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Hawke's Bay United

Otago United


NZFC - Round 14
Park Island
Sunday 1 March, 2009


Seuele Soromon 56
own goal (Blair Scoullar) 85


Halftime: 0-0                       Referee: Michael Hester                           Crowd: 


Playoff pain felt mainly in the Bay

by Anendra Singh at Park Island

Seule Soromon is sent flying by an Otago tackler. Photo: John CowplandIt was long overdue but as it turned out, it was too little too late for Hawke's Bay United in Napier today.

The Park Island club won only their second match at home – beating Otago United 2-0 in their last New Zealand Football Championship match – but it was to no avail because their fate rested in the hands of other teams around the country.

Banking on draws or wins to Waikato or Waitakere, the Bay boys came up short when YoungHeart Manawatu's 2-2 draw with Waitakere United and Team Wellington's 4-1 victory over Waikato left the Bay one-point shy of making club history.

It wasn't champagne soccer in Napier today but the hosts had a lion's share of possession at Bluewater Stadium in the 31 degree cauldron and should have won the game by at least four goals.

Jonathan Gould's men dictated terms from the opening whistle despite Otago's 42-second raid from the kick-off.

"It was a game with a reasonable amount of pressure behind us and we controlled majority of it," Gould attested after the match.

Woo-Jae Kim gets a pass away under pressure from Dave Dugdale. John Cowpland"We created enough chances in the first half to go in front and I said to the lads at halftime that it was a vase of relaxing and the goals will come."

The scoreless first half was perhaps a testimony to the pressure on Bay players and will leave many scratching their heads as to why they didn't win more games at home.

It was Vanuatu international striker Seule Soromon and skipper Chris McIvor who were in the thick of it all today with roving defender Chris Davies and midfielder Graham Fyfe combining well to build up platforms for attacks. 

Otago goalkeeper Liam Little had his hands full but, fortunately, the Hawke’s Bay front line didn't have their boots polished.

In the 8th minute, Soromon had the Park Island faithful on their feet after receiving a through ball 15m inside the opposition's half.  He beat the last line of defence but his shot skewed past the left-hand upright as Little advanced from is goalmouth.

Quite often the home side were guilty of not following up on the far posts as crosses went begging.

While Bay midfielder Greig Henslee was booked for showing his sprigs in a 12th minute tackle, Otago's Tristen Prattley should have received one too and he should also be nominated for next year's international Raspberry Awards for D-grade acting. The leftback halted play for several minutes but, enigmatically, didn't clutch his knee and start howling until well after referee Michael Hester's blew the whistle for the foul.

Five minutes later Henslee switched play beautifully from right to left to find Fyfe but the ensuing cross went begging on the far post after McIvor came up short. 

In the 27th, McIvor beat Otago's offside trap but his blast at goal sailed past the left upright. 

Seule Soromon tries to lose Otago's Mike Smith. Photo: John CowplandTen minutes later Soromon, spearheading an attack into the 18m box, made a late lunge on Prattley after losing possession. He clutched his tummy and left the field before returning to the field but this time replacing his number 10 shirt with number 15. 

Defensive midfielder Woo-Jae Kim made some valuable crosses but Soromon, McIvor and Fyfe's finishing left little to be desired.

Kim fed to McIvor on the right flank in the 43rd but the skipper's cross went begging after a failed Soromon back-heel. Fyfe did latch on to it on the far post  but the pile driver caught Otago defender Barry Gardiner's foot before going off target. 

Otago striker Dave Dugdale threw the gauntlet down early in the second spell Bay keeper Mitchell O'Brien was equal to occasion. 

It wasn't until the 56th when Soromon drew first blood for the hosts after well-timed cross from McIvor from right flank. The striker got down to his knees, got under the curling ball before nodding it past a hapless Little's diving effort between the sticks.

Two minutes later Leon Birnie replaced Soromon. 

It was a heart-stopping moment for Otago in the 74th when Robbie Deeley's yellow-card foul on Fye almost proved costly. From ensuing free-kick 28m out on left, Birnie slid on to Peverley's floater but the ball clipped the left upright and bounced back into play. 

