NZFC - Round 3, Sunnyvale
Sunday 23 November, 2008
Robbie Deeley 29
Cory Chettleburgh 72
Halftime: 1-0 Referee: Crowd:
by Rab Smith at Sunnyvale
It’s a rare sight these days to see teams fielding three strikers, but the Dunedin spectators were privileged, as both teams committed to attack, when Young Heart Manawatu beat Otago United 3-2 at Sunnyvale.
Jason Hayne also provided an unusual curio role as a wide right winger, with, as the old pros used to say, “Chalk on his boots,” as he ran the line and pulled Otago defenders out wide.
Hayne did cut in a couple of times, to boost his goal tally by first giving Manwatu a 2-1 lead, then ghosting in behind defenders to score Manawatu’s winner.
Coach Bob Sova said, “Playing him wide is great when it works, but when it doesn’t it can leave a bit of a gap for the opposition to exploit.”
Yet it was the home side that grabbed the game by the scruff in the first half, as Aaron Burgess, Dave Dugdale and young Tom Jackson created and exploited gaps in the Manawatu defence.
With able support from Barry Gardiner, Andy Coburn and Robbie Deeley, the blue shirts poured forward.
Burgess might have scored twice – an acrobatic volley, then an easier chance when he curled the ball wide with just keeper Chris Marsh to beat.
But when Deeley strode through in a second phase attack, keeper Marsh could only spectate as the midfielder’s drive whistled into Manawatu’s net.
Coach Sova’s side play a polished passing game, but lacked Otago’s cutting edge – in the first half at least.
In the second spell, despite playing into the wind, Raf de Gregorio and Adam Cowan got their act together and provided better ball for Leo Shin and Gonzalo Nieres.
Throw in the blond galloper Hayne on the right and Otago became stretched, conceding two goals in as many minutes when Cory Chettleburgh thundered in a superb drive from the left and Hayne clinically cut in and put Manawatu in front at 2-1.
Otago had goalkeeper problems at that stage as Liam Little was hurt and replaced by reserve Callum Flaws.
But true to the nature of the match, Otago kept pushing forward and had Manawatu rocking with a series of crosses, corners and long throws from the ballistic speciallist Jackson.
High drama ensued when Falvey powered through crowded defenders and bulleted in a 79th minute header that was cleared from the goalmouth.
BUT had it crossed the line? Referee Jamie Cross conferred with assistant Ken Nare and awarded the goal, triggering massed dissent from the Manawatu team.
With little time left, both teams might have been forgiven for closing up shop and settling for a draw. Amazingly, both sides continued to attack and team patterns became even more ragged.
It was a square pass intercepted, and a perfect diagonal cross that sunk the home side. Tantalisingly floating over centreback Falvey, it was Hayne who appeared at the far post and firmly nodded his 85th minute winner.
Incredibly Otago might still have grabbed something from the match as another couple of corners were hoisted into Manawatu’s goalmouth – but the visitors survived, and referee Cross eventually rang down the curtain on what had been a pulsating match.
No quotes from the Otago coaching trio, but tight lips and stamping feet suggested some tough training sessions lie ahead next week.
1, Liam Little (GK) (out 73)
1, Chris Marsh (GK)
2, Rhys Henderson
2, Adam Cowan
3, Tristan Prattley
3, Pablo Yackson
4, Barry Gardiner
4, Jan Weissenfeldt
5, Colin Falvey (c)
7, Jason Hayne
7, Robbie Deeley (out 69)
10, Leo Shin (out 55
9, Tom Jackson
11, Scott Robson
10, David Dugdale
16, Raf De Gregorio
11, Andy Coburn
18, Finlay Milne
12, Aaron Burgess (out 78)
20, Gonzalo Nieres
17, Tim Horner
22, Cory Chettleburgh
6, Michael Smith
6, Matt Kennedy
13, Callum Flaws (GK) (in 73)
8, Nathan Cooksley
14, Sean Brand
9, Gustavo Saralegui (in 55)
18, Tom Connor
19, Andrew Bailey (GK)
19, John Chisholm (in 69)
21, Brooke Tozer
=2 yellow cards
= red card
nzfc.co.nz apologise for the technical difficulties which have prevented live updates of this match from Dunedin.