Hawke's Bay United
NZFC - Round 8,
Centennial Park, Ngaruawahia
Sunday 11 January, 2009
Halftime: 0-1 Referee: Jamier Cross Crowd: 621
by Matt Richens at Centennial Park
A fifth minute stunner by Suele Soromon was enough to burst the Waikato FC bubble at Ngaruawahia's Centennial Park.
Soromon played up front for Hawke's Bay and his early strike, a brilliant finish from the edge of the box, allowed his side to control a game which Waikato FC took 70 minutes to ease into.
"We never turned up today," a disappointed Waikato coach Dave Edmondson said after the game.
Waikato's back four who have been a real strength for the side this summer couldn't shut down the super-speedy Soromon and he created troubles the entire first half before limping off in the second spell.
Jonathan Gould's side put on a master class in how to shut a game down. They didn't put 11 players behind the ball, but they didn't allow a limp Waikato midfield any control.
When Waikato beat Team Wellington late last year that was their strength, but Hawke's Bay's middle of the park players, especially Graham Fyfe and Cole Peverley controlled the ball, distributed well and shut down the likes of Michael Mayne and Shaun van Rooyen. Waikato also missed the services of Joey Simpkins who was out with an injured ankle.
Hawke's Bay's dominance of the middle of the park was obviously a plan the team had talked about.
"One of Waikato's strength is they are very good at shutting sides out in the middle of the park so we wanted to stop them doing that and control that area, Gould said.
They weren't rough or dirty, they were just quick and any mistakes - of which Waikato made plenty in the opening stanza - was punished well.
Waikato's wins have come as underdogs or against teams who took the game to them. That allowed their wingers and central players to punish the opponents and rule the midfield. But with Hawke's Bay sitting back, then attacking the ball, Waikato weren't able to adapt and play the game at their speed.
"The first game after the break, the restart, is always important so to come away with a result here will help," Gould said.
He was clearly pleased with his side's performance but said next week's game with Waitakere in Auckland will be an entirely different prospect.
"Waitakere are almost a professional outfit, we'll benefit a lot from a game on Thursday night with the (Wellington) Phoenix."
Waikato's star player was again 17-year-old Marco Rojas. He came on in the 55th minute and showed the starting strikers and coach Edmondson he deserves a starting spot.
Unfortunately for Waikato, it took until the last 30 minutes for them to show any desperation or fight.
Waikato too have an Auckland assignment next weekend when they take on Auckland City at Kiwitea Street and Edmondson knows they will need to do better.
With other results, Waikato dropped from the giddy heights of first in the league to fourth while Hawke's Bay remain in fifth thanks to goal difference.
Hawke's Bay United
19. Greg Walters
1. Mitch O'Brien
2. Joel Matthews
13. Leon Birnie (off 73)
3. Ben Hunt
11. Graham Fyfe
4. Graham Pearce
17. Cole Peverley
10. Stu Hogg (off 55)
4. Greig Henslee
11. Steven Holloway
2. Chris Davies
14. Craig Wylie
5. Campbell Parkin
18. Nik Keown-Robson (off 78)
9. Daniel Kirkup
24. Michael Mayne (off 73)
10. Suele Soroman (off 69)
25. Nathan Strom
12. James Oxtoby
13. Shaun van Rooyen
21. Woo-Jae Kim
1. Jason Mann (RGK)
23. Shaun Peta (RGK)
8. Paul Stewart
8. Chris McIvor (on 73)
9. Marco Rojas (on 55)
17. David Geary
16. Sam Margetts (on 78)
19. Andrew Abba (on 69)
23. Stu Watene (on 73)
3. Reiner Bauerfeind
=2 yellow cards
= red card
A wee lack of communication has seen the Hawke's Bay side flown to Auckland and the bus driver was waiting for them at the airport. Unfortunately he was waiting at Hamilton airport. All sorted now and Hawke's Bay have arrived. The match will now start at 2.45pm.
