NZFC - Round 13
Centennial Park, Ngaruawahia
Sunday 8 February, 2009
Graham Pearce 76
Benjamin Totori 61
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: Peter O'Leary Crowd: 641
by Matt Richens at Centennial Park / nzfc.co.nz
He wasn't worried about his side losing their air of invincibility, and said there was a reason his side had gone more than a year without a local loss.
Photos by Grant Stantiall and Geoff Dickenson
19. Greg Walters
1. Richard Gillespie
2. Joel Mathews
3. Aaron Scott (off 90)
3. Ben Hunt
4. Tim Myers
4. Graham Pearce (c)
8. Paul Seaman (off 74)
8. Paul Stewart
9. Benjamin Totori
14. Craig Wylie
10. Allan Pearce
13. Shaun van Rooyen
11. Neil Sykes
18. Nik Keown-Robson
12. Roy Krishna
24. Michael Mayne
15. Chris Bale
16. Sam Margetts (off 61)
17. Jake Butler
10. Stu Hogg (off 83)
16. Neil Emblem (c)
1. Jason Mann
22. Danny Robinson
6. Alex Barlow
14. Jeff Campbell (on 90)
9. Marco Rojas (on 61)
24. Ash Solly
23. Stu Watene (on 83)
27. Jacob Mathews
12. Michael Walters
21. Kayne Vincent (on 74)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Scorcher here at Centennial Park, Ngaruawahia. The mercury is allegedly pushing 36 which is stupid hot for football. Waikato are playing in, of all colours, black, Andy Bell's pitch looks brilliant as always, crowd building, and the country's top referee Peter O'Leary is about to get us underway.
I'm Matt Richens, if you are elsewhere in the world and watching this via a computer screen, I will do my best to describe the happs in front of me. Draw at the TAB paying 3.50 - that's where my money is, literally. The last $17 of a battling account on a draw. Forgive my cheering. We're underway
Early free kick to Waitakere cleared eventually, not after Emblem politelly asked foe a handball, rightly so, he was just as politelly ignored
Chris Bale has a 40 metre shot, straight at Walters in goal, dreaming. Waikato look a little rushed on the ball, Waitakere look relaxed as a batsman facing the Australian bowling line-up. Waikato need to make sure they're on form from the start, apparently this Waitakere mob can play a little bit.
Waikato first corner of the game, poorly cleard by Waitakere defence... Wylie sends in short ball, but lost and cleared
O'Leary stops play to call over Graham Pearce. He tells him Mr Hogg is taljking too much. Ill discipline would kill Waikato in this heat. Limp effort from Waikato on goal, Waitakere break, but cleared by Mathews
Waikato give possession away middle of the park, Krishna breaks, but his shot/pass goes past the far post for a goal kick
Butler shoots fro Waitakere, there were plenty of better options and his shot was weak and off target from 30m, no idea why they're shooting from that far with the ability they have.
long range free kick to Waikato, toothless, but for some strange reason Gillespie punches out for a throw in instead of easily catching the ball. Must be feeling the pressure of Danny Robinson on the bench and Big Chris M playing the old switcheroo with them.
Waikato's Ben Hunt has made a number of good tackles and will need to continue to do so without Nathan Strom on the paddock for the hosts
Paul Stewart and Graham Pearce shut down Totori in the box, then Hogg has an OKAY strike, but wide. and now it's time for a drinks break. Don't mind if I do.
to Paul Seaman - took out a Waikato player in the air, sloppy, but probably yellow for danger value, maybe a tad harsh.
to Joel Mathews - free kick 25 out, good position. Emblem gets greedy and goes himself, cleared the wall and would have cleared a second goal, I think if I was 7 foot tall I might just rely on my head in that situation. Why did he even take it?
Overhead shot from Seaman from 30 yards, a little ambitious to say the least, but it was on target.
Totori beats four, tracks the byline then passes a metre behind the quickly moving A Pearce. Wasted chance. G Pearce is very strong again.
to Jake Butler for a rough tackle on Nik Robson in the air.
