Write-up By Crespo
Elite 6 - 1 University Raiders
Pre match email banter was around having to do hard yards as we were light on numbers and a few people were struck down with the flu.
As I turned up to the ground I see Rafter standing there and I knew the SOS has gone out far and wide.
CJ rocks up bringing along a spare pair of nets as he knows how reliable the opposition is.
Slowly the Elite turn up and we have managed to put together a squad of 13 for the game.
Niall dons the goal keepers uniform, we line up, shake hands, give our respects to those brave Anzacs and prepare to do battle of our own against the Cap 6 seasoned Raiders.
Elite tend to have the better of possession without creating too many cut edge chances. After a clumsy challenge, CJ steps up to take freekick. This results in a goal mouth scramble and Stevo slams it home to open the scoring.
Shortly after we win a corner and Clem delivers on a dime to the far post and Stevo rises like a salmon at the far post to head home and it’s 2 nil Elite. First half goes to plan with a couple of noticeable instances. Niall with a diving save to push the ball round his far post after a defensive lapse and Ross doing his best to remain golden boot by knocking Ants’ goal bound shot away from goal.
Half-time and its lollies and a chat around more of the same and continuing to use the space out wide.
A couple of tweaks at half time rolling our subs and we go for the ‘all England midfield’.
Elite come out of the blocks perhaps a little too comfortably and Uni bounce on a poor defensive decision and capitalise with a tap in and the game is 2-1 Clem then scores the first of his brace with a well taken goal from the edge of the box
Then Justin Bieber of the Uni Raiders goes down under minimal contact from our big defender Damo and the ref points to the spot. A fair bit of gamesmanship from the Elite and questions around the ball on the mark result in an unsure shot combined with a spectacular save. If Cory was still here the words “justice” may have echoed through the Khandallah suburbs.
Niall distributes from the back and from some great lead up play we find our striker Clem who finishes superbly with his left peg finding the roof of the net and a 4-1 lead.
The save and goal down the other end was instrumental in killing off the little belief that the academics still had.
From here it’s fairly smooth sailing for the Elite. Greg doing what he does best and finishing from the edge of the box and then providing a brilliant through ball for Hernan to get off the noodie run.
Elite finish up the victors in a comprehensive 6-1 win and back to the local for decent fine session.
Hard to dish out points in such an all-round complete display so I thought I would briefly sum up in displays. (Points in brackets)
(2) Niall – Has a new calling for the Elite, A Brilliant display at the back, calm under pressure, 2 key saves at important times including the pen
Damo – Did virtually all the defensive work down the left all day, worked tirelessly. Heart of a lion.
(2) Stev0 – 2 quality goals and backed up with a rock solid display at the back
(1)00 capped CJ – an assured display at the back and happy to play where the team needs it most, great play from the back and kept their striker under wraps all game. Congrats on 100th game. Get another star on the guys arm.
Ganesy – Provided the intimidation factor from the moment they shook hands, the talk was all about who is going to mark this colossus. Good with ball and crucial, timely tackles at the back
Ants- Unluckly not to score and rock solid from the back with good distribution down the flanks
Crespo – talented but lazy so a typical performance – tidy finish
Greg – Typical performance from the engine room, good distribution, great goal and assist, unlucky to miss the points but such is life.
Doug – Great to have a medical student back in the ranks. A tireless effort, good work rate and linking play with both Ross and Clem up front
Ross – Another powerful display at the front, good with back to goal and providing options for your midfield
(1) Clem – 2 great goals and another assist with the corner. Workhorse with defending from the front
Marcel - A tradesmen like performance, and everything you would expect from rafter, runs all day and provides options for both our defenders and midfield
DSKO – Great distribution in opening up the field in the second half, always available for a pass
BIG GAME NEXT WEEK. HOME TO SEATOUN WHO DID THE DOUBLE OVER US LAST YEAR.
