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Team Wellington

Canterbury United

3


NZFC - Round 11, Porirua Park,  Saturday 2nd February 2008, 3pm

0

Graham Little 47, 77 (pen), 82

 

 

             

Halftime:    0-0                Referee:     Peter O'Leary               Crowd: 500

 

Little leads second-half cruise

by Gordon Irving at Porirua Park
nzfc.co.nz

A second half Graham Little hat trick too Wellington to a 3-0 win over Canterbury. Photo: Tim HalesVeteran Team Wellington striker Graham Little returned from a two week absence through concussion to score a second half hattrick as Wellington beat Canterbury United 3-0 in the New Zealand Football Championship at Porirua Park this afternoon.

Little’s second half scoring spree leaves his side in third spot on the table, equal on points with Auckland City in second place but still below the Auckland side due to an inferior goal difference of one.

In the end Wellington were satisfied with their 3-0 win after struggling in the first 45 minutes to get any telling shots on goal against a lively, if short on quality, Canterbury side.

Any shots Wellington did conjure up were dealt with superbly by young Canterbury keeper Michael O’Keefe. Little had an early effort that seemed destined for the bottom right hand corner of O’Keefe’s goal, turned round the post at the last moment by the keeper.

At halftime with the scoreline blank it was obvious that new Canterbury coach Korouch Monsef would have been the happier. Monsef took over from former All White Danny Halligan in mid week and his halftime instructions would surely have included one that went something like this.

“Keep it tight and don’t concede an early goal.”

Caue Benicio gets his shot away despite teh attention of Sam Jasper (L) and Bill Robertson (R). Photo: Tim HalesUnfortunately for Canterbury they did concede early in the second spell. With just two minutes gone the ball flew into the Canterbury penalty area and it bounced back to O’Keefe off the foot of one of his defenders. From the sanctuary of the grandstand O’Keefe appeared entitled to pick the ball up but in the pressure situation uncertainty took over and instead of grabbing it safely he felt he had to play it away with his feet and avoid a free kick given against him for picking up a back pass. However Wellington’s supreme goal poacher Graham Little was lurking and as O’Keefe hacked it away it ricocheted into his net off the knee of Little for 1-0.

Monsef admitted afterwards that was a crucial moment in the match.

“The early goal didn’t help us and I was disappointed for my keeper who is young but has great potential,” said Monsef.

“Don’t get me wrong Team Wellington deserved to win, they had the better chances and played a lot of good football.”

From then on Wellington dominated the game with Little converting a penalty in the 77th minute and then finishing off the game five minutes later when he created some space in the Canterbury area to slip a left footer beneath O’Keefe and into the corner of the goal.

The record books will show that Canterbury headed home on the back of another severe loss in a season that has been anything but bright for them. But the record books won’t outline the effort and industry shown from a largely young team. It was something not lost on their coach.

Canterbury's Ryan Faichnie drives into space. Photo: Tim Hales“Considering the players have had a week to adapt to a new game plan I was delighted with the organisation and the way we were able to remain in the game for so long,” said Monsef.

“We worked hard defensively in the first half and it was about whether we could grow as a group. They are young but eager to learn and we have set ourselves some realistic targets between now and the end of the season.’

For Team Wellington boss Stu Jacobs it was a difficult game.

“We were on a hiding to nothing today. This is the sort of game we were supposed to win and if we didn’t we would have been criticised. But I’m happy and it sets us up nicely for Wednesday’s match at Auckland City.”

What the coaches said:

Team Wellington Coach Stu Jacobs

“They were enthusiastic and after the week they’ve had with the appointment of a new coach, I think they acquitted themselves well.”

“We dropped our standard in the first half and didn’t get in behind them enough and you’re not going to do a lot of damage playing in front of teams. We started the second half well and got the goal and then dropped off again.”

“We were on a hiding to nothing today. This is the sort of game we were supposed to win and if we didn’t we would have been criticised. But I’m happy and it sets us up nicely for Wednesday’s match at Auckland City.”

“It was great to see Graham get his three goals. They were bread and butter to him, the ultimate goal poacher. But he also acquitted himself well all over the park.”

Canterbury United coach Korouch Monsef:

“The early goal in the second half didn’t help us and I was disappointed for my keeper who is young but has great potential. Don’t get me wrong Team Wellington deserved to win, they had the better chances and played a lot of good football.”

