NZFC - Round 13
Sunday 8 February, 2009
Stu Kelly 85
Peter Halstead 65
Halftime: 0 - 0 Referee: Jamie Cross Crowd: 300
Six goals in the final 25 minutes transformed Sunday’s Sunnyvale into a remarkable 4-2 Team Wellington victory over Otago United at Sunnyvale on Sunday.
In a game that flowed freely although not at breakneck pace – understandable given the mini heat-wave warming the country – it took over an hour for either side to break through.
But when the goals came they came thick and fast.
Sam Blackburn stole in behind Otago’s defence to set up an easy tap-in for substitute Peter Halstead in the 65th minute, with Andy Barron needing less than a minute to double the advantage with his second goal in as many games since returning from injury.
When Luis Corrales made it 3-0 with a tight turn and crisp finish Wellington looked like they could cruise home in the last 14 minutes.
With just one day off since playing champions Waitakere in Auckland, Otago could be forgiven for wilting in the heat, but Stu Kelly’s superb left foot drive, and Barry Gardiner’s cheeky 18 yard chip – both in the 85th minute – gave Wellington some nervy moments to endure.
With the clock ticking down Rhys Henderson was judged to have brought Halstead down illegally in the area, although many would argue it would take more than one of the diminutive fullback to fell the towering striker, and golden boot leader Luis Corrales stepped up to net his 12th goal of the season.
His spot kick – to the right of Liam Little – was saved by the Otago keeper, who was then powerless to stop the Costa Rican burying the rebound to push two goals clear of Manawatu’s Jason Hayne at the top of the scoring charts.
For the second time in three days, Otago’s defence was robbed of a key defender early in the match – when Colin Falvey left the game injured after half an hour but Tim Horner was impressive at right back to help keep the Corrales and company at bay.
As they have all through the season Otago brought plenty of attacking intent to the match, but the ability of Wellington to deliver a clinical final ball proved the difference.
Otago’s assistant coach Malcolm Fleming was full of praise for his side’s fight back after playing both of last year’s finalists over the long weekend.
“Two games in three days was tough enough,” Fleming said.
“It was hot as hell here today, with a hot Norwester and it was bloody hot up in Auckland on Friday too so the boys have been sweating it out and many of them played 90 in both games.”
“At 3-0 down the floodgates could’ve opened, but Stu’s got us back to 3-1 with a great goal and then at 3-2 they get a softish penalty.”
“When you’re bottom I guess the luck doesn’t go your way. We’ve played pretty well and got nothing for it."
Fleming said staying off the bottom of the table – Otago are currently above Canterbury on goal difference – was still motivation although admitted the run-in was tough.
“We’ve still got plenty to play for and if we can get a point or three in the last two games we’re be okay.
"But we’ve got Waitakere at home in a fortnight – and Waikato’s win just makes it tougher for anyone else who has to play them. They’ll be all guns blazing now.
"And Hawke’s Bay put four past Canterbury with a couple disallowed and they’re trying to book a semi-final spot.
We’ve got plenty to play for but so do the sides we’re up against.
Meanwhile, Wellington’s outside hopes of sneaking into the playoffs remained alive with the win but a home win over Canterbury in a fortnight is needed to set up a do-or-die final round match against Waikato.
Photos: Rob Jefferies, SM Photography
1 Liam Little (GK)
1 James McPeake (GK)
2 Rhy Henderson
3 Steve Gulley
3 Tristan Prattley
6 Mike Pickering
7 Robbie Deeley (out 68)
7 Sam Blackburn (out 83)
8 Blair Scoullar (out 74)
8 Peter Howe
11 Andy Coburn
10 Luis Corrales
12 Aaron Burgess
13 Karl Whalen
17 Tim Horner
14 Sam Jenkins (out 54)
18 Tom Connor
17 Andy Barron
21 Stu Kelly
22 Adam Birch (C)
5 Colin Falvey (C) (out 36)
25 Paul Whitmarsh (out 59)
13 Callum Flaws (RGK)
24 Jake Gleeson (RGK)
4 Barry Gardiner (in 74)
5 Michael Eager (in 83)
9 Tom Jackson (in 36)
21 Brian Little (in 54)
10 Dave Dugdale (in 68)
18 Peter Halstead (in 59)
16 Regan Coldicott
15 Morgan Day
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Welcome to sunnyvale, its a warm day with a warmer breeze and a lot of cloud cover.
Wellington kicks off.
Ball play in Otago's favour.
Reff call's passback on James McPeake,Aaron Burgess takes the kick and Wellington's wall blocks.
Robbie Deeley takes a crack of a shot from out side 18y only to have it float upwards over the bar.
Luis Corrales moves along Otago's 18y box towards the center and takes a shot through defence but liam stops with ease.
Luis Corrales injurs knee after tackle with Otago defender.
Liam Little grabs high ball at full strech from Wellington's Corner.
Colin Falvey goes down after a jump to a header over Wellington player.
Colin Falvey returns to the pitch.
Ref call's obstruction on Otago players from standing to close to keeper.
Wellington counter with a point blank shot by Luis Corrales reflected by a great save from Liam Little, Wellington's follow up shot goes wide.
Colin Falvey comes off due to leg pain,
Aaron Burgess crosses in from the corner only to have it rebound of a team mates head into the center of the 18y box of Wellingtons, Andy Coburn follows in with a kick puts it wide to the left of the goal.
Otago kick off for 2nd half.
Tim Horner hand ball.
Paul Whitmarsh intercepts ball and passes out to Sam Jenkins who moves the ball up and crosses to Luis Corrales who spins in the center of Otago's goal mouth around Otago defender and kicks it up on the the right side of the crossbar rebounding out.
Paul Whitmarsh takes a shot on goal from outside Otagos 18y box and Liam Little dives to push the ball around his left upright.
Twisted ankle takes Tim Horner off for a few seconds as he gets a breather.
Mike Helstead Scores 0-1
Andy Barron Scores a follow up goal for Wellington 0-2!
Luis Corrale sides in and scores 0-3!
Barry Gardiner takes a shot just after halfway in Wellington's half with it lifting over the top.
Stu Kelly sends ball blazing towards the goal, beats the keeper GOAL! 1-3!
We'll have 3 mins of added time.
Ref calls pental shot from the spot after Wellington player gets triped in the 18y Box