead of crossing to one of three men. It goes sailing over the bar.
Ellensohn gets a nice through ball up front but is called offside.
GOAL! 0-2 Luis Corrales beats his man and curls one past Utting. Wellington are beginning to stamp their dominance on the game.
A Wellington striker gets chopped in the box. Penalty kick.
GOAL! 0-3 Little's kick is saved by Utting but he follows up well to put away the return.
Good build up work from Sandbrook and Roydhouse comes to nothing through good Wellington defence.
Peter Howe gets the ball 25 yards out but - as most defenders tend to do - puts his shot high and wide.
Roydhouse gets the ball at his feet but puts his first time shot bobbling along the ground into the arms of the Imray.
Yellow Card. Daniel Ellensohn picks up a card for pushing. The resulting free kick gets headed into the arms of Imray.
Vakatalesau takes a fall in the box but the ref doesn't see fit to award a penalty.
The ref is having a talk to his officials about something and has called stop on the game while he does so. The crowd is getting very vocal about their displeasure about it.
Vakatalesau gets a free kick against him even though he won the ball in the challenge just on his 18 yard.
Peni Finau and Adam Birch get tangled up and both look to want to go toe-to-toe with each other. They are quickly seperated but this game is slowly turning ugly.
Rowe following up on a slack pass-back to Imray almost lands Wellington into a spot of bother. The ball, however, is cleared away just in time.
Imray runs out to punch away the ball but manages to also collect Sean Douglas on his way through. Both of them are down on the ground recieving medical attention. Imray looks to have taken the biggest hit but manages to get back up.
Prince Quansar makes a great run down the right touchline but his cross is just too far ahead of Rowe.
45 min + 1
Yellow Card. Finau gets a card after Corrales runs into him and comes off second best.
45 min + 2
Graham Little punds a drive past Utting that cannons off the crossbar.
0-3. Wellington deserve to be on top after a stunning first 20 minutes while YoungHeart need to get some structure to their game. The ref is copping a lot of flack from the crowd as he leaves the ground.
We're back under way here.
YoungHeart putting pressure on early by winning a corner. Dominic Rowe attempts an overhead kick but misses.
Peni Finau pushes a striker over 20 yard out. Free kick Wellington.
Sandbrook clears the free kick far into Wellington territory.
GOAL! 0-4 Ellensohn recieves the ball in what seems to be an offside position (according to the Manawatu players and fans) and plants it past Utting.
GOAL! 0-5 Corrales gets a cross and blasts it into the back of the net.
Roydhouse and Little both get a case of small man syndrome and look to want to 'sort each other out.' They are quickly seperated. The halftime break obviously hasn't cooled the tempers of either team.
GOAL! 0-6 Corrales collects a cross and puts another past Utting.
SUB Douglas for Tinkler.
GOAL! 0-7 Michael Wilson has a dig that takes a deflection off Finau. Utting can do nothing but watch it go the other way.
SUB Rowe for Nieres
SUB Vakatalesau for Richardson
Yellow Card. Tim Richardson gets a card for a harsh challenge.
SUB Gulley on
Yellow Card. Roydhouse gets a card for interfeence in a free kick.
GOAL! 0-8 Graham Little goes on a big solo run and puts one in the back of the net.
SUB Cooksley on for Peni Finau
SUB Blackburn on for Coralles. Both teams have no used all their subs.
Blackburn gets the ball in open space but can't put it away.
For the last 10 minutes YoungHeart have pushed the ball up towards the Wellington goal time and time again, but have been thwarted by good Wellington defence every single time.
90 min + 2
0-8 Wellington have handed YoungHeart Manawatu a lesson in every aspect of football with this clynical display here.