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NZFC - Round 1
Fred Taylor Park - November 3, 2007
Halftime: 0-1 Referee: Michael Hester (Wgtn) Crowd: 500
By Bob Pearce at Fred Taylor Park
Peter Halstead, who had come on as a defender midway through the second half, reverted to his more usual goal-scoring role to snatch a 2-1 victory for Team Wellington over Waitakere United today.
In the 89th minute Halstead was left unmarked in the penalty area and nodded home a right-wing corner from close range to allow Wellington to return home with maximum points from the opening game of the New Zealand Football Championship at Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai.
The visitors had taken the lead in the 20th minute when former Waitakere player Daniel Ellensohn broke through, beat a tackle and calmly beat keeper Simon Eaddy.
Waitakere equalised in the 62nd minute when Jason Hayne, who had a strong game, crossed from the right and Allan Pearce gratefully took the chance after goalie Phil Imray had only partially cleared.
Wellington coach Stu Jacobs was delighted to take all the points from the team that topped the table last season and lost only narrowly in the grand final.
"I wasn't too sure if we were right for game one," he said. "But I told the boys that win or lose let's make a statement that we're contenders this season. There's a long way to go but I think they've achieved that.
"We're a team that likes to play and I was pleased we kept playing. I think Waitakere were feeling the effects of their game earlier in the week."
Waitakere coach Chris Milicich was understandably disappointed at the result but much happier with his team's performance than he was after they squeaked a win over their Tahitian opponents in the O-League on Wednesday.
"We played much better today but two games in four days caught up with the lads at the end," he said. "We'll certainly improve a long way on this."
Benjamin Totori, Golden Boot last season for YoungHeart Manawatu, had chances to get on the scoreboard for the season and Hayne led the defence a merry dance on the right flank. But one of Waitakere's best shots on goal came from midfielder Chris Bale, who drew a fine save from Phil Imray.
Danny Hay, Jonathan Perry and Darren Bazeley were solid in defence and it was a surprise that Wellington conjured the victory from a set piece.
Wellington's Graham Little and George Barbarouses were a threat on the break and captain Andy Barron was a skilled prompter, though he wasted a golden opportunity to score in the closing stages.
Pictures: Shane Wenzlick www.phototek.co.nz
NZFC - Round 1, Fred Taylor Park
November 3, 2007
2. Jonathan Perry
2. Sam Peters
4. Matt Cunneen
4. Jamie Farrington
5. Danny Hay
6. Adam Birch
6. Darren Bazeley
9. Daniel Ellensohn
7. Jason Hayne
11. George Barbarouses (71 off)
9. Benjamin Totori
12. Andy Barron
13. Daniel Koprivcic (78 off)
14. Darren Cheriton (90+1 off)
14. Hoani Edwards
15. Graham Little
15. Christopher Bale (46 off)
17. Wiremu Patrick
22. Simon Eaddy (GK)
19. Sean Douglas (57 off)
33. Paul Seaman (68 off)
24. Phil Imray (GK)
1. Richard Gillespie (gk)
1. Dylan Hall
3. Shane Pascoe
10. Luis Corrales (71 on)
10. Allan Pearce (46 on)
18. Peter Halstead (57 on)
17. Jake Butler (68 on)
23. Chris Gores (90+1 on)
23. Blair Konik (78 on)
Totori brought down on edge of penalty area, freekick cleared
Farrington fouls Totori yellow card. header by Totori from freekick wide
Bale shot from distance well saved by Imray
Totori shoots wide; Ellensohn booked.
GOAL! 0-1 Wellington take the lead after Ellensohn fastens on to long ball, eludes a defender and rifles past Eaddy.
Jason Hayne yellow for tackle
Little behind defence, scuffs shot
Danny Hay yellow for clash on attack
Bazeley freekick, Hay heads wide
45 + 1
Waitakere freekick cleared
0-1 - Wellington go to the break with a deserved 1-0 buffer.
Allan Pearce on for Chris Bale
Yellow for Birch
Totori breaks, shot blocked by goalie
Cheriton's shot blocked by goalie.
Halstead on for Douglas
GOAL! 1-1 A Jason Hayne cross is punched by goalie Phil Imray but only as far as Allan Pearce who buries a volley.
Paul Seaman replaced by Jake Butler
Luis Corrales on for Barbarouses
Barron shot well saved by Eaddy
Konik on for Koprivcic
Peters shoots just wide on break down left
Barron fires over top after Little had weaved through defence.
GOAL! 1-2 Peter Halstead snatches a late winner with an unmarked header from close range after right wing corner
FINAL 1-2 It's all over at a sun-bathed Fred Taylor Park and Team Wellington are celebrating a great start to the season thanks to Halstead's late winner.
Full match report and photos to follow.