Hawke's Bay United
NZFC - Round 9, FMG Stadium, Sunday 20 January 2008, 3pm
Gouzalo Nieres 45+1
Campbell Parkin 52
Halftime: 1-0 Referee: Neil Fox Crowd: 450
by Jonathan Galuska at FMG Stadium
Hawke's Bay United kept their playoff hopes alive with a clinical second half performance taking them to a 3-1 win over YoungHeart Manawatu today in a windy Palmerston North.
However, it did not all go the way of Hawkes Bay, as YoungHeart came out firing with an effective 4-4-2 formation spearheaded by livewire striker Gouzalo Nieres.
“You can’t deny that after their last defeat (0-8 against Team Wellington) that they would come out resilient,” Hawke's Bay coach Jonathan Gould said after the game.
“That, in turn, ended up with YoungHeart having a very positive first half.”
YoungHeart coach Shane Rufer also saw a marked improvement in his squad from their last game.
“You could see that we have made progress from our last game,” he said.
“We were compact and played much better as a unit.”
Nieres was the star of the show in the first half, keeping the Hawke's Bay back four on their toes with an array of skilful turns and sharp passing with Prince Quansar.
He was finally rewarded in first half injury time when an Ian Robinson free kick was fumbled by Hawkes Bay goalkeeper Mitch O’Brien and Nieres was there to clean up the scraps and put the ball in the net.
“Nieres did well today,” Rufer said. “He played well, deserved to score and always made problems for them. His work with Prince was also great.”
The only worrying moment in YoungHeart’s first half was when veteran goalkeeper Michael Utting seemed to aggravate a heavily strapped left knee. However, he managed to get back up and seemed to be able to play on well enough.
The poor first half certainly had Jonathan Gould frustrated at his players at the break.
“There were some hard words said in the sheds at half time for the first time this season,” Gould said.
Those words seem to have worked. It took just eight minutes after the break for Hawkes Bay to get back into the game, with Campbell Parkin latching onto a loose YoungHeart corner clearance and putting the ball past goalkeeper Michael Utting.
Four minutes later, Manawatu’s defence was supposedly guilty of tripping a Hawkes Bay player in the box. This gave Graham Fyfe a penalty that he calmly slotted past Utting.
“You can say all you want in the sheds at halftime, but in the end coaches don’t play – players do.”
However, Shane Rufer suggested after the game that he did not believe that the penalty should have happened.
“You get problems in games. Bad conditions, hitting the post and questionable calls can go against you. But that’s football.”
Play continued on as it should until a 69th minute confrontation between the two teams. After Manawatu player Pablo Yackson was denied by O’Brien, a scuffle broke out between the two teams. However, referee Neil Fox quickly dispersed the players and managed to cool things down.
He also refrained from turning the game into the debacle it was when the two teams met in round three when a total of eight cards were given out.
In the 79th minute, Hawkes Bay managed to put another one past Utting. Graham Fyfe put in a cross that was met with a solid header by Jarrod Smith to give Hawkes Bay their third and final goal.
By this time, Utting looked to be in considerable discomfort. He was limping around his box and unable to take his own goal kicks. Shane Rufer finally saw reason in the 82nd minute and substituted him for 19-year-old Andrew Bailey, giving Bailey his first NZFC cap.
“It’s hard losing a player like him,” Rufer said. “But we will find out more about his leg tomorrow.”
Rufer will be hoping that he comes right before their next game against Otago. He will already be losing Prince Quansar after he received a red card in the 85th minute and Fijian striker Osea Vakatalesau will be playing for his national team.
“Hopefully we will get [Dominic] Rowe back so that should help. But once again we will probably have a new shape about us.”
Coach Gould, however, will be happy with his side going into next week’s crucnch game against Team Wellington.
“They’re a good side so it will be very interesting to see how the team reacts,” Gould said.