“Considering the players have had a week to adapt to a new game plan I was delighted with the organisation and the way we were able to remain in the game for so long,” said Monsef.

“We worked hard defensively in the first half and it was about whether we could grow as a group. They are young but eager to learn and we have set ourselves some realistic targets between now and the end of the season."

 

Team Sheet

Team Wellington


V

Canterbury United


24 Phil Imray (GK)

22 Michael O'Keefe (GK)

3 Steve Gulley

4 Bill Robertson

6 Adam Birch

6 Gary McDermott

9 Daniel Ellensohn (off 46)

7 Michael Fiffi

14 Darren Cheriton (off 77)

11 Tom Lancaster

15 Graham Little  

15 Rhodri Payne

16 Raf de Gregorio

17 Ryan Faichnie

17 Wiremu Patrick

19 Matt Boyd

19 Sean Douglas

21 Sam Jasper

20 Caue Benicio

23 Gareth Turnbull

21 Cole Tinkler (off 88)

13 Rhys Parker  (off 60)

Substitutes

Substitutes

1 Dylan Hall

1 Chris Sinclair

4 Jamie Farrington (on 88)

5 Michael Bothwell

5 Peter Howe

12 Jeremy Wild (on 60)

18 Peter Halstead (on 46)

18 Blair Duncan

22 Michael Eager (on 77)

=goal

=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

 

Play by Play

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The temperatures have dropped and it's a great day for football at a new venue for Team Wellington. TW entertain Canterbury at Porirua Park this afternoon.

TW are missing Andy Barron (still in the UK) and Mike Wilson today but welcome back Graham Little who has missed the last couple of games due to concussion.

0

The game is underway at an overcast but still sunny Porirua Park and a chance for TW to move into second spot with at least a four goal victory.

5

Great fingertip save from O'Keefe as TW pulled Canterbury wide and Graham Little's shot was heading for the bottom corner of the net until O'Keefe's touch

7

Canterbury playing a dangerous offside game. TW stopped twice in as many minutes from unlocking the Canterbury door as the assistant's flag is raised

10

TW dominating but nothing clear cut on goal as yet

14

Delicate chip by Little comes back off the Canterbury bar, the closest so far

15

Shot from distance by Canterbury's Jasper well held by Imray

19

first booking to Canterbury's Rhys Parker for a clumsy foul

25

Not a lot happening here, it's a game for the midfields

30

Cut and paste the line above, nothing to report in the last 5 mins

33

Great cross by Birch finds Little unmarked but he turns his header over the Canterbury bar. Best chance so far

40

5' remaining in the half and I've counted a shot each on target so far. It's been that sort of game

44

Free kick to TW on the corner of the area taken by Cheriton but it's easy for O'Keefe

45

Halftime at Porirua and it's 0-0. TW with a late chance to Little who sees his shot from 10 metres turned aside by O'Keefe. Better near the end of the half for TW but they are struggling to open up a battling Canterbury side

46

Underway in the second half and TW have made a substitution with Ellensohn off and Peter Halstead on

47

GOAL! Dreadful mistake by O'Keefe who is scared to pick up the ball as he thinks it's a back pass and as he clears it cannons off Graham Little and into the corner of the net. TW lead 1-0

55

Great twist and turn by Little but his shot is weak

57

TW dominating but not able to expose a battling Canterbury

58

Chance for Cheriton who directs his header too high

60

Substitution for Canterbury with Wild on for Parker

64

O'Keefe under pressure from Halstead drops the ball but scrambles it out for a TW corner which comes to nothing

67

booking for Little after a scuffle with O'Keefe

69

great defending from Steve Gulley, first he gets a foot to a shot from Lancaster while defending the post from a Canterbury corner and on the follow up Turnbull's shot is then headed away by an acrobatic Gulley. That was close

76

Penalty to TW as Cheriton is dumped in the box

77

GOAL! Graham Little hammers it into the corner for 2-0 and a sub for TW with Cheriton off and Eager on

79

Great left footed shot from de Gregorio is brilliantly turned over by O'Keefe

82

GOAL! A hattrick for Graham Little as he gets free in the box and tucks his left footer into the corner

83

Booking for Canterbury's McDermott

85

TW are comfortable now and one more goal will put them second on goal difference at least overnight

88

Farrington on for Tinkler for TW

90

All over at Porirua and TW have produced a good second half performance to comfortably beat Canterbury 3-0.