NZFC - Round 14
Sunday 1 March, 2009
Jason Hayne 18
Danny Hay 53
Halftime: 1-0 Referee: Peter O'Leary Crowd: 350
by Jonathan Galuszka at Memorial Park
Football was the only winner today as YoungHeart Manawatu and Waitakere United drew 2-2 at Memorial Park in Palmerston North today.
With YoungHeart needing just a single point to make the NZFC playoffs, they could have been excused for playing negative football.
Likewise, Waitakere could have been excused for taking it easy today. Their position on the top of the table consolidated, they could have played their second-string squad.
However, Waitakere coach Chris Milicich said that his squad “had to come and be competitive for the sake of the other teams in the league.”
But it was YoungHeart being competitive from the outset. Cory Chettleburgh used his pace up the wing in the 18th minute to lose his man before putting a ball inside to Gustavo Saralegui. He then turned it inside for Jason Hayne to punish past Waitakere goalkeeper Danny Robinson.
The rest of the half played its way out with both teams managing to make solid attacks, but both unable to find the finishing touch due to solid defending.
“I think we deserved the halftime lead as we defended well,” coach Bob Sova said after the match.
The second half erupted into life in the 50th minute when Hayne and Saralegui combined again. Hayne was the provider this time, crossing the ball across the box for Saralegui to head into the back of the net.
This sparked Waitakere into action, with Danny Hay punishing slack defending in the 53rd minute to head one home and Kayne Vincent putting one away in the 58th minute.
It was end-to-end action from there on in, with Waitakere spending long spells in YoungHeart’s third of the field and YoungHeart counter-attacking with pace and accuracy.
Bob Sova was in a mixed mood after the game.
“We can be pleased with the season so far,” he said.
“We made the playoffs which was our objective and third place isn’t bad.”
“Then again, I’m also disappointed. We were 2-0 up and could have had the win.”
YoungHeart will now be taking on Auckland in a home-and-away playoff to see if they can make it into the NZFC final.
“With the playoffs around the corner, it’s now a different sort of pressure. There are away goals to take into consideration and all the rest of it,” Sova said.
Photos: Dave Lintott
1. Chris Marsh (GK)
22. Danny Robinson (GK)
2. Nelson Sale
4. Timothy Myers
4. Jan Weissenfeldt
5. Danny Hay
6. Matt Kennedy (off 86 min)
8. Paul Seamen (off 82 min)
7. Jason Hayne
9. Benjamin Totori
9. Gustavo Saralegui
14. Jeff Campbell
10. Adam Cowan
15. Chris Bale
11. Scott Robson
16. Neil Emblem
14. Nik Tromp
21. Kayne Vincent
20. Alick Maemae
27. Jacob Mathews (off 51min)
22. Cory Chettleburgh
29. John Chisholm
3. Pablo Yackson (on 86 min)
1. Richard Gillespie
8. Nathan Cooksley
3. Aaron Scott
17. Isaac Duker
10. Allan Pearce (on 51 min)
18. Finlay Milne
18. Zane Sole (on 82 min)
19. Matt Borren
26. Anthony Hobbs
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Welcome to the final round of the NZFC! It's a perfect day for football here in Palmerston North today - light breeze, a bit of cloud cover and just a little bit of humidity to keep the players honest. YoungHeart will be looking for at least a draw today to make it through to the playoffs. It will be a hard ask, with Raf de Gregorio out with injury and Waitakere looking very good whilst warming up. YHM coach Bob Sova has already asked me to give him the results from the other games over the course of this match, so he is obviously aware of how much other results will influence the way his team needs to play.
Referee Peter O'Leary blows the whistle to get this match underway. YoungHeart are playing towards the northern end in the first half.
YoungHeart make the first venture into enemy territory. Cowan gives Saralegui a brilliant throw to his chest, he turns and runs for the bottom-left corner. However, defenders are quickly on him and he is shut down. Positive start.
Waitakere midfielder Paul Seamen gets the ball on halfway. He threads the ball through for Jacob Mathews. Mathews makes a good run at it but is done for pace by Nelson Sale.
YHM break out quickly through Alick Maemae. He breaks through the Waitakere defensive line and plays the ball across the box for Saralegui. He misses his shot, goalkeeper Danny Robinson misses the ball and it rolls just wide of the far post. Nearly a perfect start for the home side.
YHM get the ball on the left side of the field. It is crossed to the right side via Hayne to Scott Robson. He puts in a cross that floats over everyone but has to be cleared away for a corner. The corner is slack, going low into the box and is easily smashed upfield.
Waitakere push forward quickly. Former YHM player Benjamin Totori fires in a low cross, but no one meets it and it rolls across the goal and out for a goal kick.
Bob Sova was right about Nik Tromp last week - he's actually pretty bloody good!!! He's managing to pick up a lot of loose ball and is playing it very well to feet. Good solid stuff considering it is only his second game back since injuring himself in a pre-season boot camp.
Waitakere were camped up the YHM end for a good few minutes there. Good passing and probing at the defence was made. However, a hasty cross from Mathews killed all the pressure as it floated into the arms of Chris Marsh.
