NZFC - Round 9, Newtown Park, Sunday 20 January 2008, 4pm
Steve Gulley 58
Halftime: Referee: James Thian Crowd:
by Gordon Irving at Newtown Park
Patience was the key to Team Wellington’s 2-0 victory over Waikato in round nine of the New Zealand Football Championship, at a stinking hot Newtown Park in Wellington this afternoon.
The win keeps Wellington on the coat tails of the top two Auckland sides, who both scored comfortable wins against South Island opposition this weekend, but Wellington had to bide their time today before securing the three points.
“We showed a bit more patience when the chances didn't go in first half and we always felt it was going to come,” said Team Wellington assistant coach Charlie Howe.
Team Wellington dominated most facets of the game throughout, with midfielders Raf de Gregorio and Michael Wilson producing outstanding performances in the middle of the park, both to unleash the attacking potential of Daniel Ellensohn and Luis Corrales and to contain anything Waikato tried to create themselves.
Howe agreed that both players were key to the victory.
“Waikato are a good side and gave us some moments where they put us under pressure but I think Raf showed his class in midfield today and took his goal so well. He didn’t thrash it when he had the chance but coolly put it away.”
“The back four were excellent and Michael Wilson was superb in front of them and didn't give Waikato too much.”
Team Wellington created the best chances in the first spell with Ellensohn bringing out the best of Waikato keeper Danny Robinson with a snap shot from the edge of the six yard box and then drifting a left footed effort over the stranded Robinson only to see the ball come back off the crossbar.
Corrales didn’t last the half for Wellington and was replaced by Wellington’s answer to Peter Crouch, another Peter, Halstead, with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Whatever was said in the Wellington dressing room at the break had the desired effect soon after the restart but not before Waikato had two good chances of their own. First Steven Holloway was allowed to turn and get his shot away from inside the Wellington penalty area. Then just moments later Shaun van Rooyen had a crack from outside the area that drifted wide.
Up to this stage the game had been an open affair with both sides getting forward at every opportunity and it took a spectacular goal to eventually break the deadlock on 58 minutes.
Within two minutes it was 2-0, and effectively game over, as Raf de Gregorio showed composure to tuck his effort beneath Robinson and into the corner of the goal.
Team Wellington had more chances to extend their lead but couldn’t convert. Not that it mattered as the business had been done.
Photos: Marty Melville
What the coaches said:
Team Wellington Assistant Coach Charlie Howe:
“We did enough to get three points and that was good after last weekend's disappointment against Waitakere”.
“We showed a bit more patience when the chances didn't go in first half and we always felt it was going to come.”
“Waikato are a good side and gave us some moments where they put us under pressure but I think Raf showed his class in midfield today and took his goal so well. The back four were excellent and Michael Wilson was superb in front of them and didn't give Waikato too much.”
“It set us up nicely for Hawkes Bay next weekend. They are a good side but we're at a stage now where we have to push on. We've got Waitakere out of the way and if Hawke's Bay turns up and we play like we can, it'll be a hell of a game at Park Island.”
Waikato Assistant Coach Mark Cossey:
“To use the old cliche it was a game of two halves.”
“They were slow out of the blocks and at times in the first spell we played some good stuff. We had a few chances but didn't capitalise. I didn't think we controlled the midfield and their left back had a field day.”
“It's been a long day with all the travelling and we've been at the park for three hours before the game so in the end it's very disappointing as our shape just wasn't there.”
2 Sam Peters
1 Danny Robinson
3 Steve Gulley
2 David Samson
8 Mike Wilson
3 Hone Fowler
9 Daniel Ellensohn
5 Aaron Scott
10 Luis Corrales
6 Sam Wilkinson
13 Karl Whalen
7 Joe Simpkins
16 Raf de Gregorio
9 Jakub Sinkora
17 Wiremu Patrick
12 Robert Gill
19 Sean Douglas
14 Shaun van Rooyen
20 Caue Benicio
15 Steven Holloway
24 Phil Imray
17 Stu Watene
1 Jake Gleeson
10 Luke Findlay
5 Peter Howe
11 Paul Stewart
14 Darren Cheriton
18 Stanley Waita
18 Peter Halstead
21 Cole Tinkler
=2 yellow cards
= red card
It's another hot one at Newtown Park for this Round 9 NZFC fixture and there's a big blow for the home team with Graham Little out of the match after picking up concussion in last weekend's loss to Waitakere.
