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Team Wellington

Otago United


NZFC - Round 20, Newtown Park
Sunday 30 March, 2008


Luis Corrales 44, 90
Daniel Ellensohn 46

Colin Falvey 7



Halftime: 0-0                      Referee:     James Thian                           Crowd: 


Team Wellington go second

by Gordon Irving at Newtown Park

Cole Tinkler beats John Lang in the air. Photo: Marty MelvilleTeam Wellington moved into second spot in the New Zealand Football Championship and have given themselves every opportunity of securing a home preliminary final after this afternoon’s 3-1 win over Otago United at Newtown Park .

A draw is all Team Wellington needs in their final round robin match of the season in Auckland next weekend. A loss in that match and Wellington will surrender home advantage in the semi final to the Aucklanders.

This afternoon’s match didn’t start well for a side that had gone six matches unbeaten and without conceding a goal. Otago defender Colin Falvey destroyed Wellington’s recent run with a powerful header from a seventh minute corner. It was the first goal conceded by Wellington keeper Phil Imray in 581 minutes of football and for the next few minutes it seemed to have knocked the confidence out of Wellington.

With a much rearranged line up due to suspension and injury it was hardly a surprise that Wellington started the game slowly. Apart from that first ten minutes though the rest of the half belonged to Wellington. In fact they dominated so much that they practically set up camp in Otago’s half and the visitors found it hard to get time on the ball.

In spite of the possession though, Wellington found it hard to break down a resilient Otago defence until a breathtaking piece of skill by Luis Corrales with just four minutes remaining in the half. Chesting the ball down on the edge of Otago’s area, Corrales turned and thumped a screamer into the top corner of Otago’s goal. So breathtaking was the effort that Liam Little in Otago’s goal hardly moved.

The second half was only a minute old and it was game over. Daniel Ellensohn found space in the Otago box and hit his effort wide of Little into the corner of the net. Otago felt hard done by, believing a push had gone unnoticed.

In fact Stu Jacobs’ halftime substitution seemed to turn the game. Sam Blackburn came on for Michael Eager and his pace and fast feet on the left flank caused Otago problems from the off.

However at 2-1 it’s always a slender lead and a header from Otago’s Andy Coburn with just six minutes remaining was cleared off the line.

Two minutes later and any hope Otago had of scrambling a draw evaporated when Andy Pickering, who had come on as a second half sub half hour previously, was shown a second yellow card on the word of the assistant referee and he headed for the showers.

Corrales had the final say when he outpaced the Otago defence and ran half the length of the field before rounding Little and scoring his second and Wellington’s third in the 90th minute.

It was a confidence boosting effort for Wellington and continued a seven match unbeaten run that has brought them 20 goals while conceding just once.

Jacobs says today’s result was never in doubt.

"It was comprehensive. I was disappointed with the goal as we work hard on responsibilities in that area and it’s up to individuals to pick up their players."

Otago assistant coach Mike Fridge wasn’t happy with Wellington’s second goal.

"The second goal killed us. We thought it was a free kick for a push on one of our players but that turned the match."

"Up until then I thought we had competed well. We got a great goal and then we had our backs to the wall but really Wellington didn’t create much until just before halftime when the lad scored a good goal."

"But I can’t criticise the commitment of my team. On a heavy pitch we competed well. Sure we made mistakes but on the whole the players ran themselves into the ground," said Fridge.

Wellington coach Jacobs says his side won’t be heading north next week to play for a draw.

"I don’t think this group of players could play for a draw. We’ll be putting the best team out on the park and going for the three points. But it’s nice to know that you don’t have to win and it gives you that breathing space."

Otago finish their season at home to Minor-Premiers-in-waiting Waitakere United at Carisbrook.

Photo: Marty Melville


Team Sheet

Team Wellington


Otago United

24 Phil Imray (GK) (out 90+2)

1 Liam Little (GK)

4 Jamie Farrington (out 75)

5 Colin Falvey

5 Peter Howe

9 John Lang (out 56)

9 Daniel Ellensohn

10 Mike Eisenhut (out 52)

10 Luis Corrales

11 Andy Coburn

13 Karl Whalen

12 Aaron Burgess

14 Darren Cheriton

15 John Chisholm

16 Raf de Gregorio

16 Jesse Malloy

20 Cole Tinkler

18 Mike Smith

22 Michael Eager (out 46)

19 Matt Stares (out 85)

23 Tim Schaeffers

4 Hayden Gunn



1 Sasha Nathu (in 90+2)

13 Nick Tarrant (RGK)

3 Steve Gulley

7 Andy Pickering (in 56)

6 Adam Birch

8 Mike Flaws (in 85)

7 Sam Blackburn (in 46)

20 Morgan Day (in 52)

19 Sean Douglas (in 75)


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

Welcome to a rather damp Newtown Park for TW 's final game in the round robin section of the NZFC against Otago United. It's been raining in the capital for 24 hours and while it's dry at the moment less than an hour from kick off, the overhead conditions are dark and heavy.

