NZFC - Week 10,
Sunday January 17, 2010
Greg Draper 35, 72
Halftime: 0-1 Referee: M Hester Crowd: 300
by Andrew Bailey at Memorial Park
Greg Draper fired his fifth goal in just two games as the former Phoenix frontman launched Team Wellington into third place after a controversial NZFC showdown in Palmerston North today.
Draper’s two goals mean he’s now third in the NZFC Golden Boot race and Wellington’s recent record isn’t too bad either: they’ve won four straight.
Wellington were hoping to revenge their opening day loss to Manawatu and the first ten minutes probably belonged to them.
In the 16th minute, however, a heavy touch at the back presented Manawatu’s Seule Soroman with the first clear chance of the game.
He showed good strength and pace to get clear before firing a low shot from 10 yards out. He caught it well but Bannatyne made a wonder save, throwing out a right hand to somehow push it wide and keep his side level.
The two sides traded half chances before controversy erupted in the 35th minute. After a scramble in the YoungHeart box the ball dropped for Greg Draper with the goal at his mercy.
With the keeper caught out of position YoungHeart centre-back Colin Falvey threw his body in the way of Draper’s shot and blocked it superbly.
Referee Hester glanced at his assistant and pointed to the spot. Hand ball. The Manawatu bench, players and crowd exploded as Hester sent Falvey from the pitch.
In the resulting melee Campbell Banks managed to talk his way into the book before Greg Draper opened his body to coolly dispatch the penalty in off the right hand upright.
The final ten minutes of the half were frantic as tackles began to fly before Hester blew for the break. Manawatu boss Bob Sova was less than impressed with the officials and let them know as they left the pitch for the interval.
The aggrieved Manawatu crowd were no doubt inclined to agree with Sova, and in truth it appeared Falvey had done well to keep his arm behind his back and away from the ball.
Manawatu started the second half with intent. Chettleburgh, Soromon and Banks all had shots blocked while Draper and Bale let fly at the other end without really troubling Nicholson.
YoungHeart might have been beginning to believe they could still get something from the game when Draper stepped up again to top off a great two weeks for the young striker.
Wellington got the ball wide and a when a low cross was fired in from the right Draper’s movement was too good for the YoungHeart defence.
He got in front of his man and opened his body to steer the ball into the top corner with his left foot. It was a finish of supreme confidence.
YoungHeart continued to fight but their ten men were tiring and from two up Wellington never looked like surrendering their lead.
The final whistle was greeted by silence from the home fans and perhaps the realisation that Manawatu now have a real fight on their hands for their playoff spot.
Wellington’s position, on the other hand, looks more secure by the week. Coach Stu Jacobs was pleased with another three points.
“It can be hard to play against ten men because they all get behind the ball but in the end we did enough. We have Auckland next week which will be tough but we’re looking forward to it, the boys are already talking about it.”
Manawatu coach Bob Sova admitted the red card incident was a turning point but preferred to talk about his side’s performance.
“It was better than last week. We didn’t give up. Even in the second half we had more chances than them, and it’s a cliché but you have to score when you’re on top.
Earlier in the season we had bursts of pressure when we might score; now we’re probably actually on top for longer periods of the game, but ironically now we’re just not scoring.”
The two sides will now turn their sights to the top two as Wellington go to Auckland and Manawatu take on Waitakere. Sova is under no illusions about their playoff situation.
“It’s very tight now, it could well come down to goal difference. Auckland might run away but it’s a dogfight for the rest.”
Now Manawatu have to hope it’s a fight they can come out on top in.
