NZFC - Round 10, Carisbrook, Saturday, 26 January, 2008
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: Steve Fletcher Crowd: 335
by Rab Smith at Carisbrook
An abrasive nil-all result was the outcome of Otago United’s match with YH Manawatu at Carisbrook today in Dunedin.
Not that it was a dirty match, but Carisbrook’s bloodwagon was called on several times as players went down repeatedly in tackles that threatened to burst the ball.
Otago physio Dusty Quinn scurried from incident to incident as first John Lang sustained a bad cut to his upper eyelid – but gamely played on swathed in bandages.
Kevin Taylor, Nick Dale, and John Chisholm also required treatment but it was Otago’s American lynch-pin centreback Taylor that left the match permanently with an injured ankle after 75 minutes, causing a reshuffle in defence.
Otago started without striker Aaron Burgess, and all of the paper thin squad played, except coach Terry Phelan who is still trying to regain match fitness.
The most controversial exit was that of Terry Alvino, who was dragged by Phelan because of a disagreement.
"He was not doing what I wanted, and seemed to think it funny, so I put on Ben Keat after about 30 minutes," said Phelan.
"Technically, we didn’t play as well as last week against Auckland, but as they say a Point is a Point and a clean sheet is never that bad," said the Otago coach.
Shane Rufer also felt that his Manawatu side played below par.
"They seem to have lost confidence," he said.
"Yet Gonzalo Nieres created enough chances to win three matches, he just could not finish. On a positive note, I was very pleased with the two U19s who played their NZFC debut matches, keeper Andrew Bailey and Finn Milne did very well."
In a match that had more ebb than flow, Otago also had its share of chances. In the 20th minute Alvino shot narrowly wide after possibly Otago best attack produced a slick first time passing movement.
A Chisholm header clipped Manawatu’s crossbar, and Croyden Wheeler, Keat, and Chad Severs all hit shots that went close.
But if there was a sparkle in the game it was some heady technique from Nieres, whose clever turns and strong running impressed even the Otago support.
Early in the game, Nieres on the burst forced Otago keeper Liam Little into the save of the match, as the alert youngster made a top reaction save to preserve his side’s share of the points.
The match hardly justified one wag’s comment - "Nil all, and we were lucky to get nil," - but it was a predictable performance from two struggling teams.
Photos: Rab Smith
1. Liam Little
1. Andrew Bailey
2. Nick Dale
3. Pablo Yackson
4. Tristan Prattley
4. Peni Finau
5. Kevin Taylor
7. Gonzalo Nieres
6. Terry Alvino
11. Ian Sandbrook
9. John Lang
12. Nick Roydhouse
11. Andy Coburn
16. Ian Robinson
14. Chad Severs
20. Adam Cowan
15. John Chisholm
21. Tim Richardson
18. Mike Smith
22. Finn Milne
19. Croydon Wheeler
23. Scott Robson
3. Terry Phelan
8. Nathan Cooksley
8. Mike Flaws
16. Jesse Malloy
17. Dominic Rowe
21. Ben Keat
19. Michael Reive
24. Blair McLean
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Pre-Match- Welcome to Carisbrook on another beatiful saturday afternoon for this clash between Otago United and Young Heart Manawatu. The last time these two teams met it was a tough afternoon for Otago can they make amends against a Manawatu side looking to improve its league position.
0 Min - Otago United Kickoff running right to left from the Neville Street Stand
8 mins - Freekick to Otago United as Manawatu stray offside. The teams are taking some time to settle today.
10 mins - Nieres has a great chance but Little rushes out of the Otago goal and forces Nieres to strike wildly over.
15 mins - Wheeler gets released down the right but his first time cross heads straight out for a goalkick.
19 mins - Wonderful one touch football from Otago creates a chance for Alvino who narrowly misses the target from 20 yards.
26 mins - Alvino finds himself unmarked in the box and crosses for Wheeler who cant connect cleanly with his shot
33 mins - SUB Otago United - Ben Keat In, Terry Alvino Out
39 mins - Roydhouse spoons one over the bar for Manawatu.
44 mins - Yellow Card - Mike Smith is booked for pulling Nieres down after a nice nutmeg move looked set to set Nieres away.
45 mins - Great chance for Manawatu to take the lead but Milne's header is a long way over from 2 yards
45 mins - Halftime: Nil All. Its been a slow game so far Otago United have been slightly on top in the possession and territory stakes.
46 mins - Manawatu take us away for the secon half
50 mins - Ball falls to Keat 25 yards from goal who can hit them from this distance, this time it whistles past the goal.
52 mins - Another chance for Otago from distance this time its Chisholm who drags his shot wide.
57 mins - Keat swings in a Free Kick which finds Lang who cant get enough power on his header to cause Bailey any trouble in the Manawatu goal.
61 mins - SUB Otago United - Jesse Malloy In, Tristan Prattley Out
65 mins - Manawatu try to catch Otago out on the counter, Nieres gets a touch on but Little holds comfortably as he has all day.
67 mins - Nieres gets another chance on goal but blazes over.
75 mins - SUB Manawatu - Gustavo Saralegui In, Peni Finau Out. Dominic Rowe In, Pablo Yackson Out
75 mins - SUB Otago United - Mike Flaws In, Kevin Taylor Out
77 mins - Sublime turn by Nieres creates a chance for Rowe but Little comes out and collets the ball off his feet just as he was about to shoot.
80 mins - Inviting cross from Wheeler just needed a touch.
82 mins - Glancing header from Keat looked destined for the net just spin away from the post with Bailey well beaten.
86 mins - SUB Manawatu - Nathan Cooksley In, Gonzalo Nieres Out
87 mins - Corner to Otago which Keats whips in, Chisholm rises highest and crashes his header onto the bar.
90 mins - Its all Over at Carisbrook. Otago seem happy with their point, Manawatu look like they expected more from this match. On the basis of the play Itago might have expected more.