GOAL! 1-0 YHM open their account through Jason Hayne. Cory Chettleburgh has a run up the right flank, puts a beautiful ball through for Saralegui. He turns it inside and Hayne places it past a flailing Robinson.
Hayne's got his confidence now. He makes a big run up the midfield and tries to put Saralegui through. However, it is intercepted by Danny Hay. Hay's been very solid at the back today, showing the young lads how real defending is done.
Kayne Vincent manages to turn his man and get one-on-one with Marsh. He goes low and near post, but Marsh gets both hands to it and it goes for a corner.
A loose pass from Hayne finds Totori. He sprints into the box and passes it off to Vincent. Jan Weissenfeldt manages to get hold of him and easily clears it. Someone has been watching Hay at his work.
It's been a very boring last few minutes. Waitakere have had most of the ball but are unable to do anything good with it. They're passing it around well but can't get it to a man in space or on a run.
YHM - on the other hand - are doing very well indeed. They get the ball forward to Chettleburgh, he outruns his man and crosses for Hayne. Robinson only just manages to get his hands on it.
Saralegui is getting himself just offside quite a bit now. It's starting to cost his team any kind of advantage in territory.
Yellow Card. John Chisholm gets the first booking of the afternoon for a late challenge on Saralegui.
Hayne puts in a free kick. It bobbles out and Nik Tromp has a dig. It is low and hard, but also wide.
The sky has opened and the rain is coming down at more than a steady rate.
We will have one minute of extra time in this half. Just as that is signalled, Totori gets the ball on the top of the box and has a dig. It's looking good to beat Marsh, but floats over the bar.
45 +1 min
YHM launch a counter-attack. Hayne is put up the right flank by Robson, he cuts it in for Chettleburgh, but his low shot is well saved by
Halftime 1-0 YHM go into the sheds with the halftime lead. Tromp is looking better as the game goes on, while Waitakere's defensive twin towers of Danny Hay and Neil Emblem have been largely ineffective as YHM attack down the flanks.
We're away here in the second half. YHM need to get a least a point today, as Hawkes Bay have won and Auckland don't look like losing a 5-0 lead anytime soon. The home fans will be hoping that they manage to get all three points though.
Totori gets the ball on the left flank just outside the 18-yard. He turns Scott Robson with ease, but pressure from a flying Nelson Sale causes him to slice his shot wide.
Jason Hayne has a run through the Waitakere defence. He looks like taking a shot when Neil Emblem smashes him in a tackle. Very solid from the central defender.
GOAL! 2-0 Hayne gets the ball on the top of the box and sends a long lobbing cross over to Saralegui to head past Robinson. Great play.
SUB Allan Pearce takes the field for Jacob Mathews.
GOAL 2-1 Allan Pearce crosses a free kick to the far post at the YHM end. Danny Hay gets up high for a free head and puts it past Marsh. Slack defending like that won't get you far when you are playing someone with as much experience as Hay.
We have a good old fashioned goalmouth scramble here! Saralegui gets in the box and tries to chip the keeper. It goes over him and wide. Maemae picks it up and puts it back in. Saralegui has another goal but it is weel defended. It then pops out for Chettleburgh who smashes it into the dirt. It is then cleared and Emblem ends up having a dig from 35 yards out.
GOAL 2-2 Kayne Vincent gets in on the action and puts one into the back of the net. This is getting hard to keep up with here for both fans and reporters.
It is end-to-end stuff here at the moment. One second we have YHM taking corners, the next we have Waitakere taking digs from the top of the 18 yard box. The pace is up and both teams are playing some great attacking football for the crowd.
Chettleburgh is screaming for the ball from 25-yards out. He gets it, takes a touch and rifles a shot over the goal.
Hayne has a dig for the sake of it from the left corner of the Waitakere 18 yard. It is fumbled by Robinson, but there are no YHM runners there to put pressure on the keeper.
Totori shows why he was so potent when playing for YHM. He skins Robson again and blasts a beauty of a shot that just sneaks over the bar.
YHM take a corner quickly while the Waitakere defence is in array. However, Hayne puts in a high cross for Saralegui to challenge for. He's a short man, and Hay is a tower. The diminuitive YHM striker never had a chance at it.
YHM get the ball into the box for Saralegui to challenge for. Robinson comes out and punches it away, but hits the deck hard. Tromp has a shot but Robinson manages to get up just in time to take it in his hands.
Hayne gets absolutely mashed on the edge of the area. The free kick is taken. It goes across the box to Hayne who has a shot but it is cleared.
SUB Zane Sole comes on for Paul Seamen.
Matt Kennedy has gone down in a heap on the field. He isn't looking good. Here's hoping that it is nothing a bit of the magic spray won't fix.
SUB Matt Kennedy is getting to leave the field and is being replaced by Pablo Yackson.
Three minutes of extra time. If YHM can hang on, they will be through to the playoffs.
90 +2 min
Saralegui goes for glory from 20 yards out. His shot is dreadful and goes over the ball. The ball gets straight up the Waitakere end again and Chettleburgh gets a dig. It loops just wide of the bar.
Fulltime 2-2 They manage to hang on and make it through to the playoffs. If my math is correct, Waitakere plays Wellington and YHM plays Auckland to see who can make it all the way to the NZFC final.