1. Ross Nicholson (GK)
1. James Bannatyne (GK)
2. Nobuyoshi Ishi (35')
3. Jamie Duncan
4. Colin Falvey
4. Chris Bale
6. Matt Kennnedy
5. Michael Winsauer
8. Nathan Cooksley
6. Chris Davies
9. Suele Soroman
9. Greg Draper
10. Adam Cowan (c)
11. Jyler Noviello (55')
11. Scott Robson
12. Bryan Little (73')
16. Raff de Gregorio
17. Gary McDermott (81')
21. Cory Chettleburgh
18. Trent Watson
23. Campbell Banks (73')
19. Andy Barron
25. Matt Borren (RGK)
24. James McPeake (RGK)
3. Matt Smith
7. Cole Peverley (81')
7. Brook Tozer (73')
20. Richard McLay (73')
14. Marco Paracchini (35')
22. Michael Fifii (55')
20. Jimmy Haidakis
28. Dan Keat
=2 yellow cards
= red card
-15' Overcast day here in Palmy but it's warm enough. The wind has come up in the last hour and it's reasonably gusty out on the pitch at times, but it shouldn't be enough to detract from the game. Both teams looking sharp during the warm up and well they might: plenty to play for here today.
-2' Bannatyne and Cowan lead their teams out. Trent Watson starts at the back for Team Wellington to face his old team.
Team Wellington get us underway and they go long, trying to find last week's hat trick hero Greg Draper.
Disappointing crowd but a few continuing to trickle in. They'll be hoping for a much improved performance from last week.
2' Jyler Noviello from Team Wellington nearly played in as Nathan Cooksley almost sells his own keeper short with a backpass, but Nicholson gets there first.
5' Good start from Wellington. A couple of balls into the box already and Jame Duncan had a chance to whip another in there, but elected to pull it back for Barron, who couldn't quite manufacture himself the space for a strike.
7' Better from YoungHeart. It looks like Ishi is playing in behind the two strikers today at the point of a diamond midfield. He's looked sharp the last two weeks and Sova's moved him into a more central role this week.
9' That man Nobuyoshi Ishi finds Suele in a little bit of space but his floating cross just eludes Banks and Trent Watson thumps it clear. Chettleburgh was steaming in far post, too.
12' Matt Kennedy's returned to the starting line up today and he finds Suele down the right channel. Suele finds Chettleburgh in support, who wants to get a shot off but is eventually crowded out and off the ball. Plenty of Team Wellington players in behind the ball quickly there.
15' Team Wellington passing the ball sharply now and keeping it well. They give it away but move quickly to close Manawatu down quickly and get it straight back.
16' Soroman one on one! Poor touch by a Team Wellington midfielder and Seule Soroman nicks it. Great run and an even better save by Bannatyne. Gets down superbly to his right and keeps his side level.
17' Matt Kennedy gets up well from the corner but glances his header wide. Crowd are waking up now.
19' Good interchange between Robson, Chettleburgh and Kennedy ends in Robson being released down the right channel. He gets to the by-line and whips in a great ball. Soroman gets a boot in and it flies over. Looked like Bannatyne might have got something on that too, and the YoungHeart players want a corner but Hester gives the goal kick. Plenty of action here at Memorial.
24' Game's settled down a little bit now. Wellington passing the ball well still but without too much pace and they haven't really got in behind since their good opening.
Sun's out now and the crowd are enjoying a good game. Plenty of quality on display today both in the movement of the ball and defensively.
29' Draper nicks the ball off Chettleburgh and charges towards the box. He wants a shot but can't get free. Drops it off for McDermott who tries to bend it with the inside of his foot for the far post but it just goes wide. Not sure Nicholson was getting there, he looked nervous at the last moment and is relieved to see it skid wide.
31' Great ball by Barron for Draper. He tries to take Robson on to try and get into the box but Robson wins out well.
31' Yellow card for Ishi as he somehow manages to sycthe down Barron I think it was. Ishi's not the biggest player on the park by a long way...
32' This time a card for Trent Watson as he hacks down Campbell Banks.
35' Colin Falvey is sent off as referee Hester rules he hand balled it. He threw himself in front of Draper who had the whole goal to aim at with Nicholson caught out.
35' Draper takes it and puts it in off the post. Great penalty.
35' Banks managed to talk himself into the book there too.
37' Cowan gets a yellow. The game has erupted here and referee Hester is far from the most popular man with the crowd.
39' Now Soroman gets a penalty turned down. He and the whole crowd insist Michael Winsauer handled it but it might have been harsh.