Hello there web watchers. Overcast day here at Ngaruawahia's Centennial Park. Good crowd, 400+. Obviously enjoying being here for to support the top team in the competition, for now anyway. I'm Matt Richens and if you have any questions or queries you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm single too for all those female internet soccer lovers, haha. ANYWAY... we're about to kickoff here. Hawke's Bay in white, Waikato in Black and officials in red for all those who want to know.
Waikato's Nathan Strom clears a powerful cross for a corner to the Bay.
weak header from the corner, just over the bar. couple of mistakes by both sides early giving possession away
GOAL!!!!! Hawke's Bay United go ahead with a well taken strike from just inside the bow by Suele Soromon. Crowd very hush. Brilliant finish by Soromon who could have got closer, but beats Walters for the first time in three games from memory.
HB corner, Walters takes it well in goal in traffic, Waikato going to have to play early now to get into this game again. Great start from the Bay
Craig Wylie has a long range shot, maybe 25 yards, dead straight, powerful shot, but right at HB's Mitch O'Brien
HB corner, but straight over the goal line, wasted. HB look good and confident.
HB causing Waikato's back four troubles, especially the goal scorer Soromon. Need to tighten up, that's been Waikato's strength so far. Bill and a group of Greg Walters' buddies are watching this game on a blackberry by the looks of it in the States and asked for a shout out, there you go. Your man can't be blamed for the goal, but looked pretty disappointed all the same.
Waikato's back four are not good. Playing the ball inside the box and have given it away needlessly twice now. Things don't look good for the league leaders just now. Paul Henslee, I'm guessing Greig's brother is watching in Scotland where it must be the early hours and freezing. Good ticker Paul. Your team is definitely on top here so far.
Cross by Keown-Robson spilled by O'Brien in the Bay goal, but no one close or quick enough to pounce.
goal mouth scramble/melee but HB can't get a foot on a loose ball and is eventually cleared by the hosts. HB look far more likely to double their lead than concede, but have just given away a corner.
nothing happened with the corner, Waiakto free kick in range here, not a lot of whistle so far, maybe Waiakto's back four need to get a bit rougher on Soromon and co. free kick misses left, not really a scare.
Another Waikato freekick, 40 away, nice ball from Mayne to back post, but Holloway I think, can only glance in traffic in the air and a goal kick is awarded. Sounds like the entire Henslee family is watching with a fridge full of Guinness by the sounds, my fav.
YELLOW CARDS oh, excitement here. Hogg and keeper O'Brien clash, Waikato appeal for a pen, didn;t seem worth it from here, albeit 130m away, O'Brien offers to help Hogg up, Hogg pushes O'Brien who pushes back, Hogg goes down like he'd been shot. Referee Jamie Ctross did the sensible thing, both are given a brief talking to, and shown yellow.handbags at dawn and all that. Corner after goes close, but cleared. Waikato playing better, but HB still on top and create another break which peters out.
YELLOW CARD James Oxtoby is shown a card the same colour as his boots for a rash challenge then goes off for attention to blood I think, and straight back on.
Another handy Waikato freekick from a mistimed sliding tackle by a HB defender. Another wasted freekick. just the one shot on goal so far for Waikato. HB's midfield doing a sterling job and controlling the middle of the park and unleashing Soromon and Birnie well so far
Hogg v O'Brien again, one on one of sorts and the keeper comes away with the ball
Big Daniel Kirkup is knocked over roughly and quite late, no cards shown, good bit og niggle coming into this game, love it. Dunny in the Solomons adds to the international flavour of my audience of seven. Two minutes to be added here.
So, it's 1-0 to the Bay. They look the better side, but Waikato have got stronger throughout the spell. The hosts are lucky not to be a couple behind, but Soromon did very well with his shot. He looks class so far and Graham Pearce, one of WFC's stars of the season has struggled to keep him under control. Biggest crowd of the season here at Centennial Park. Waikato need to make a couple of shape adjustments. The midfield is missign Joe Simpkins, although Michael Mayne is doing pretty well. I've already been accused of being the president of the Marco Rojas fanclub, but the 17-year-old whizzkid would be ideal here against and we will no doubt see him. Coffee time, back soon.
