NZFC - Round 19, Newtown Park,
Sunday 23 March
Peter Halstead 16
Halftime: 1 - 0 Referee: Nick Waldron Crowd: 407
Goal-scorer Peter Halstead turned from hero to villain but Team Wellington still had enough to see off Canterbury United 2-0 at Newtown Park on Sunday.
Halstead was sent off on the hour mark for a careless, although not malicious, flailing elbow to Andy Pitman in an aerial challenge that sent the Canterbury defender down the road to Wellington Hospital for six stitches to his cheek.
It was a big turnaround for Halstead, whose hustle and opportunism put Wellington in front in the 16th minute, charging down goalkeeper Chris Sinclair’s clearance following a poor backpass, before side-footing his shot into an empty net.
In a match that ebbed and flowed, the sending off was almost a turning point as Canterbury sniffed a chance of an upset and kept Wellington camped in their own half for the 15 minutes following referee Nick Waldron’s flash of red.
Jacobs went to the bench to help settle his side down although Canterbury still looked like they could grab at least a draw for their trouble.
An impressive save from Phil Imray from Garry McDermott shot six minutes from time was the most crucial of Wellington’s rearguard action, and the most crucial, as a minute later Graham Little was taking advantage of another poor backpass and hurried clearance to seal the game with his 12th goal of the season, slotting home from an acute angle.
Team Wellington coach Su Jacobs was happy to collect all three points for the sixth time in a row, and get past a Canterbury side whose performance belied their current position.
“To be fair to Canterbury, they played pretty well for a side at the bottom of the table” Jacobs said.
“We’re happy to be in the top three and pushing for a top two spot. The question for us is how far can we go?”
Photos: Tim Hales
24. Phil Imray (GK)
1. Chris Sinclair (GK)
3. Steve Gulley
2. Glen Squire
4. Jamie Farrington
3. Andy Pitman (out 62)
6. Adam Birch (Captain)
4. Bill Robertson
10. Luis Corralles (out 82)
5. Micheal Bothwell
14. Darren Cheriton
6. Gary McDermott (out 93)
15. Graham Little
7. Micheal Fifi (out 61)
10. Jamie Smith
18. Peter Halsted
11. Tom Lancaster
20. Cole Tinkler (out 70)
15. Rhodri Payne
26. Allen Chote (out 70)
1. Sasha Nathu (RGK)
22.Scott Dunn (RGK)
7. Sam Blackburn
9. Geoff McIntyre (in 61)
13. Karl Whalen (in 70)
19. Matt Boyd (in 62)
25. Rupert Ryan (in 70)
20. Sam Jasper (in 93)
23. Tim Schaeffers (in 82)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Beautiful sunny day here in Wellington with no significant breeze.
8 min- Corralles played in by Cheriton - high and wide
12 mins 1st Corner to TW punched out by keeper
14 mins - Corralles high and wide again from the top of the box
16 mins - GOAL! 1-0 Peter Halsted for TW - short backpass - keepers clearance charged down by the Colonel who picks up the rebound and scores
22 mins - Foul by Gary McDermott on Graham Little - BOOKED
27 mins - nearly the same again - Halsted blocks the keepers clearance but Sinclair manages to grab the ball back this time.
28 mins - Corralles lucky not to be booked after a foul on Pitman
31 mins - Allen Chote (TW) BOOKED for foul on Jamie Smith
35 mins - Tom Lancaster shoots just over from 25 metres - Imray appeared to have it covered.
36 mins - Cole Tnkler gives ball away and Payne almost capitalises - good tackle from Chote stops the shot
39 mins - wonderful interplay between Halsted, Little and Patrick sees Patrick clean through but he puts his finish wide with only the keeper to beat
43 mins - Payne crosses to top of the box but McDermotts shot is high, wide and handsome!
HALF-TIME - TW have probably shaded that half and deserve their 1 - 0 lead but Canterbury do not look like a bottom of the table team. Their defence and midfield have looked organised but only two chances created to TW's eight tell the story.
47 mins - Positive start to the 2nd half by TW but Little high and over from 25 metres
48 mins - Good run down left flank by Rhodri Payne - beats Chote but Imray and his defence scramble the ball clear
56 mins - Payne beats Chote down the left again but Fifi puts it over the top from 15 metres
58 mins - Canterbury having a good patch here dominating possession and pressing forward - last pass just letting them down a little
59 Mins - SENSATION - Halsted gets a straight red card for challenging for a ball over the top of Pitman. Referee has judged that an elbow was high and instantly dismissed Halsted - Pitman has left the field with blood from a cut and has been substituted by Matt Boyd
60 mins - Franchie BOOKED for a crude tackle on Corralles - the referee is having a busy day!
62 mins SUB for Canterbury - Fifi off and McIntyre on
63 mins - Canterbury can sniff a chance of a result here against 10 men and are starting to dominate play more - TW are playing deeper and with a single striker.
65 mins - appears to be a tackle SUBS for TW who appear to be content with 1 - 0 as Tinkler and Chote are replaced by Whalen and Ryan. Birch drops to right back, Corralles to midfield and Ryan is alone up front.
74 mins - Little gets a good cross in from the right but Ryan is just beaten to the header by Robertson
76 mins - Little now BOOKED for tackling from behind
81 mins - long free free kick into goal area by Squire easily claimed by Imray
82 mins - SUB for TW Schaeffers on for Corralles
83 mins Payne again causes problems down the left but the defence scrambbles it clear
84 mins - Imray - fantastic save fromMcDrmotts shot has probably saved TW
85 mins - GOAL - histry repeats - another short backpass to keeper Sinclair whose clearance is blocked by Graham Little who regathewrs the ball and slams it into an empty net. Harsh on Canterbury but you must take your chances.
86 mins - Patrick squares up to Robertson and gets BOOKED for his troubles
87 ins - this time Lancaster gets BOOKED for a bad tackle
87 mins - SUB for CanterburyMcDermott is replaced by Jasper
Referee Waldron blows for FULL TIME - Team Wellington take the points but Canterbury were a better team than their position on the table indicates. But for two terrible back passes that Sinclair blasted into TW players they could have got something out of this game. TW will be happy to have bagged another 3 points with talisman Graham Little getting another goal to lead the race for the Golden Boot. Over and out from a sunny Newtown Park.