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YoungHeart Manawatu

Canterbury United


NZFC - Week 6,
Memorial Park, 
Sunday 6 December 2009






Halftime:       0-0                Referee:         Matthew Conger                       Crowd: 400


YoungHeart and Dragons produce draw

by Robert Johnson at Memorial Park /

YoungHeart Manawatu slipped into third place in the NZFC after an exciting nil-all draw with the Canterbury Dragons at Memorial Park in Palmerston North today.

Youngheart Manawatu in red-hot form after their win against Waikato last week - received a boost before kick-off with striker Seule Soromon handed the NZFC Player of the Month Award for November - while Canterbury - without Glen Collins in their ranks - looked to continue their recent successes with a valuable win on the road.

The game began at a cracking pace with the visitors out of the blocks first as they pushed forward from the kickoff to put some early pressure on the Youngheart defence.

Canterbury had their first real chance just three minutes into the match. A lovely ball from Andy Pitman found Tom Lancaster on the left wing. Lancaster swung in a deep cross that found Aaron Clapham at the top of the penalty area. His flick found Russell Kamo about 10 yards out but his low drive was well saved by Nicholson.

Youngheart Manawatu found their feet soon after. On the seven minute mark Seule Soromon turned his man in midfield and unleashed a rocket from about 23yards, forcing a dramatic save from Tom Batty.

Canterbury’s best chance of the match came in the 55th minute when Lancaster played a well-timed through ball to Hue Frame. Manawatu defenders Adam Cowan and Colin Falvey somehow tackled each other and left Frame one-on-one with Nicholson only for him to pull out a timely low diving save to his left.

Manawatu had a great chance snare the three points in the 60th minute when De Gregorio found Fa’aiuaso behind the defence. The Samoa international beat defender Matt Boyd to get into a one-on-one with Batty, only to hit his shot directly at the advancing keeper.

Manawatu coach Bob Sova wasn’t impressed with his team’s performance on the day but believed there were positives.

“We were patchy today. It was a game that was very stop-start so getting consistency throughout was hard. We need to stop leaving our charges to the end of the match - we were very good in the last ten minutes I thought,” he said.

“We will go away and work on finishing and finding consistency for next week but I was happy with the defence and their strength on the ball.”

The Dragon’s coach Keith Braithwaite had mixed feelings about the game as he knew both teams missed vital chances to claim the three points on offer.

“I was pleased with how the game went but disappointed that we didn’t take our chances. If we had,  I think we would have won comfortably in the end,” he said.

“We were physical and came here to win but a point away is better than no points at all so in that respect I guess its ok.”

Manawatu play Hawke’s Bay United at Memorial Park in Week 7 while Canterbury has a week to rejuvenate in preparation for their Week 8 clash with Otago United.



Team Sheet

YoungHeart Manawatu


Canterbury United

1- Ross Nicholson (GK)

18- Tom Batty (GK)

4- Colin Falvey

2- Dan Terris

5- Marco Paracchini 

4- Gareth Rowe

6- Matt Kennedy  - sub 61'

5- Matt Boyd

7- Jason Thomas - sub 78'

6- Andy Pitman  - sub 67'

9- Seule Soromon

7- Aaron Clapham

13- Nathan Cooksley

9- Russell Kamo - sub 29'

15- Adam Cowan

11- Tom Lancaster - sub 88'

16- Rafaelle de Gregorio

12- Nick Wortelboer

17- Des Fa'aiuaso

15- Paul Dirou

21- Cory Chettleburgh

19- Darren Overton



19- Matt Borren (GK)

3- Jeremy Wild - sub 88'

20- Jimmy Haidakis - sub 61'

13- Hue Frame - sub 29'

2- Nobuyoshi Ishi

16- Daniel Burns -sub 67'

22- Daniel Benson

22- Chris Sinclair (GK)

11- Scott Robson - sub 78'


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play


Welcome to Memorial Park, Palmerston North, for this NZFC showdown between highflying YoungHeart Manawatu and the visitors Canterbury United - will the home side prevail or can the Dragons breathe fire? NZFC Player of the Month Seule Soromon is in red-hot form - can the Vanuatu international be stopped today?


