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Waitakere United

Canterbury United


NZFC - Week 2, Fred Taylor Park, 
Sunday 1 November, 2009


Scorer B Fisher 31




Halftime: 1-0                       Referee: Matt Conger                                Crowd: 398 


Waitakere edge new-look Dragons

by Bob Pearce at Fred Taylor Park

Waitakere United beat Canterbury United 1-0 but it was hard to pick which coach was more satisfied.

Neil Emblen was happy that the West Aucklanders took three points in their New Zealand Football Championship opener but disappointed in the way they played. Keith Braithwaite was encouraged that his new team competed so well after only three or four weeks together.

The game-decider came in the 31st minute when Neil Sykes delivered a beautifully flighted left-foot freekick which Brent Fisher headed home through a crowded defence.

Both teams had other half-chances but to be honest the players failed to make good use of the immaculate surface at Fred Taylor Park. Maybe they were undone by the freezing southerly wind but too often the final pass went astray.

Canterbury clearly were wary of the speed of Benjamin Totori up front and they managed to slow down the game and frustrate Waitakere's buildup. Dan Terris and Nick Wortleboer were particularly effective.

Against this red and black wall Fisher battled aggressively and Allan Pearce and Totori proved elusive on the flanks but usually found one tackler too many when they closed on goal.

After some early aggression Canterbury tended to pull players back and leave Aaron Clapham and Russell Kamo to try to strike on the counter-attack. Clapham was particularly effective without really stretching a defence well marshalled by Aaron Scott and Tim Myers.

Danny Robinson was hardly tested in the Waitakere goal while Tom Batty at the other end showed a fine pair of hands as he plucked balls off the heads of the home attack. No surprise that he is an accomplished cricketer.

Emblen, who spent most of the game on the subs bench --- both he and Roy Krishna are suspended for Waitakere's O-League game next Saturday --- was philosophical after the game.

"It wasn't pretty but it's three points," he said. "Last week we played well in Noumea and drew. This time we didn't play well and we won.

"To be honest we were a bit lacklustre today. Canterbury showed they are going to be a tough team to beat. They frustrated us and slowed the game down.

"We seemed to have three departments, back, midfield and front and each segment was too far away from each other."

Braithwaite was disappointed by defeat but encouraged by the way his team played in their first real game together.

"I thought we competed and we had a couple of chances which if we'd put them away would have altered the complexion of the game," he said. "This has given us something to work on because Waitakere are the benchmark of the game.

"We struggled for fitness towards the end but, after all, we've only been together for a month and had a couple of friendlies."

It is an encouraging sign for a competitive NZFC this year that the bottom team for the past couple of seasons can come to Auckland and compete with the team that dominated the league last season only to falter in the grand final.


Team Sheet

Waitakere United


Canterbury United

1 Danny Robinson (GK)

18 Tom Batty (GK)

2 Jason Rowley

2 Dan Terris

3 Aaron Scott

4 Gareth Rowe

4 Tim Myers

5 Matt Boyd

7 Martin Bullock

6 Andy Pitman

8 Brent Fisher

7 Aaron Clapham

9 Benjamin Totori

9 Russell Kamo

10 Allan Pearce

11 Tom Lancaster

11 Neil Sykes

12 Nick Wortelboer

14 Jeremy Christie

15 Paul Dirou

17 Jake Butler

17 Glen Collins



12 Roy Krishna (Totori 70)

13 Hue Frame (79 Kamo)

13 Dimas Da Silva (Bullock 46)

16 Daniel Burns (Dirou70)

16 Neil Emblen (Myers 82)

20 Dominic McGarr

20 Ryan De Vries

23 Jordan Swaney (Lancaster 82)

22 Liam Little (RGK)

1 Chris Sinclair


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

0 mins

Sunny but cold wind across the Fred. Player coach Emblen opts to start from the bench

2 mins

Early exchanges even but Canterbury look likely

9 mins

Totori breaks on right and Pearce lays on tantalising cross caught by goalie

12 mins

Clapham crosses from right but Kamo fails to collect

13 mins

First corner on left for Canterbury, inswinger headed but foul on goalie.

15 mins

Canterbury pushing forward but last pass going astray.

19 mins

Sykes takes first Waitakere corner on right cleared

24 mins

Casual defending by Waitakere lets in Tom Lancaster who shoots wide.

25 mins

Yellow card Fisher for dissent

28 mins

Pearce breaks on right and his shot is turned round post for a corner which goalie intercepts

31 mins

GOAL! Freekick by Sykes headed home by Fisher.

33 mins

Fisher almost makes it 2-0 but he's foiled by goalie

35 mins

Clapham shot well saved by Robinson.

45 mins

Kamo fouled on edge of area. Freekick straight into the wall

45 plus one

Halftime whistle. Play has swung back and forth but Waitakere made the most of the best chance. 

     Waitakere bring on Da Silva to replace Bullock

47 mins

Canterbury rain crosses across Waitakere penalty area but Collins fails to connect with best chance

50 mins

Freekick by Lancaster cleared out of danger area. Totori slips through on counter but support too late.

55 mins

Promising attack by visitrors on left but Robinson smothers final pass

58 mins

Butler freekick flies just over bar

59 mins

Fisher shoots wide as Waitakere pressure builds

60 mins

Yellow card Pitman for rash challenge

63 mins

Totori weaves through but pass finds Pearce offside with only goalie to beat

65 mins

Left wing corner to Waitakere headed clear by Rowe

68 mins

Sykes breaks on left but Batty plucks his cross ahead of the attack

70 mins

Daniel Burns on for Paul Dirou, Roy Krishna on for Benji Totori

78 mins

Ping pong across the goalmouth sees Fisher clear but he shoots straight at goalie.

79 mins

Kamo replaced by Frame

82 mins

Lancaster replaced by Swaney, Myers replaced by Emblen

86 mins

Yellow card for Boyd for felling Krishna

88 mins

Great cross by Krishna just over Pearce's head

Nearly three minutes of time added played but  nothing to show for it but a wide shot by Fisher

90 plus four fulltime whistle.