It's not cold though and the players will enjoy the conditions. There's not a breath of wind and the underfoot conditions will take a stud for the first time in months.

Otago have travelled without their player/coach Terry Phelan who is suspended.

TW are without a number of first choice players as well with top scorer Graham Little, Peter Halstead and Wiremu Patrick all suspended and coach Stu Jacobs leaving captain Adam Birch on the bench. Birch is one card away from suspension as well.

There's been no rain at Newtown Park for the last hour or so, but it's still threatening. Still good conditions for a game of football

The teams are out in the middle, with TW in their all black outfit and Otago in all blue

We're underway at Newtown with TW playing towards the zoo end of the ground

2' first half chance for Otago as Aaron Burgess turns and shoots from the edge of the area but the shot is high

4' plenty of water splashing up so there's a fair bit of surface water. Doesn't appear to be affecting the pace of the ball across the grass

6' chance for Burgess who gets away into the b ox down the left but a good ;last ditch tackle and the ball goes for a corner

7' GOAL From the corner Colin Falvey powers a header home for Otago, they lead 1-0

What a shock for TW, that's the first goal Phil Imray's conceded in 7 games. How will they react?

13' Otago looking strong but a shot comes in from TW's Peter Howe that Little holds onto in the Otago goal

14' chance for TW as Corrales cracks a shot into the sidenetting

16' corner from de Gregorio goes over without being touched. A wasted opportunity

20' a rearranged TW are finding it tough to break down this Otago side who certainly don't look a bottom of the table outfit

23' TW camped in Otago's half but nothing breaking for them as yet. Header from Tinkler goes tamely wide

25' first booking of the game to Otago's Burgess for talking too much

27' the game's being played in half a field as Otago defend an onslaught of TW attacks but the home team lacking that bit of creativity to open Otago up

29' nice one two on the edge of the box gives Ellensohn a chance but his shot is blocked for a corner

33' this is one way traffic but Otago still holding on, or is that clinging on, to their early lead

34' at last an attack and shot from Otago but Burgess hits it from 30 metres and it's safely gathered by Imray

36' this is a bit better from Otago, they've weathered a TW storm and are starting to get a foot on the ball

38' great chance for Burgess who finds himself free in the TW box and is one on one with Imray but his shot is poor and Imray gets down to save

43' it looks as though Otago will hold out till halftime. They got the early goal and have held on to the advantage under intense pressure

44' GOAL! Well I spoke too soon. What a goal from Luis Corrales who hit it into the top right corner of Otago's goal, from outside the box. Otago keeper Little didn't move

HALFTIME at Newtown Park and a great Corrales goal has TW level. I have to admit that it's well deserved. They have applied the pressure after going behind early but lacked a bit of quality until Corrales fired in his spectacular equaliser. All on then at Newtown with TW knowing a win will take them second in the table with a match to play.

46' GOAL! What a start for TW as Ellensohn takes advantage of some sloppy defending and crashes his effort past Little. 2-1 to TW

49' TW sub at halftime with Sam Blackburn on for Michael Eager and Blackburn is causing havoc with his speed and skills on the left wing

52' it's all TW again in the early part of this half and the nerves will have settled with Ellensohn's goal. Sub for Otago Eisenhut off and Day on

57' sub for Otago, Lang off and Pickering on

60' TW in total control. So much so that you'd think they'll extend their lead before the end

64' TW passing it around with confidence. Otago have few answers now after a bright opening ten minutes to the game

67' booking for Otago's Mike Smith for a tackle from behind on Ellensohn

68' Otago keeper Little is down receiving attention after getting a stray boot in the face

70' still a break in play as Little gets attention from the physio. It appears he has a cut to his face

72' finally we are underway again. The ref just checks there's no blood apparent on Little's face

74' mistake by Tinkler on halfway and Otago break but they can't turn the chance into a shot on goal

75' sub for TW Douglas on for Farrington. Farrington almost left a hero as his header from a Cheriton corner almost nestled in the Otago net

77' some aimless crossing not helping TW. They are getting into good wide positions but not making the most of it

79' booking for Pickering of Otago for a nasty challenge on Corrales

82' appeals fro a TW penalty as de Gregorio goes sprawling in the box. Nothing given

84' what a chance for Otago, as Coburn heads a corner against the TW post but now the ref is going to talk to his assistant on the far side

86' a bit of drama at Newtown Sean Douglas is booked and Otago sub Andy Pickering gets a second yellow and he's off to the showers. He's only been on for half an hour

88' sub for Otago Flaws on for Stares

90" GOAL! 3-1 Luis Corrales runs away from the defenders and rounds Little to tuck his shot into the corner. 5 minutes of added time

93' sub for TW Imray off and Nathu on in goal

FULLTIME - it's all over at Newtown and TW have moved into second spot after a 3-1 win over Otago. It was comfortable in the end for TW after a hesitant start. They go to Auckland next week just needing a draw to get a home semi final.