Elite 5 - 3 Undertakers
Write-up By Ross
We join the Elite for their 3rd Round match-up against the Wainuiomata Undertakers on a sunny, but yet again windy afternoon. Coming off the back of 2 close fought encounters resulting in a draw and a loss we were looking for that first elusive victory of the season. With a few changes to the starting line-up and seeing that we were playing a bunch of retirees rather than the eager bunch doing a full on warm-up optimism as high.
In the early stages of the game we had the best part of possession, no troubles at the back and a few chances going astray. A few breakaways from myself resulted in some questionable finishing, one out for a throw in, another with the defence pretty much laying down on the ground, things weren’t going too well, but luckily for the Elite that would soon change.
A long throw-in to the box from Greg put pressure onto their defence, after a little bit of pinball it fell to Decs who tapped it through to myself to poke home from 6 yards out, 1-0 to the Elite. Soon after some good running down the left flank from Pat put the pressure onto their defence again to concede a corner. Crespo stepped up to take the corner and drilled one into the front post, the main man was there again (Me!!) to flick a header across goal into the top right hand corner to make it 2-0 to the Elite, looking comfortable at this stage.
The rest of the first-half went by with not much else to report for either team other than a great save from Dave, a corner was whipped in and due to the blustery conditions was going straight into the top corner, Dave got up well though to tip it over. Adam also had a shot, maybe? It went so high into the air it came down with snow on it and their keeper managed to parry it away before picking up the rebound.
Half-time came shortly after with the score at 2-0, good half from all the lads controlling the game well.
The second-half started just like the first with the Elite controlling much of the play and not having any troubles at the back with the defence looking solid. Looking to capitalise on this a through ball down the right hand side was picked up by myself, looking up I could see some great runs being made into the box. The attempted cross didn’t go to plan, however this was to the benefit of myself as it flew into the top corner over the keeper, wrapping up my hat-trick and ensuring I would be taking the match ball home (devastated to find out this would not be the case).
As the Undertakers restarted the game they decided that they didn’t actually want to keep the ball and kicked it straight at me, with my lightning pace, outstanding ball control and precise finishing I slotted it home for my fourth of the game, a mere 10 seconds after the 3rd went in. 4-0 to the Elite, absolutely cruising. At this stage Adam decided that I was being a greedy b@*tard and took me off, how dare he?!
Unfortunately for the Elite the Undertakers decided to mix up their tactics and opt for the long-ball option, the majority of these being aimed towards their right hand side. The left-back on the day facing these long balls was Mr Greg Priscott, who was inexplicably out the night before having Jaegerbombs at 4am before this big game. He did well first-half but in the second somebody should have given him a map so he could find the ball!!
After being put under more pressure we conceded a corner, they played it quickly and whipped it in to the far post for a man to nod home, Undertakers taking away the chance for the first clean sheet of the season. 4-1 now.
However the Elite responded well and forced a corner of their own, played into the danger zone right on the penalty spot it rebounded off Greg and fell nicely to Tim who thrashed a left foot volley into the roof of the net, restoring the Elite’s 4 goal cushion, 5-1 up. At this stage it all went a little bit pear-shaped for the Elite, an unfortunate penalty was given away
by CJ, long ball over the top, flicked on by their attacker onto the arm of CJ, penalty to the Undertakers. Their man stepped up and sent Dave the wrong way to slot the ball into the right hand corner of the goal, 5-2 now.
With the Undertakers still putting the pressure on they thought they had pulled another one back only for Dave to pull off a magnificent save from a header to keep the score at 5-2. Not long after this though it was another long ball over the top which caused some problems, a mix-up between Dave and Greg allowed their striker to put the ball into an empty net, 5-3 and twitchy bum time for the Elite.
Luckily their wasn’t much time left and although we struggled to keep hold of the ball at times and didn’t take advantage of some of our own chances we saw the game out and got a much deserved victory. Overall we played well and thoroughly deserved the 3 points to hopefully kick start our campaign.
