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Team Wellington

Canterbury United


NZFC - Round 12
Newtown Park
Sunday 22 February, 2009


Adam Birch pen-54
Luis Corrales 76
James Bannatyne 89

Michael Fifii 27



Halftime: 0-1                      Referee: Peter O'Leary                               Crowd: 


Fairytale return for Bannatyne

by Gordon Irving at Newtown Park

Wellington thrust themselves into the playoff mixup with a win over Canterbury. Photo by Marty MelvilleJames Bannatyne will steal tomorrow’s headlines but Andy Barron stole the show as Team Wellington lifted themselves into an NZFC play off spot for the first time this season after this afternoon’s come from behind 3-1 win over Canterbury at Newtown Park.

Bannatyne became Wellington’s fourth goalkeeper of the season due to injuries and inexperience and with regular number one Phil Imray back on the bench today after a lengthy injury, Bannatyne’s possibly one-off appearance will go down in Team Wellington history.

With the game heading into the final minute and with Wellington comfortable at 2-1, Bannatyne took a free kick from fifteen metres inside his own half.

The former All Whites keeper lifted the ball into the Canterbury penalty area where Andy Barron caused some mischief, putting Canterbury keeper Michael O’Keefe off his stride, misjudging the bounce of the ball and letting it slip into an empty net.

Barron was quick to claim a last touch but referee Peter O’Leary confirmed after the match that the goal was credited to Bannatyne.

Fifii gave Canterbury some hope when he put them ahead before the break. Photo by Marty MelvillePrior to that Wellington had laboured through the first half before finding themselves a goal behind in the 27th minute.
Canterbury midfielder Nick Wortelboer ran at the heart of the Wellington defence and his perfect cross was met by Michael Fifii for the opening goal.

Wellington coach Stu Jacobs changed things at halftime bringing on Brian Little and Peter Halstead for Sam Jenkins and Paul Whitmarsh.
It meant Wellington played with a four man attack including Luis Corrales and Sam Blackburn and it was really only a matter of time before the equaliser came.

Andy Barron was beginning to have a major influence on the game and would end up playing a part in all three Wellington goals.

It was easy to see from this performance why All Whites coach Ricki Herbert is considering Barron for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

In the 54th minute Barron created space in the box before being floored by the Canterbury defence. Adam Birch stepped up to convert the penalty for 1-1.

From that point on if one team was going to win the match it was going to be Wellington and with 13 minutes remaining the winning goal eventuated.

Luis Corrales has been scoring goals for fun this season and the league’s leading scorer got another today with Barron again in the thick of the action turning the ball across the area for Corrales to crash home before the Bannatyne fairy tale at the end.

Team Wellington coach Stu Jacobs was happy to take the points.

"We were over ran in the middle of the park in the first half and we couldn’t afford to draw or lose this one so that was why we made the changes at halftime."

"Our work rate was at just 60 per cent of what we can do and that’s just not good enough."

"The last three weeks have been cup final football, we had to win all three and today Andy Barron, Brian Little and Sam Blackburn were outstanding."

Luis Corrales scores to make himself hot favourite for the golden boot award. Photo by Marty MelvilleIt was a disconsolate Canterbury coach Korouch Monsef at the end of the game.
Cutting a lonely figure on the Newtown Park steps he felt the result was the story of Canterbury’s season.

"We had a good first half and I don’t think we were lucky to have the lead but we lack the quality to put matches away."

"I’m pleased for the boys because they played well but disappointed not to have finished the match off."

Team Wellington now sits in fourth place on the table after leapfrogging both Waikato and Hawke's Bay this afternoon.

A win next weekend at Newtown Park against Waikato will ensure Wellington are back in the playoffs after finishing as last season’s beaten finalists. 


Team Sheet

Team Wellington



Canterbury United

24. James Bannatyne

1. Michael O'Keeffe

3. Steve Gulley (out 57)

3. Matt Boyd

6. Mike Pickering

4. Bill Robertson

7. Sam Blackburn

5. Andy Pitman (out 85)

8. Peter Howe

7. Ryan Faichnie

10. Luis Corrales

8. Garry McDermott

12. Andy Barron

9. Tom Lancaster (out 61)

13. Karl Whalen

10. Jamie Smith

14. Sam Jenkins (out 46)

12. Michael Fifii  (out 50)

22. Adam Birch (captain)

16. Nick Wortleboer

25. Paul Whitmarsh (out 46)

21. Ben Harris



1. Phil Imray (RGK)

15. James Reichwein (in 61)

5. Michael Eagar (in 57)

13. Adam Cowen (in 50)

11. Bryan Little (in 46)

17. Geoff McIntyre (in 85)

18. Peter Halstead (in 46)

22. Chris Sinclair (RGK)

21. Tim Schaeffers


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

Hooray we're under way technically. Sorry for the delay but the chimps in the Wellington zoo next to Newtown Park have been chewing through the cables so no luck with a connection till now.

