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Hawke's Bay United

Canterbury United


NZFC - Week 12 Catch-up
Park Island, Napier
Saturday 6 March 2010


Andrew Abba 17
Leon Birnie 39 

Russel Kamo 56



Halftime:    2-0                  Referee:   Antony RILEY                           Crowd: 150


Peta heroics keep Bay alive

by Ryan Majstrovic at Park Island

Hawke’s Bay United’s NZFC play-off future still hangs in the balance after a determined matinee performance produced a 2-1 win over Canterbury United at Park Island this afternoon.

Visitors Canterbury, knew a win could guarantee their own historically-significant place in post-season affairs, arrived minus inspirational captain Dan Terris – out with a broken collarbone sustained in last week’s 2-0 derby victory over Otago United – and the absence of their inspirational skipper showed.

Barring an early and dangerous free-kick from Aaron Clapham, which produced a double-save from Shaun Peta, the opening stages of the match delivered few opportunities on goal for either side.

Clapham, trialing with Australian State League clubs, was the focal point of most attacking play from the visitors – but was managed well by a Hawke’s Bay side obviously briefed on his talents.

Solomon Islander Andrew Abba lit the game in the 16th minute, setting off on a trademark quick-footed dribble with his resulting shot deflected for a corner by Tom Batty.

From the resulting corner, which English giant Stu Ferguson flicked-on at the near post, Abba was on hand to give the hosts a lead with a sumptuous volley past Batty.

The ‘Dragons’ responded well to falling behind and put Hawke’s Bay under a concerted pressure.

It was against the run of play when NZFC Golden Boot contender Leon Birnie received possession just inside the attacking half to set off goalwards, beat the first defender and then the second twice, before switching to his less-favoured left foot and firing home across a hapless Tom Batty. 

It was Birnie’s eighth goal of the season in just his 12th match, an impressive goals to game ratio by any standards. 

A two-goal lead would have produced short odds had the TAB been interested in this fixture, but left Hawke’s Bay in a strong position going into half-time.

The second half saw neither side gain the ascendency, but Hawke’s Bay lost a key figure when Englishman Phil Clarke succumbed to injury in the early stages.

Hawke’s Bay were caught out at the back readjusting to the change and Canterbury front-man Russell Kamo capitalized when he found both space and time to place a finish after good build-up work by Tom Lancaster.

Hawke’s Bay – determined to claim a home victory – stepped up their intensity and dominated most of the possession with goal difference likely to come into the reckoning in the final full week of the fixture list.

Clarke’s replacement Fergus Neil went on to cause significant issues in the Canterbury rear-guard with his pace and ability to deliver a cross from either flank a constant threat.

As both sides searched for the next goal, plenty of opportunities were spurned. Both goalkeepers produced numerable saves of high distinction – Peta in particular holding his ground well to block close-range efforts from Kamo and Tom Lancaster.

The result leaves Canterbury needing to take at least a point away to Team Wellington next Sunday, and Hawkes Bay’s chances rely on near-neighbours YoungHeart Manawatu taking at least a point from their visit to Carisbrook on Saturday.

Post-match, Hawkes Bay United Head Coach Matt Chandler was quick to praise Peta – in action this week due to the consistently-outstanding Richard Gillespie’s suspension – for his efforts.

“Coming in last week, the first thing he did was save a penalty.

“Last winter, Shaun had an unfortunate accident that required re-constructive surgery on his face. Following that incident, I had concerns he wouldn’t play again. This week, he really showed he lives to play the game.

“Today Shaun put in a man-of-the-match performance, and I’m so proud of him. Not bad for a lad from Gisborne” Chandler said.

Canterbury Dragons coach Keith Braithwaite was equally appreciative of the Bay performance in general.

“We came up here to cement our play-off spot, and haven’t achieved that. [Hawke’s Bay United] really took the game to us today, and we didn’t really come to life until the second half.

“The thing about this league is that any side’s capable of beating the other, and we have absolutely no complaints about today’s result – and now just have to go again next week” said Braithwaite.

In response, Chandler paid tribute to Braithwaite's efforts in turning Canterbury's fortunes around after last season's eighth place finish.

“I think Keith’s done a fantastic job down there, and really instilled the sense of pride that was required.
“[Canterbury United] will qualify easy. We’ve beaten a good side today, and the boys can be proud of that. However, it was the performance of some of our lesser-known players last week that really set us up for today.
“At training this week, we worked hard on cancelling out Canterbury’s strengths – but the match today was about attitude, determination and desire.

“Now, we’ve got an opportunity in front of a passionate crowd to make a play at the finals next week – and we’re really looking forward to it” Chandler said.

The final (full) weekend of the NZFC shapes to be a cracker, with five sides vying for two play-off spots.

A home win to Otago could put paid to Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu’s aspirations, but depending on other results, the final play-off picture may not be confirmed until the outcome of Auckland City versus YoungHeart Manawatu at Kiwitea Street on the 2nd of April produces a definitive result.



