NZFC - Round 6,
January 26 2009
Roy Krishna 67
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: Mike Hester Crowd: 358
by Bob Pearce at Douglas Field
Waitakere United surged four points clear at the top of the New Zealand Football Championship as they beat 10-man Waikato 2-0 at Douglas Field.
The visitors were down a man after 20 minutes when defender Joel Mathews was given a straight red card by referee Mike Hester for a studs-up tackle on Jeff Campbell.
Even with the man advantage it took the champions another 37 minutes before they broke down the stubborn Waikato defence.
After several near misses Roy Krishna ran on to a through pass from Chris Bale and beat the advancing Greg Walters.
Six minutes later Krishna provided the pass that allowed Benji Totori to atone for some earlier poor finishing with a well-taken second goal that extinguished Waikato hopes.
Not that the visitors were ever completely out of the game. They battled courageously to the end and created chances even when the odds were against them. A little more aggression in the penalty area and perhaps a bit more height could well have produced goals.
As it was, Danny Robinson in the Waitakere goal had to make smart saves from Steve Holloway and Shaun van Rooyen to preserve a clean sheet.
Waitakere, not for the first time this year, squandered chance after chance as Totori and Krishna used their pace to outflank the Waikato defence but either the passes went astray or the recipients butchered the chances.
Perhaps the worst miss came in the 20th minute when Totori on the break had a choice of three team-mates to take the final pass almost unchallenged but managed to chunk the ball into the grasp of goalie Greg Walters.
Waikato's most penetrative attacker in the early stages was youngster Marco Rojas, who led Aaron Scott a merry dance, but the heat and pressure of playing a man short saw him fade out of the game in the second spell.
Waitakere coach Chris Milicich was happy to take the points from his team's second game in three days. He rated the performance well below Saturday's 4-2 win over Auckland City.
"We'll take the points and move on," he said.
"We missed a few gilt-edged chances but playing 10 men you always expect a goal to come and when it did that was the game. They played with a lot of guts and determination."
Waikato coach Dave Edmondson was philosophical about a game that had promised so much for his team in the early stages.
"It was disappointing to go down to 10 men so early," he said. "I was really pleased that when it was 11 against 11 we were doing what we wanted to do and they were worried. We had a couple of good chances at 0-0.
"Even when we were down to 10 I thought we were dealing with them quite well. But with the pace of those boys up front one little slip and they'll crucify you. We've lost games this season but no-one's overawed us."
Waitakere have one game in hand over second-placed Hawkes Bay. Their next game is against Canterbury in Christchurch on Sunday.
Photos: Shane Wenzlick www.phototek.co.nz
22 Danny Robinson (GK)
19 Greg Walters (GK)
3 Aaron Scott
2 Joel Mathews
4 Tim Myers
4 Graham Pearce
9 Benjamin Totori (ou 80)
9 Marco Rojas
10 Allan Pearce
11 Steven Holloway
11 Neil Sykes
13 Shaun Van Rooyen
12 Roy Krishna
14 Craig Wylie
14 Jeff Campbell
16 Sam Margetts (out 72)
15 Chris Bale
18 Nik Robson (out 85)
16 Neil Emblen
24 Michael Mayne (out 62)
21 Kayne Vincent (out 58)
25 Nathan Strom
1 Richard Gillespie (RGK)
1 Jason Mann (RGK)
18 Zane Sole (in 80)
7 Joe Simpkins (in 62)
27 Jacob Mathews (in 58)
8 Paul Stewart (in 85)
29 John Chisholm
12 Mike Walters (in 72)
23 Stu Watene
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Hot and sunny with slight cross breeze
Early corner for Waikato cleared easily
Two corners to Waitakere, freekick to Waikato for dangerous play
Rojas shot deflected for corner
Totori hits post and Mathews clears for corner. Goalie clears.
Margetts has chance but shoots weakly then attempted clearance by Sykes rebounds just wide off Holloway.
Rojas works magic on left but his shot cum cross grabbed by Robinson.
Totori clean through and it's three-on-one for Waitakere but goalie grabs ball.
Yellow card for Scott for tackle on edge of area. Freekick sails wide.
Drinks break because of the heat.
Robson crosses from right, good header by Holloway well saved by goalie
RED CARD! Joel Mathews given marching order for fierce tackle on Campbell.
Allan Pearce clear but shoots over bar.
Vincent heads ball clear of goalie but ball roses agonisingly wide.
Shot by Krishna well blocked by goalie.
45 plus two
Halftime no score but chances galore. Ten-man Waikato have defended well but Waitakere's shooting has been wayward.
Sykes heads down from corner and it bounces over the bar
Waikato almost score as Rojas crosses, Wylie lays it on for Holloway but he can't convert the chance.
Jacob Mathews on for Vincent
Totori sets up another chance but nobody grabs it.
Krishna shot well saved by Walters
Simpkins on for Mayne
Emblen header from corner headed off line by Pearce.
GOAL! Krishna fastens on to pass from Bale and this time eludes goalie to score
Sub Walters on for Margetts
GOAL! Totori fastens on to pass from Krishna and beats Walters with good shot
Header by van Rooyen charging through well saved by Robinson
Sub Totori replaced by Sole
Wylie finds side netting after ball comes clear from corner
Sub Stewart for Robson
Holloway over top from cross by Wylie after corner.
Three minutes to be added
90 plus three
Fulltime and Wautakere win 2-0 to increase their lead at the toip of the table