NZFC - Week 7
Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai
Sunday 13 December, 2009
Neil Sykes 23
Chris Davies 82
Halftime: 2-0 Referee: Anthony Riley Crowd: 312
by Bob Pearce at Fred Taylor Park
Waitakere strode to the top of the New Zealand Football Championship with a 2-1 victory over Wellington United at Fred Taylor Park.
For half a game they looked likely to completely dominate the game as they played with pace and precision on the beautiful surface and created a hatful of chances.
As it was they scored only twice in the space of a couple of minutes midway through the half. In the 23rd minute Brent Fisher chipped a delicate cross over the defence from the right and Neil Sykes was on hand to score.
The Wellington defence had barely decided who was to blame when Fisher repeated the process from the other side and Allan Pearce had an easy tap-in.
It could have been 4-0 in the next five minutes but for some brilliant goalkeeping by James Bannatyne. First he managed to turn away a fierce drive by Neil Emblen and then he repeated the effort to a Benji Totori shot.
Just before the break came a clash that altered the complexion of the game. Waitakere player-coach Neil Emblen injured his knee in a skirmish that led to a freekick. Andy Barron's kick was well saved by Danny Robinson but Emblen didn't return for the second half and Waitakere were not the same without him.
In the 55th minute Wellington had the ball in the net as Barron followed up a Bryan Little freekick that rebounded off the underside of the bar but he was ruled offside.
At the other end Bannatyne's heroics continued aided by some poor Waitakere finishing. In the 77th minute the big goalie was lucky when a fierce drive by Jake Butler hit his trailing leg and stayed out.
The game was thrown open in the 82nd minute when Chris Davies scored for Wellington in a goalmouth scramble after a corner.
The closing stages were dominated by referee Anthony Riley. He gave a straight red card to Waitakere's Jeremy Christie in the 83rd minute for a dangerous tackle and also sent off Wellington's Cole Petherley five minutes later for a second yellow card offence.
Emblen, limping on his injured left leg, was happy to take the three points that take his team to the top of the table.
"I was very pleased with the first half and we could have had three or four," he said. "In the second half they threw caution to the wind and that made it more difficult for us.
"I thought Bannatyne kept them in it. He made three or four good saves, including one from me! Fair play to him. Toward the end we got a bit edgy."
Emblen believes his knee will keep him out of next week's game against Hawkes Bay in Napier.
Wellington coach Stu Jacobs believed his team could have snatched a draw - even if they didn't necessarily deserve one.
"The first half was extremely poor from our point of view," he said. "They played well but we gave away the ball in the back third and they'll punish you for that."
1 Danny Robinson (GK)
1 James Bannatyne (GK)
2 Jason Rowley
2 Adam Birch
7 Martin Bullock
3 Jamie Duncan
8 Brent Fisher
5 Mike Winsauer
9 Benjamin Totori
6 Chris Davies
10 Allan Pearce
7 Cole Peverley
11 Neil Sykes
9 Greg Draper
12 Roy Krishna (Hicks 70)
11 Jyler Noviello (Brown 55)
14 Jeremy Christie
12 Bryan Little (McLay 64)
16 Neil Emblen (Myers 45)
14 Darren Cheriton (Whalen 70)
17 Jake Butler
19 Andy Barron
4 Tim Myers
13 Karl Whalen
13 Dimas Da Silva
28 Richard McLay
19 Dakota Lucas
26 Roddy Brown
22 Liam Little (RGK)
24 James McPeake (RGK)
26 Jason Hicks
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Game delayed for 15 minutes because of late arrival of Wellington. Beautiful day with fresh westerly wind
No Chris Bale in the Wellington lineup and Tim Myers starts from the bench for Waitakere
Allan Pearce has first shot of game well wide from right edge of penalty area.
Krishna also tries luck from long range but well wide of mark
Right wing corner to Waitakere, Sykes takes corner then gets return but shoots wide
Shot from Cheriton takes deflection and sneaks wide of post. Waitakere struggle to clear corner and Pearce has to clear off line.
Wellington fasten on to some loose passing by Waitakere but Draper can't outrun the defence.
Totori makes space on the right and sends low cross to Fisher whose touch just rounds post with goalie beaten
Krishna shoots from distance and goalie has to turn it round post. Rowley header from corner plucked out of air by Bannatyne.
Left-wing corner for Waitakere harmless.
GOAL! Neil Sykes fastens on to clever chip by Fisher to outwit defence
GOAL! Fisher cross eludes Bannatyne and Pearce taps in
Two great saves by Bannatyne from fierce drives from Emblen and Totori
Freekick to Wellington one edge of penalty area. Barron shoots over top
Waitakere raid down right wink Totori outflanks defence but cross unrewarded.
Wellington push forward but Noviello and Draper twice caught offside
Jamie Duncan almost diverts Waitakere through ball into his own net
Draper fouled on edge of penalty area. Emblen hurt, Barron shot turned wide by Robinson
45 plus one
Wellington corner turned wide and then cleared.
Halftime 2-0 with Waitakere fully deserving their lead
Myers on for injured Emblen at the break
Wellington press forward but final pass goes astray
Yellow card Chris davies after wild tackle
Peverley shoots just wide from long range
Brown on for Noviello
Freekick by Little underside of crossbar rebounds to Barron but ruled offside as ball hits back of net
Nice passing move by Fisher and Bullock but Totori shoots wide
Totori clear in front of goal but shot blocked
McLay on for Little
Wellington right wing corner well gathered by Robinson
Both sides do subs: Hicks for Krishna, Whalen for Cheriton
Four on two for Waitakere but Fisher's shot is blocked and Totori heads the rebound wide
Yellow card Brown for holding shirt
Shot from Barron well saved
Pearce crosses from right, Butler's shot saved vy Bannatyne's trailing leg at point blank range
Peverley freekick well saved by Robinson
Peverley yellow grabs loose ball.
GOAL! Scramble from corner Davies prods home
RED CARD Christie off for dangerous tackle
Yellow Bullock for wild tackle
RED CARD Peverley for second yellow.
Three minutes added
90 plus three
Fulltime 2-1 to home team 10 plyers a side at finish