Totori breaks again, Pearce (G) stays witgh him, but Totori gets a powerful shot off which is brilliantly saved by Greg Walters in goal - his distributuon may be poor at best, but he's a great stopper.
yellows to Ben Hunt and Chris Bale. I haven't the foggiest what for. I'm going to speculate and say they tussled and said mean things to each other - will check at the break for you. Gee I'm good to you.
Free kick to Waitakere wide down their right hand side. Big curler aimed at the tall timber, but Paul Stewart clears
sorry, computer troubles, Totori had a very good shot saved by Walters, Emblem banged a header from a corner goalward, but Walters saved that too, no more cards. Waitakere are the better side, but we knew that already, Waikato are battling well to keep them out, but one gets the feeling, well, I get the feeling the visitors will score at some stage, so Waikato need to continue creating chances. They've had a handful, and after all, isn't more than a handful a waste?
still half time
confirmation on the double yellow. Mark Owens (fourth official) tells me Hunt was carded for a foul and Bale for retaliation. Owens couldn't confirm if they'd said mean things to eachother. It's is ridiculously hot here. Welcome to all Waitakere fans who are here. I'm sure you'll be enjoying Ngaruawahia more than the concrete jungle at Douglas, there is far more atmoshpere here than 10 days ago when the same teams met in Auckland and far more people. You may prefer stadia, I like grass and small stands and a bit of noise. But I would say that, the lovely people at Ngaruawahia have just given me an ice cold lemonade. Action about to start and I think there will be goals and Waitakere will be pushing forward harder.
Waikato start the second spell better, but can't turn possession into shots
All Waikato now. Hogg running good lines, getting behind defenders well, but then easily dispossessed by Emblem. It was like Peter Crouch marking Wayne Rooney.
Spoke too soon to Paul Stewart who brought down a Waitakere player on the side edge of the box. Free kick in a good area, but we'll have to wait as a Waikato player is down.
Was Wylie who was down, two good shots both blocked by Waikato and resulting corner also cleared. Emblem dinks around with it and loses it cold. smooth
chants of "go back to the A-League" ring out aimed at O'Leary who show's Stu Hogg a for being punched by Gillespie. Handball was the call, but looked a fair challange. Keepers always get looked after, they've got gloves, what more do they want?
chants now for Marco Rojas to come on, not led by me this time.
GOAL!!!! Totori scores fro Waitakere and it has to be said, that goal was kind of against the run of play. Totori beats most of the midfielder and ran at the keeper, rounded Walters and finished left footed.
SUB - Rojas for Margetts
Paul Stewart gets on the end of two corners in a rown, both headers deflected. Waikato need Hogg to get a bit greedy, and better on the ball, and make something happen. Drinks break
Rojas makes Emblem look like a statue, Waikato having no trouble getting the ball into the box, just not shooting, lots of crosses and ruinning in, but no one is shooting. SHOOT! Rojas does, and narrowly misses across the face. Good lad.
GOAL!!!! 1-1 Waikato have levelled, my draw looks good again, Graham Pearce latches on to a ball in the box after Michael Mayne had sent a free kick in, Wylie headed it back into the mixer and the skipper toe poked it in, Best signing in Waikato history, hands down.
Waikato pushing forward in search of a winner, the audacity of it all
to former Waikato player Aaron Scott for taking out Michael Mayne, could have been red, according to the Waikato fans, Rojas takes the 24m freekick, out for a corner. It's cleared.
SUB - Ngaruawahia's Stu Watene comes on for Hogg. good change.
Waikato just bombed the best chance of the entire game. Gillespie messed up a punch, wylie crossed (should have shot) and Watene's close range shot was blocked.
Paul Stewart heads goalward with no power, but Gillespie juggles on the line, looks good for Robinson next week.
GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! Watene makes it 2-1 to Waikato, you are joking me. Watene buries it.
Waikato just had three great shots, Gillespie did brilliantly. SUB Scott for Campbell
Mayne brought down on the edge of the box, four to be added.
Rojas puts it wide, there may only be 600ish here, but it sounds like 1500, raucus. This will annoy Auckland City, Manawatu, Hawke's Bay United.
FULL TIME, what a boil over, that is Waitakere's first loss in the NZFC in more than a year. And Waikato - who had stalled of late - are now right back in the playoff race. WOW. I'll be back soon with some comments, pics, and more of my thoughts. Ciao.