Canterbury push forward at pace YoungHeart look shakey


YoungHeart freekick Wortelboer comes through the back of Chettleburgh


fastbreak down left by Canterbury cross by Lancaster to Clapham flick to Kamo shot forces save from Nicholson


Nicholson clearance is poor Kamo to Clapham shot goes wide - close call for YoungHeart


Chettleburgh finds Soromon - shot from 23 yards forces great save from Batty


throughball Thomas to Soromon - heavy touch by Soromon - danger cleared


Cantebury plays fast break down the left through Clapham - he plays in Lancaster weak shot as he slips on contact


YELLOW CARD - Andy Pitman after strong challenge on De Gregorio


Falvey finds himself free in the box - weak header on target means nothing results


Freeflowing game that has gone end to end so far - can the pace last?


Frenetic start to this match has eased down and is shaping up to be classic midfield battle between former All White de Gregorio and Darren Overton


Great run from thomas to Soromon - YoungHeart starting to find gaps


Fa'aiuaso breaks and crosses behind Canty defence finds Thomas at top of box - poor touch ends the move


Pitman kicks ball away - ref looks at a card but lets him off - shrewd refereeing or a big let off for Pitman


Subtitution - Russell Kamo out, Hue Frame in - must be injury related as Kamo was looking sharp


Freekick by Clapham pumped into goalbox - Nicholson outjumps everyone and punches clear - dont ask me how he did it - but it happened!


YELLOW CARD Des Fa'aiuaso - is that for diving or an off the ball incident? Crowd turn on the linesman - that baffled everyone and may prove a crucial talking point later today


Thomas breaks down the left beats his man with a cross/shot beats the keeper but clears the bar!


Even match - play confined to the middle of the park and its all looking a bit 'long ball' right now; a goal would spice this match up


Ball from Terris only partially punched by Nicholson and falls to Pitman on the edge of the box - hi shot flies just wide of the post - finally! a bit more action!


Freekick on egde of box - de Gregorio pushed Clapham - freekick hits the YoungHeart wall


Arms and elbows starting to be thrown - this one is turning niggly


 YELLOW CARD - Gareth Rowe is booked for kicking the ball into the net after an offisde call


  YELLOW CARD - Matt Kennedy goes shoulder to shoulder - referee looks to be somewhat lenient there - a good call?


Evenly poised game, Canterbury has the edge - a goal would opent hings up hugely and may lower temperatures - a change up front may solve YoungHeart's issues in the top third of the pitch


De Gregorio ball finds Chettlebrugh through to Soromon neat interchange but Chettleburgh loses control


Kennedy plays Soromon down left wing - cross finds Fa'aiuaso but his header flies over - YoungHeart dangerous on counter-attack


Long balls trying to catch out Canterbury defence


Chettleburgh almost finds hi way into the book


Lancaster plays in Frame - one on one with Nicholson - great save by the big man and danger cleared


ball falls to frame - beats Cooksley and Cowan again, shot deflected wide for a corner


Corner easily cleared


Horrible challenge by Pitman on de Gregorio - thats a card unless you're Andy Pitman..! That looked reckless...


Raf de Gregorio throughball finds Fa'aiuaso beats Boyd one on one with Batty but shot straight at Batty - YoungHeart making tough work of this.


SUBSTITUTION - Matt Kennedy out, Jimmy Haidakis in - Chettleburgh moves into midfield with de Gregorio


Half clearance falls to Rowe but his shot flies over the bar


SUBSTITUTION - Andy Pitman out, Daniel Burns in - Pitman dodged a few bullets today - a strategic substitution perhaps


Canterbury camped in Manawatu's third - its tough for the home side


Great ball by Haidakis for Fa'aiuaso hits a rocket at goal but just rises over the bar - tremendous play YoungHeart


Overton plays Burns around Cooksley with great pass - Burns cross into the box looks like it was handled but luckily for the home fans referee Conger missed it


Overton flicks to Lancaster but his shot is blocked by a sliding Haidakis


SUBSTITUTION Scott Robson in, James Thomas out


Lancaster through on Nicholson - Nicholson saves low to his left


  YELLOW CARD - Aaron Clapham elbows Nathan Cooksley - solid contact


Soromon shoots from wide left outside the box - great save produces good save by Batty


Soromon and Fa'aiuaso  play one-two at top of the box long shot from Fa'aiuaso  doesn't trouble Batty


SUBSTITUTION - Jeremy Wild in, Tom Lancaster out


  YELLOW CARD - Matt Boyd for an intentional handball


Most play congested in middle of the pitch - as the match wore on it was all about long balls but defences equal to the task which made for a mundane end to the match. Both teams will rue missed chances.