Well it's a must win game for TW to keep their play off hopes alive, with Waikato to come next week.


TW have dominated play with a couple of half chances but nothing of real note as yet


still nothing of note. TW are holding much of the possession but Canterbury are organised at the back and keeping the home side to scraps. Then saying that Andy Barron lets fly from 25 metres and it scrapes the crossbar. Good effort.


it's ok I'm still here but we're watching a game being played between penalty areas, so nothing rousing to report. It needs a goal


GOAL! And what a goal it was. A great run deep into the TW penalty area by Canterbury's Nick Wortelboer and his cross is turned home by Michael Fifii. 1-0 Canterbury


straight away and TW on the attack and it's a cheeky chip from Corrales from the edge of the box but it drifts just too high

Fair to say the Canterbury goal is against the run of play but what a goal it was. Wortelboer's run was exceptional and his cross made it hard to miss for Fifii


Game on now. TW must win or it's season over basically and only a minor miracle will save them on the final day of the round robin. But now they have to score two


TW have a freekick out wide to be taken by Barron. This could be a chance to get level but it's well collected by Canterbury keeper O'Keefe.

Did I mention the wind here? It's sunny but very windy and Canterbury have done well to take the lead playing into the stiff breeze

HALFTIME at Newtown Park and Canterbury will be happy with their first half's work, leading 1-0 and looking untroubled by TW attacks. All to play for in the second half with TW needing two goals at least to keep their season afloat.

Looks like needs must for TW, Bryan Little and Peter Halstead have headed for the changing rooms. TW need goals and it looks like there will be a double sub at the start of the second spell.

Yes double sub as play gets underway in the second spell with Sam Jenkins and Paul Whitmarsh the players making way for Halstead and Little


Virtually four up front for TW with Halstead and Little joining Blackburn and Corrales but so far Canterbury are handling things well enough. Of course TW can lose today but would need to beat Waikato next week and hope Hawke's Bay lose  at home to Otago. Big call and not one Stu Jacobs would want to rely on!!!


sub for Canty as Adam Cowen comes on for the goalscorer Michael Fifii


PENALTY TO TW, Andy Barron floored in the box......

GOAL! 1-1 Adam Birch levels matters at Newtown

SUB Michael Eager on for Steve Gulley at TW make their final substitution


booking for Michael Pickering TW but it would seem more likely that TW will go on and win this now. Although I didn't expect Canterbury to take the first half lead but veteran James Bannatyne in TW goal has yet to touch the ball second half


an hour gone in the game and TW have righted the keel as Canterbury make another sub with James Rechwein replacing Tom Lancaster


what a chance and what a miss for TW as Barron cuts the ball back from the byline and Corrales in plenty of space lifts his shot well over the bar. Bad miss, should at least have got it on target


Great chance for Canty as Jamie Smith shrugs off Peter Howe and is one on one with Bannatyne but the big keeper gets a leg to it and it goes for a corner. TW could have been caught out there


Corrales dumped on the edge of the box a real chance here for TW as Little takes .......

GOAL! The ball eventually finds its way to Luis Corrales after good work again from Barron and the NZFC's top scorer doesn't miss from right in front and the play offs are still on for TW. 2-1 to Team Wellington


Ten minutes to go in this one and Stu Jacobs brave call to go all out attack has paid off for his side. If the score stays this way TW will find themselves in a play off spot for the first time this season and with their destiny in their own hands


final change for Canterbury as Jeff McIntyre is on for Andy Pitman


GOAL! James Bannatyne, yes James Bannatyne scores from a free kick! 15 metres inside his own half, he launches the free kick into the box. Andy Barron almost gets a touch but not quite, and O'Keefe is wrong footed. What a way to seal the win!


All Over here at Newtown Park and Wellington keep their destiny in their own hands. Report and pics coming soon.