The players are out on the sweltering Newtown Park pitch warming up for today's encounter and I'm glad it's them and not me. The training tops are wet with sweat. It's a scorcher at Newtown.
Just about kick off and TW will play from left to right in the first half - playing away from the zoo end of the ground.
TW in all black and Waikato in all white for today's fixture
Waikato to kick off and it's underway.
2' it's all Waikato in the early exchanges. They have been camped in and around the TW penalty area since kick off without getting a shot away
5' at last TW get forward and there's a flurry of activity in the Waikato area but again no shot to trouble the keeper
8' TW corner from the left hand side - but it's a weak effort and easily cleared.
10' Daniel Ellensohn is away and gets the ball in the back of the net but the flag is up and it won't count.
12' Waikato get away down the right hand side and it's a good cross low to the near post that is finally held by Imray.
14' TW starting to find some holes in the Waikato defence as de Gregorio sets Ellensohn free and his cross beats Robinson in Waikato's goal but is cleared by the retreating defenders.
15' it's a good open game, both sides looking to attack and there looks like being some goals in the game. The heat may play a factor.
18' best chance of the game as Corrales gets free on the left and his cross is met by Ellensohn who brings out the best in Waikato's Robinson and the ball is cleared.
22' fantastic through ball with the outside of the foot from TW's Benicio that sets Corrales away but it's well read by Robinson who just wins the race to get it clear
28' it's a poster. A mistake out of defence by Waikato sees de Gregorio feed Ellensohn who has plenty of time to size up a shot and his left footer beats Robinson but comes back off the Waikato bar
Halftime and apologies from Newtown. In computer talk 'we crashed'. No goals while we were away although TW had a couple of good chances with Benicio testing Robinson from distance and then Patrick dancing along the edge of the penalty area before dragging his left foot shot wide.
Peter Halstead replaced Luis Corrales with seven minutes left in the first half. Corrales limped off with what looked like bad blistering.
Second half is underway and TW, who had the better of the first half chances and will be disappointed to be starting the second half on level terms, will attack towards the zoo end of the ground.
46' first chance for Waikato as Steven Holloway turns and shoots inside the TW area but it's well held by Imray. That's the first serious strike on target by Waikato.
49' another chance for Waikato as van Rooyen's effort from outside the area goes past the post
50' Waikato showing some purpose as a surging run from Wilkinson is stopped on the edge of the TW area
52 great chance for Ellensohn who finds himself free on the edge of the area but his shot slices wide of the Waikato goal. This is a very open game and you'd expect goals but as yet it's scoreless
54' another great chance for TW but this time it's Patrick that drags his effort wide of the Waikato goal
Maybe it's going to be one of those games!!!
56' great run into the box by Benicio and he meets Patrick's flick but is unable to get a clean header on target. Another chan ce disappears for TW
58' GOAL! And what a goal it was, by TW left back Steve Gulley. He picked the ball up just inside the Waikato half and ran as the Waikato side backed off. As he approached the penalty area his shot sailed over Robinson and just under the Waikato bar for 1-0 to TW
60' GOAL! The goals are finally flowing as TW go 2-0 up as de Gregorio tucks one under Robinson and it looks like TW are on their way
63' should have been 3-0 as Ellensohn gets away down the middle of the Waikato defence but his shot is weak. TW have replaced Sean Douglas with Cole Tinkler
65' double substitution for Waikato Findlay and Waita on for Holloway and Watene
69' deep cross from Steve Gulley finds Peter Halstead at the back post but his shot drifts wide. A difficult chance for TW
71' final sub for Waikato as Gill is replaced by Stewart
75' there's some tired footballers out there in this sapping heat but TW look like they're in control
79' final sub for TW as Ellensohn is replaced by Cheriton
85' five minutes to go and TW have shown lots of patience. The chances didn't drop in the first half but two goals in two minutes early in the second half have calmed the nerves and TW look comfortable to pick up three points with time running out.
86' Peter Halstead must be 6'4" at least but he showed lovely skill on the floor to skip away from a challenge and then curled his shot wide from the edge of the box.
FULLTIME at Newtown Park and TW have produced a classy performance to stay in touch at the top of the table. No panic in the first half after missing some good chances and in the second TW's pressure has paid off with two top quality goals in a spell that killed off the Waikato challenge. It's a good victory for TW who face a tough away challenge at Hawkes Bay next week. 2-0 to TW.