Hawke's Bay United
NZFC - Round 10, Park Island, Saturday 26 January 2008
Jarrod Smith 26
Caue Benicio 12
Halftime: 1-1 Referee: Kevin Stoltenkamp Crowd:
by Hamish Bidwell at Bluewater Stadium
Barring some extraordinary happenings at the top and bottom of the New Zealand Football Championship table, it seems Hawke's Bay United are destined to finish in fourth place.
That being the case, perhaps it's time coach Jonathan Gould let his players off the leash.
Yes they drew 2-all with Team Wellington at Bluewater Stadium today and were only narrowly beaten by Auckland City in their previous home appearance, but they let both sides make all the running.
There's definitely some merit in sitting deep against the better teams and trying to catch them on the break, but you wonder if it's doing justice to the side's talent.
If Auckland are going to come to your place and beat you, you may as well lose 5-4 as 1-0. Heck, you might even win by throwing caution to the wind. You sure won't by camping in your own defensive third.
Today's point was a good one and, as far as Gould could remember, was the first taken off a top-three side this season by a team outside of that group. But, to go back to the original point, a credible point isn't quite so credible if you're actually in no danger of surrendering your league position.
Go on Jonathan, let the boys have their head. What have you got to lose? Yeah, fourth place is respectable but, looked at another way, it's just makes you the best of the also-rans.
"I think when everybody wakes up tomorrow, they'll be happy with that draw," Gould said at fulltime.
"They're a good footballing side and you're not going to have it all your own way against them. They play with a great little diamond and have four players that play neat little passes and they've got big experienced boys at the back.
"Having said that, I thought we scored two fantastic goals against them."
What about this tactic of camping behind the ball all day?
"The ploy was to let them have the ball infront of us and I think the biggest compliment that can be played to our guys was when their centre back, Sean Douglas, came off and said we defended well," he continued.
"I did feel, at times, that we did get a little too deep and it didn't allow us, on the reverse, to actually get forward in numbers. But we were resolute and I can think of Jonathan Taylor blocking three shots in three seconds and he showed that will to not lie down that we're after."
On the flipside, Wellington coach Stu Jacobs was left to lament that his side were guilty of getting a bit cute and trying to walk the ball into the net.
"We dominated possession and didn't utilise the possession we did have in the attacking third quite as well as we could have," Jacobs said.
"We did some work on Thursday night on getting the ball into people's feet in the box, as opposed to just trying to deliver things from too high all the time.
"So I think we did we did okay in getting the ball into people's feet, but we just didn't get the support their quick enough to get shots on goal or to link up and get crosses from deeper.
"But, yeah, we probably didn't shoot as much as we should have and that was shown by Daniel's [Ellensohn] effort at the end."
Ellensohn's strike came deep into injury time and very nearly secured all three points for Wellington. But, instead of hitting the underside of the bar and bouncing in, it rebounded out.
Earlier Caue Benicio had opened the scoring for them in thr 12th minute, before Jarrod Smith equalised in the 26th. Sam Messam was next on the scoresheet again in the 57th, before Ellensohn levelled things up again 18 minutes before time.
Overall Jacobson wasn't too unhappy with the result, even if it was a missed opportunity to go level with Auckland in second place.
"I think for us, we want to try and maintain beating the teams below us. We certainly realised that today was going to be tough, so I said to the boys 'let's be disappointed that we didn't get a win, but we got a point away from home and it keeps us in the top three'."
Photos: Paul Taylor
Hawke's Bay United
1 Mitch O'Brien
24 Phil Imray
20 Sam Jenkins
3 Steven Gulley
19 Jonathan Taylor
6 Adam Birch
5 Campbell Parkin
8 Michael Wilson
6 Ian Hogg
9 Daniel Ellensohn
8 Chris McIvor
16 Raf de Gregorio
3 Cole Peverley
17 Wiremu Patrick
4 Greig Henslee
18 Peter Halstead (off 70)
11 Graham Fyfe
29 Caue Benicio
9 Sam Messam (off 82)
21 Cole Tinkler
25 Jarrod Smith (off 70)
19 Sean Douglas
13 Leon Birnie (on 82)
1 Dylan Hall (rgk)
14 Chris Greatholder
4 Jamie Farrington
15 Stu Hogg (on 70)
7 Sam Blackburn
17 David Gearey
14 Darren Cheriton (on 70)
23 Scott Dunn (rgk)
5 Peter Howe
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Welcome to Bluewater Stadium where it's warm and slightly overcast
GOAL! 0-1 Pinball near the Hawke's Bay area and Team Wellington midfielder Caue Benicio latches on to a loose ball and buries it past Mitch O'Brien in goal
GOAL! 1-1 A good Hawke's Bay perios rewarded when Greig Henslee curls in a cross, which big Sam Messam heads past Phil Imray to level the scores
Real end to end stuff. Neither side showing much respect for possession, but it's very entertaining
Halftime here with scores locked at 1-1.
Referee Stoltenkamp gets us back underway.
Michael Wilson tries to deay a quick Hawke's Bay free kick and gets a flash of yellow for his trouble
GOAL! 2-1 A long ball from Cole Peverly releases Graham Fyfe whose cross is met at the far post by Messam to put Hawke's Bay ahead
Peter Halstead misses teh chance to put Wellington back on level terms with a free header from an excellent Steve Gulley cross.
SUB - Hawke's Bay. Stu Hogg comes on for Jarrod Smith
SUB - Wellington also make a change with Daren Cheriton on for Peter Halstead
GOAL! 2-2 Daniel Ellensohn equalises after good play from Wiremu Patrick and Raf de Gregorio. Jonathan Gould will be furious with surrendering the lead to a sloppy goal.
Wellington awarded debatable free kick near own area. They break downfield and Ellensohn fires a left foot rocket that hits underside of crossbar and bouces out. Hawke's Bay scramble clear.
Stoltenkamp finally blows for fulltime.
It's finishes 2-2 - a fair result but remains to be seen if either team wil be happy with just a point.