MVP points are as follows :
3 – Adam : This was a close call as I though both Adam and Decs controlled the midfield very well but Adam gets the top points for great energy and endeavour up and down the pitch.
2 – Decs : As I said above, both centre midfielders played a great game. Decs with his on the ball presence and of course communication, although most of the time inaudible, helped us in the latter stages of the game.
1 – Dave. Pulled off a couple of brilliant saves at key times to help us to a deserved victory.
Great effort all round though lads!!
Write-up By Stu
Elite 2 - 3 Mysterions
It’s Monday night footy and I’m not sure if Ganesy is hung over, he better be, he plays better when he is, that’s a fact.
Second game of the season, under lights, Wakefield Park, Miramar Mysterions and just under 10 hours before kick-off some of the Elite are putting their hands up for time off. Clearly Ganesy is sober as this kind of carry on suggests he may of, in fact had a sober weekend? Weird! Ganesy you are Weird.
We have had a couple of good hit outs against Miramar in the last couple of seasons, I believe last year we lost one and drew one, or were they both draws? Funnily enough I did the write up for the last Miramar game at Martin Lucky and from memory the conditions actually played a part in the match. For those that were there, they will remember how the six yard box saved 2 or more certain goals and actually ended the game with a higher save percentage that Dave in goal. It was particularly amusing to watch Dave splash about in the box and throw mud on himself like a hippo trying to keep cool in the summer.
In mental preparation for the match, I took to the Capital Football website to see how the first round went for Miramar and also to check in at the points table. Turns out Miramar played the Wainui Undertakers and lost, so they will be pretty pumped to turn this match into a positive result given their season opening loss.
I must admit, I am a little concerned about how many Hutt teams are in our grade this season. It means I/we are going to have to travel to the Hutt on at least 3 occasions, maybe more.
So the line-up came out, full squad and 6 on the bench, a pass out was offered to those carrying niggles. A flurry of emails followed as a number of the Elite team opted for the night off. That number of 6 had now shrunken to 2.
As I arrived to the ground, the wind had really got up, it was going to be a vintage Wakefield park game of footy. Favoring one side of the ground, as both teams battle against the prevailing Northerly. There were a few new faces this week. Welcome Roger and Clem (who was a ring in for a ring in, thanks for coming along, we might have been a bit short on numbers otherwise).
Thanks to Adam and Decs for volunteering to ref a half each!
And the last thanks and a massive congratulations really goes to Niall who played his 100th game for the Elite. A true ambassador for the Elite and the club, you have put in loads of effort on and off the field, whether it be committee work, stats keeping, fine mastering, ref, organizing events, Futsal, getting fired up, smoking, entertainment source, drinking beer, rubbing his belly, being Scottish, nut offs, Big spoon, laughs and just generally being a GC!! Thanks for all your efforts!
So on with the footy, Adam blew the whistle and we were off a pretty fast paced game with both teams struggling with the conditions with the ball flying all over the place making it hard to get the ball under and play to feet. This was always going to be the challenge of the day. The team that could control the ball best, was going to have a the best of the evenings opportunities.
It was the Elite that opened the scoring first with some nice movement and good passing from the back, through the midfield and a great ball to Ross, who broke free and pretty calmly put the ball into the back of the net. Elite 1 – 0 Miramar. This shocked the Miramar team who had probably had the better of the opening stage of play, some of the Miramar lads (number 11) got particularly upset and started mouthing off at his players, our players and anyone who would listen. I one point I told him to calm down and he got all up and in my grill, and politely told me that he would not calm the F%#k down, please don’t tell me to calm the F%$k down. At this point I thought he was actually going to try and eat me. Scary stuff.
This fired the Miramar lads up and they really pushed us hard to get a goal back and it wasn’t long before they did just that. I find it hard enough to remember our goals, so I certainly don’t have any recollection as to how they scored. 1 – 1
This is kinda where my memory of the game lapsed, I know we went ahead 2-1 through another goal from Ross, I think. Actually I’m not too sure on that, apologies to the person who may have got the second, but Ross gets 2 goals.