Underway, Waikato play the ball well, but as they did in the first spell, gave it away when they needn't have
HB freekick in perfect spot for right footer, 20 yards out, on the left of the goal... Woo-Jae Kim takes it and it misses left by inches, had the wall beaten, had Walters beaten, but had the goal beaten too.
Keown-Robson takes a shot over a ball to Holloway in good position, not bad, but a bit wide. When you're not having enough shots, surely you need to make sure they are on target, especially after O'Brien spilled one of the two good balls put his way. Common sense me thinks
Rojas about to come on, told you. Come on you little bugger, well that's what someone who was supporting Waikato may say. I'm impartial, honest. SUB Rojas for Hogg. - thought Hogg may have stayed on too.
Rory Delap (Nathan Strom) sends in a monster throw, flicked on by a defender and O'Brian is forced to push over the bar fro a corner, does well, ball was humming. Two Waikato corners, second one leads to a blast shot, but blocked by, hmmm, think it was Henslee to be honest, that will please some Guinness drinkers on the other side of the planet. It was heading in I think.
Throws seem more threatening than the corners at the moment, which is saying something about Waikato's poor set pieces so far. Strom sends two more in, a glancing header by Holloway goes just over. Honours shared second half so far.
Rojas beats Henslee who clips him and gives away a foul. But the freekick, again from a good spot, is wasted. The little fella is making a difference and running at players.
SUB HB take off their goal scorer Soromon who is limping and bring on Andrew Abba
YELLOW CARD. Joel Matthews crunches into Kirkup late and the HB player goes and stays down. Metthews shown yellow, looked deserved, but the Ngara faithful aren't impressed. Good noise here. and the game is getting feisty as Holloway is brought down roughly, another freekick in a good spot for Waikato.
Mayne took that one for Waikato, new taker, same result, rubbish. Flys over and Mayne puts his head in his hands, rightly so.
SUBS Mayne off for Stu Watene and Birnie, who has had four good chances and been average with all four, off for Chris McIvor
Waikato corner, Rojas takes and gets it back, beats two more, they're lining up to be beaten by him, and flicks a short ball in, but is cleared.
Waikato playing three up front with Ngaruawahia's sole home product Watene playing alongside Holloway and a ranging Rojas
Rojas again, he's a freak, gets in the box and a Holloway flick is well saved by O'Brien, reflex save. THis kid has to be seen to be believed. Got to start from now on.
SUB Margetts for Keown-Robson, like Birnie, Nik KR didn't make the most of his opportunities and that's simply not good enough in this grade if Waikato want to be title contenders.
I'm not the only Rojas fan, he got taken down in a genuine tackle and the crowd goes stupid. They love this little kid. He's the only one that looks capable of saving Waikato, when he's on the ball the others perform better. Bay doing well to keep Waikato out now, they're throwing everything at them.
Waikato still attacking and look desperate off the ball. Needed to be this way an hour ago. coach Dave Edmondson is up and animated, as is most of the Waikato bench. Even a cowbell ringing. Holloway fouls O'Brien in goal. called by Cross, again the crowd annoyed. Last chances now for the hosts, need to sneak one.
three to be added on
Ball sits up for Wylie's right foot, he doesn't have one and turns the shot down. He does have one, I've seen him shoot a couple of good ones with the right, not sure why he turned it down there. Bad choice and lost the ball
HB playing in the corner. Earn a corner which they are in no rush to take funnily enough
Full time 1-0. To the visitors go the spoils. They outplayed Waikato in the first half, probably even in the second and deserved the three points. We shall see what the gaffas have to say about that one. I've been Matt Richens. Words, pics and a few comments to follow. :-)