The sustained pressure took its toll on the visitors. In the 85th Otago defender Blair Scoullar headed the ball into his own goal following a Fyfe free-kick from the right flank. 
Otago coach Tony Phelan was relieved to again avoid the wooden spoon title after Canterbury United's 5-0 thumping at the hands of Auckland City.

But Phelan said finishing second last again wasn't good enough, considering his team had been leading in a lion's share of matches this season but lacked the discipline to hang in there.

While Gould couldn't ask any more from his lads, he rued missing the cut by a point.
At the heart of his grievance were three games, including narrow home losses to Manawatu, Auckland City and minor premiers Waitakere.

Photos: John Cowpland


Team Sheet

Hawke's Bay United


Otago United

1 Mitchell O'Brien

1 Liam Little

2 Chris Davies

3 Tristen Prattley

4 Greig Henslee  (out 84)

6 Mike Smith

6 Che Bunce

7 Robbie Deeley (out 78)

7 Cole Peverley (out 87)

8 Blair Scoullar

8 Chris McIvor

10 David Dugdale

9 Daniel Kirkup

12 Aaron Burgess

10 Seuele Soromon  (out 60)

16 Regan Coldicott (out 57)

11 Graham Fyfe

17 Tim Horner

16 Ian Hogg

18 Tom Connor

21 Woo-Jae Kim

21 Stu Kelly



3 Reiner Bauerfeind (in 87)

13 Callum Flaws

13 Leon Birnie (in 60)

15 Morgan Day (in 78)

17 David Geary

20 Seamus Ryder (in 57)

20 Andrew Bevin (in 84)

23 Jonathan Gould


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

28degC, sunny but very muggy day after heavy All Night Long overnight rain that cancelled Lionel Ritchie vineyard concert; soft breeze.

Otago kick-off. Good cross 42 seconds but GK Mitch O'Brien intercepts.

3rd min, Otago wins corner but Bay defence repels

4th Great through ball from striker Seuele Soromon to Chris McIvor but ruled offside.

6th minute cornerkick from Woo-Jae Kim on right flank. GK Liam Little beaten but Bay attackers miss attempts.

8th Soromon latches on to through ball 15m into Otago half, beats last man but panics and pushes ball wide with just Little to beat.

9th Chris Davies cleverly pushes ball into right flank to McIvor but cross fails to clear wall of gold defence

12th Greig Henslee charges with sprigs showing. He gets yellow card but leftback Tristen is up for an Oscar award, clutching his knee well after impact.

17th Henslee switch from right to left finds Fyfe, whose cross goes begging on far post after McIvor comes up short.

27th McIvor beats offside trap but blast at goal sails past left upright.

37th Seuele and Prattley clash and Soromon clutches his tummy.Off and back in minutes later with No.15 shirt.

42nd Soromon and Fyfe weave ball into 18m box but Fyfe attempt feeble and straight into Little's gloves.

43rd Woo-Jae cross to McIvor on right flank. Cross missed as Soromon back-heel goes begging but Fyfe at far post slams ball which catches defender Barry Gardiner's foot.

1 minute added to first half but nothing comes of it.

2nd half:

46th Otago striker Dave Dugdale has shot at goal but O'Brien equal to occasion.

49th Blair Scoullar collects a yellow card for foul on McIvor.

56th GOAL!!! Outstanding diving head flick from Vanuatu international Soromon after well-timed cross from McIvor from right flank.

57th Seamus Ryder in for David Dugdale in midfield.

58th Leon Birnie on for Soromon.

63rd Birnie outmuscled in front of goal as crowd boo.

71st y-card for Bay centreback Daniel Kirkup for foul on striker Dugdale just outside 18m box on right flank.

74th Robbie Deeley y-card for foul on Fye. From ensuing free-kick 28m out on left, Peverley crosses but Birnie's sliding kick clips left upright and bounces back into play.

78th Morgan Day on for Deeley. Woo-Jae hurt but back on soon after.

83rd schoolboy striker Andy Bevin on for Henslee.

85th GOALLL!!! Otago defender Bliar Scoullar heads ball into own goal from right flank free-kick from Fyfe.

86th Reiner Bauerfeind on for Peverley in midfield.

4th official adds 3 minutes but no major changes.