But what I do remember is how well, despite losing and conceding 2 more goals, our defence played at times, Damo, Steveo and Greg all made many many tackles and at crucial times that really saved us from a potential wooping. We too had a number of chances, but it was just one of those games when you want the clock to spin faster so we can hold out for a point. So 3-2 on the night, not a bad effort from us but they were just a little quicker and probably a bit fitter overall at this stage of the season.
The memory I’ll leave you with was a goal keeping display, and as I mentioned above it could have been more, but if it was not for the defence and some of Dave’s cat like reflex saves we could have really been down and out earlier on (especially if Dave had of thrown that one in his own net…).
Dave, probably the most reflex saves I’ve see you make in a match, you also made some good decisions to get the ball moving from the back quickly, came out early too when some through balls were put through to you.
Personally, I never give a goal keeper any MVP point if they concede goals (seen as a bit harsh by some), but on this occasion I’m going to alter my stance and give credit where it is due.
There was not absolute stand out and most played pretty well given the conditions but this is how I saw the MVP point tally up.
Thanks to the Orange one for coming along and supporting. Yes another new name for Chrispy, just imagine a ginger Jose Mourinho
Write up by Greg
Elite 2 - Beavers 2
After what seemed like an eternity the new season finally arrived on Saturday afternoon. First up was the Beaver's on an greasy Anderson Park. After a promising preseason and a number of new players arriving, confidence was high amongst the Mighty Elite.
The season, however got off to the worst possible start when the Elite found themselves 1-0 down after two minutes. A long ball over the top of the back four was chased down by the Beaver's frontman. He challenged keeper Dave to a 50/50 and managed to squeeze the ball past him into the open net. He paid the price however and picked up what looked to be a very nasty knee injury in the process needing urgent medical attention. This lead to a 40 minute break in play whilst the teams waited on the ambulance.
The Elite spent the time wisely smashing balls at Decs in goal collectively showing the opposition how shite we all are in front of goal!!!
When play finally restarted it was the Elite that looked the stronger side. Although on a couple of occasions got themselves into trouble by needlessly overplaying on a very difficult surface.
The Elite got themselves back into the game midway through the first half when a Crespo corner was met at the near post by Decs with the tidiest of touches lobbing the outstretched keeper.
The Elite buoyed after the equaliser were soon ahead after Ross outpaced the Beavers defence to get on the end of a through ball, drew the keeper in before beautifully lifting it over him to scored his first league goal in New Zealand since his big money move from England. He did however take a knee to the face from the keeper for his troubles, although this reporter thought he looked a lot better for it!!!!!
The second half got underway but the conditions and the opposition's continued refusal to play a single pass under 40 yards made it difficult for any quality football to flow. Both sides struggled to create chances but it was the Elite that looked more likely. A header on to the crossbar from Decs, a clearance off the line after a shot from Greg and a goal disallowed for offside after Ross broke through and neatly rounded the keeper. Thankfully the Beavers had a FIFA qualified linesman amongst their ranks who very kindly raised his umbrella to rule the goal offside.
Unfortunately for the Elite it was the Beavers who were to get the next goal when a header from a corner looped its way over Ant on the post into the corner.
That was to be the final meaningful action of the game and the Elite would have to settle for a point. Probably a fair result on reflection although they could have quite easily pinched all three points!
Didn't think anyone quite did enough to get all 3 points so decided to spread the points 2/2/1/1.
2 Ross - Ran hard all game, got a goal and unlucky not to have a 2nd.
2 Decs - Talked well as usual, got our first goal of the season and narrowly missed out on a 2nd after hitting the bar.
1 CJ - Took over the gloves for Dave. Made a couple of decent catches and talked well. Unlucky not to get a clean sheet.
1 Adam - Worked hard as usual. Battled well and got into good positions in the box on occasions.
Sent from my iPhone
Elite Match Reports