42' Banks had a chance there but wasn't able to connect, despite having two goes at it. Sova, for one, thought he should have done better.
45' We'll have two minutes of added time here at Memorial. The first 45 have been frenetic.
Half time. Confrontation between Sova and the referees as they leave the pitch. Plenty of talking points for the crowd to mull over. Falvey certainly blocked the shot but he threw himself at the ball and it hit him from a few yards away. To be fair to Falvey it seemed like he'd done well to keep his hands at his sides but only one man's opinion counts here and Wellington go into the break one up.
The ten men of YoungHeart are back out on the pitch early and waiting on Wellington. It will take something special to come back from here.
46' Manawatu get us underway and are immediately on the attack. Soroman gets to the byline but can't find Banks.
47' Mistake by Cowan and Jyler Noviello steals it. Danger from Wellington by Noviello's ball to Draper is shadowed by Marco Parachinni and Nicholson collects.
The normally quiet Sova is on his feet and screaming instructions at his team. Plenty of emotion in this one.
49' Good run by Chettleburgh and he gets off a shot but it's blocked by a second line of Wellington defence.
52' Great ball by Noviello but Chris Bale flicks his header wide. Got in front of his man to create a good chance but he didn't get quite enough on it
54' Draper is through but the flag goes up as he pulls the trigger. Shot is wide anyway. Looked very tight.
55' Substitution for Wellington. 11. Jyler Noviello is off and 22. Michael Fifii comes on. Looks like a straight swap up front.
57' Still plenty of action at both ends here. Banks has a shot blocked then Nicholson makes a save from Bale.
58' Great take by Chettleburgh, his second touch puts him slightly wide but his strike goes through Bannatyne's legs before being cleared off the line by Watson! End to end action, hard to see this one finishing one nil.
62' Bale gets a shot away despite Kennedy's attention, but a YoungHeart defender gets a head in the way with the box packed.
62' Draper turns and shoots from the ensuing corner but green bodies in the way again.
66' Great run down the right side by Cory Chettleburgh, beats three players before he wins a free kick. He's having another strong game and the crowd always love a player who takes people on.
68' Gary McDermott has a go from 25 or 30 yards but he leans back and it was never troubling Nicholson.
71' Soroman and Banks combine again. Banks whips in a low cross and Soroman continues his run and manages to get on in the end of it at the near post but can't steet it on target. Never really more than a half chance.
72' Goal! Draper gets another and it might be the one that breaks Manawatu's spirit. Good low cross came in front the right side, Draper got in front of his man and sidefooted it into the top left corner. Great movement and finish from a man in great form.
73' Now a couple of changes. 12. Bryan Little is off for Wellington, replaced by Richie McLay. Manawatu respond with a change of their own and it's 23. Campbell Banks who comes off for 7. Brook Tozer.
78' Great first time ball down the line by Matt Kennedy finds Brook Tozer who gets his cross in under pressure but Bannatyne collects it. Chris Davies is hurt as a few players pile in to try and get on the end of it and he goes down for treatment. Back on now, looks to be okay.
81' Wellington make another change. 17. Gary McDermott is off and 7. Cole Peverley is on for the last ten.
83' Deep cross from Andy Barron goes over Cooksley's head and finds Michael Fifii who snuck in behind. Fantastic ball but Fifii sidefoots just wide from the angle.
85' Nice flick by Fifii finds Draper. He flicks it up and looks for his hat trick on the volley but straight at Nicholson who holds it on the second attempt. Great technique by Draper, though.
88' Great challenge by Robson on half way. He releases Soroman who tries to chip Bannatyne from a long way out but it's comfortable for the Wellington keeper. A tired looking effort.
90' We'll have two minutes added.
91' Draper is caught offside. Still looking for his third to make it two in two weeks.
92' Full time here is greeted by silence at Memorial. The home fans might point the finger at the officials but it doesn't get any easier for YoungHeart from here. Wellington continue their run of results and their climb up the NZFC ladder.