Hawke's Bay United
19. Michael Utting (GK) (off 82 min)
1. Mitch O'Brien
3. Pablo Yackson (off 82 min)
3. Cole Peverly
5. Trent Watson
4. Greig Henslee
7. Gouzalo Nieres
5. Campbell Parkin
11. Ian Sandbrook
6. Ian Hogg
12. Nick Roydhouse
8. Chris McIvor
15. Prince Quansar
9. Sam Messam (off 74 min)
16. Ian Robinson (captain)
11. Graham Fyfe
20. Adam Cowan
19. Jonathan Taylor
21. Tim Richardson
20. Sam Jenkins
23. Scott Robson (off 82 min)
25. Jarrod Smith (off 87 min)
1. Andrew Bailey (GK) (on 82 min)
23. Scott Dunn (GK)
4. Peni Finau (on 82 min)
10. Jeremy Brockie
8. Nathan Cooksley
13. Leon Birnie
9. Osea Vakatalesau (on 82 min)
15. Stuart Hogg (on 74 min)
10. Gustavo Saralegui
17. David Gearey (on 87 min)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Palmerston North has really turned on a horrible day for football this afternoon. Its trademark strong winds blowing across the ground are going to make taking the high ball hard for all. Leon Birnie, Jonathan Taylor, and Sam Messam replace Stu Wilson, Jeremy Brockie, and Chris Greatholder for Hawkes Bay. Manawatu are without striker Dominic Rowe through injury and have demoted out-of-form Fijian striker Osea Vakatalesau to the bench.
Referee Neil Fox has us underway here.
Gouzalo Nieres attempts a volley on goal but connects poorly. The ball bounces into the arms of HBU keeper Mitch O'Brien.
Both teams are playing it safe at the moment, keen to make sure that they don't concede any early goals. However, it's making for a very boring match so far.
Pablo Yackson has a blast at goal but puts it over the bar.
YHM goalkeeper Michael Utting lands hard on his braced knee trying to take a cross. While he gets medical attention YoungHeart's reserve keeper Andrew Bailey warms up. However, Utting eventually gets back to his feet.
Adam Cowan is now taking Utting's goal kicks for him. Utting is obviously still not alright.
A free kick from Ian Robinson ends up at the feet of Nieres on the 5 yard box. Unfortunately for YHM, he has a swing and a miss.
Good defensive work from Nieres sees him going on a long run before putting the ball through for Prince Quansar. However, he can't beat the HBU defender to the ball.
A goal mouth scramble sees three YHM shots blocked by HBU defenders and their keeper. YoungHeart are looking a lot more hungry today than they have been in their last two games.
YHM get another attacking free kick but Robinson's cross is left with no runners and floats into the hands of O'Brien.
The last quarter of this half seems to be taking an eternity to complete, with play slowly going from end to end.
Yellow Card. Cole Peverly gets a yellow for a hip check on Nieres.
45 + 1 min
GOAL! 1-0 A free kick from Robinson is dropped by O'Brien and Nieres cleans up the scraps.
1-0 at halftime here. Playing 4-5-1 seems to be paying dividends for YHM with their defence looking tight - especially down their right wing. Nieres is also staking a strong claim for a regular starting spot by getting into everything.
We're back underway here, with the wind seeming to get even stronger over the break.
Pablo Yackson gets a great ball out wide but blasts it into the side netting.
A very messy HBU corner results in a lot of swing-and-miss shots before Utting smothers the ball.
GOAL! 1-1 Campbell Parkin does a replay of Nieres' goal by latching onto a messy attempt at a clearance by YHM and putting it past the keeper.
Slack crossing and shooting from Ian Robinson costs YHM a golden opportunity.
GOAL! 1-2 A HBU player goes down in the box after getting a small nudge, giving Graham Fyfe an easy penalty goal.
Scott Robson goes on a long run forward but his soft shot rolls into the arms of O'Brien.
Yellow Card. Prince Quansar looks to hit Sam Jenkins hard and picks up a card.
Nieres combines with Quansar again to put Quansar on goal but he is thwarted by sliding HBU defence.
After a stunning shot from Pablo Yackson is blocked and he falls to the deck with two HBU defenders players from both teams start brawling with each other. Referee Fox manages to calm the situation quickly but dishes out no cards.
SUB Sam Messam Comes off for Stuart Hogg.
GOAL! 1-3 Graham Fyfe puts a cross in and Jarrod Smith powers a head past Utting.
SUB Pablo Yackson off for Osea Vakatalesau
SUB Andrew Bailey on for Michael Utting. Bailey making his NZFC debut today.
SUB Peni Finau on for Scott Robinson
Nieres has a turn and shot that beats O'Brien but the post keeps him out.
RED CARD! Prince Quansar gets his walking orders for backchatting the ref.
SUB Jarrod Smith off for David Gearey.
90 min + 1
Ian Sandbrook powers one from 25 yards out that comes off the crossbar.
1-3 Hawkes Bay continue YoungHeart's bad run of form and keep themselves in the playoff hunt. YoungHeart will be hoping for better next week against Otago.