Team Sheet

Hawke's Bay United


Canterbury United

1. Shaun PETA [gk]

18. Tom BATTY [gk]


4. Gareth ROWE

3. Phil CLARKE (off 53')

5. Matt BOYD (off 46')


6. Andy PITMAN

6. Jonathan TAYLOR (c)

7. Aaron CLAPHAM


9. Russell KAMO

8. Leon BIRNIE  (off 87')


11. Andrew ABBA



15. Paul DIROU (off 74')

16. Marama THOMPSON

16. Daniel BURNS

21. Stuart FERGUSON

19. Darren OVERTON



23. Riley MORRIS [rgk]

1. Jordan BUCHANAN [rgk]

9. Danny WILSON

13. Hue FRAME

10. Joachim RANDE (on 87')

17. Glen COLLINS (on 74')

12. Sam JACOB

20. Dominic McGARR (on 46')

18. Andrew BEVIN

23. Jordan SWANEY

22. Fergus NEIL


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play


Welcome to Park Island for 'take two' of this now vital NZFC fixture between Hawkes Bay United and the Canterbury Dragons.

Though a touch bleak to the south, today's match shouldn't be in as much danger as the previous attempt - not a single duck on the pitch at this moment in time...


Canterbury with the kick-off, heading east with a cross-wind

Aaron CLAPHAM has a free-kick from 30 yards, strikes on goal for Shaun PETA to save low and right, then block the rebound

Matt HASTINGS puts in a 'professional foul' on CLAPHAM, whose similarly-placed free-kick is cleverly flicked by Paul DIROU but into the arms of PETA


it's been a fairly scrappy encounter to this point, with few chances to either side


Andrew ABBA sets off on a mazy dribble and releases from his left, but Tom BATTY saves well and low to his right



a short Hawkes Bay corner is flicked to the far post by Stu FERGUSON, then volleyed home by #11. Andrew ABBA off the defender on the post's chest


Canterbury are coming back strong after the goal, putting pressure on the locals' defence

Leon BIRNIE scoops ABBA in over the defence, but the Solomon Islander's finish is rushed and wide


Nick WORTELBOER has a go from distance to send Peta sprawling, but it tapers wide

Andy PITTMAN and Phil CLARKE have an interesting exchange of words in centre-midfield after a brief football-related altercation

PETA rises well through traffic to claim a chipped through-ball from deep


CLARKE tests the 'keeper from a well-placed free-kick, but BATTY holds well low

BIRNIE fires into the net from 15 yards on the angle, but the goal is ruled out for a prior foul

ABBA fires in a threatening ball from wide on the right - but no Hawkes Bay runners manage to connect...


Darren OVERTON has a sight on goal from inside the area, but the shot bends wide and high across the face



#8. Leon BIRNIE collects the ball from wide on the right, travels through space, beats his man...twice...and fires home with his left foot across Batty and into the bottom-right corner


Matt BOYD is on the deck, receiving attention for a knock

-- 1 minute added time --



the second half is underway, with #5. Matt BOYD succumbing to injury and #20. Dominic McGARR coming on in his place

BIRNIE again is showcasing his wizardry in the area, but his shot is blocked well by McGARR 


BATTY collects a HASTINGS cross well above a pack


#16. Marama THOMPSON is forced to bring down Tom LANCASTER on the edge of the area, and receives a yellow card

PETA saves and holds well, low to his left and unsighted through traffic


#3. Phil CLARKE is replaced by #22. Fergus NEIL



LANCASTER toys with the Hawkes Bay defence to draw them high, and #9. Russell KAMO has time to pick his spot


NEIL beats his man down the left, and squares a dangerous ball across goal - but Abba narrowly fails to connect

NEIL again is free on the left, cuts inside past Daniel Burns, but hits a strike at BATTY who holds well


#20. Dominic MCGARR is booked for blocking BARBAROUSES when headed for goal


Former Football Kingz star #17. Glen COLLINS replaces #15. Paul DIROU

LANCASTER has a strike from distance, which PETA holds well


#7. Aaron CLAPHAM is carded for a strong challenge on Neil

ABBA has a strike from the edge of the area, but narrowly misses the top corner


ABBA again has space in the box, squares across goal, but nobody is on the end of it

PETA is quick off his line to catch an angled cross from deep

BARBAROUSES hits one from 25, but wide across the face of goal


Jonathan TAYLOR puts in a superb last-ditch tackle on KAMO on the edge of the 6-yard box

HASTINGS puts in a strong challenge on Darren OVERTON, who is rattled

LANCASTER is unmarked on the far post, but PETA stands well to block his strike - and Stu FERGUSON covers well to clear a speculative, looping strike off the line


NEIL is down injured, after a foul by McGARR

BURNS clears BARBAROUSES' goal-bound free-kick for a corner

ABBA's deflected cross is met by BARBAROUSES, but saved well by BATTY


#8. Leon BIRNIE makes way for #10 Joachim RANDE

-- 4 minutes added time --

90' +1

OVERTON catches up to a LANCASTER through-ball, and his flat cross is headed clear by FERGUSON for a corner

90' +3

PETA leaves his line to attack a bouncing ball, but Kamo is called for a foul on a back-tracking TAYLOR