Elite 6 - 0 Petone
Write-up by Shane
The stage was set for a good game of football with the sun shining and the game on Petone Memorial Turf (#1).
We were looking to right the wrong that was last week’s game and try to claw back some of our goal difference against the bottom of the table opposition.
The game started off well for us with plenty of possession and good defence turning into flowing attack but it wasn’t sitting for us in the final 3rd and the chances weren’t being taken [que sighs and smirks of the same old story beginning to unfold]
There was a good few attacks that came down both flanks but Turk on the right was enjoying a lot of time and space.
Around 30mins into the first half and there was a promising attack that the opposition thwarted illegally in the box with the use of an arm – quite a harsh call from their ref but the hand did make contact with the ball so no complaints from our lads. After last week’s penalty miss CJ had to be quick to assume his position to take this one as Niall was making his way up from Keeper to try his luck, not quite quick enough Niall. CJ sent the Keeper the wrong way and dribbled it over the line for the Elite to take a deserved lead.
There were a few more good attacks created and Adam was at the end of a good move down the right – he hit a good shot only to have it hit the cross bar and rebound straight onto Shanes foot – not even he could miss from there. 2- 0 to the Elite.
Damo then decided to teach one of the opposition youngsters a lesson on how to leave your foot into a challenge and a small handbags type discussion broke out and some words were exchanged between Niall who had run up from Keeper to chip in and their large defender to which Niall complemented him on his “floppy head” in reference to his mid length curly mop, the game got back underway and not long after the whistle blew for half time, Niall wanted to continue talking to “floppy head” but to no avail and into the huddle it was.
A positive vibe at the break and Dave the gaffer makes a couple of changes in midfield. The changes seem to settle the side and it resulted in 3 chances being taken in quick succession – Jay with a smart shot to capitalise on the good field position and then CJ collected the ball out towards the left flank and squared a nice pass to Turk who had cut in from the right to meet the pass on the top of the 18 yard box and with a first time shot using the outside of the right foot sent the ball into the top left hand corner, class move and finish 4-0.
It was time to allow our class Keeper to have a run in the outfield – straight to Striker as Rori took the gloves.
There was more play and attempts on goal for the Elite – Turk and Jay took turns playing ping pong with the opposition defenders inside their 18 yard box before Jay grew tired of this game and decided to slot another into the net 5-0.
The ref then gave a foul and Clem took exception and laced one straight onto one of the opposition defenders heads – the gaffer didn’t want things to flare up again so he pulled Clem and Shane was on up front to see what magic could be worked with Niall who was hungry for a goal after being released from the confines of playing Keeper.
Tim was enjoying some early release from the back on the left wing and cut inside with a great run through towards the centre of the pitch, he then slid a perfectly weighted pass into the path of the onrushing Adam who calmly placed it wide of the out rushing Keeper 6-0.
There was one more clear chance but Shane hit the crossbar off a header from a corner.
The opposition then decided it was time to start to wind up Shane by making substitutions (which they’re well within their right to do) – to which Shane decided to blowout with a cry along the lines of “what the F&$k are they doing there is only 2 minutes left to play – just get on with the game for F%@k’s sake….”.a good laugh was had by the lads.
That was that and now our fate for the 2nd half of the season lies in the hands of Capital Football and their new mid-season change-up…..not sure when we have our next round confirmed but I’m sure as the rest of the team are that we continue with this much needed goal scoring form that was found.
MVP points were hard to allocate this week as we kept a clean sheet and also scored a good number of goals.
3: Turk, ran hard and was a constant threat and outlet on the right, great finish also
2: Jay, his 2 goals were vital in helping to settle the game down and his fitness seems to be improving – good running/tracking for most of the time on the pitch.
1: Angus, organising the defence and as usual was great at picking up opposition passes into the final third and releasing our wide players.
Write up by Adam
Elite 0 - 5 BNU
Nobody likes doing a write-up after a loss and it is especially tough when you're doing it on the back of a 5-0 spanking. So, in the interests of moving on with our lives I'll try and keep this to the memorable moments (if we can call them that)...
Back on home soil on a cold but sunny Newtown afternoon we faced a new-look BNU Phoenix from the team we were used to battling with in previous seasons.
We did our best to knock the ball around and played some good passing football when we actually managed to work out we were the team in orange and that the game was a lot easier when you don't keep giving the ball back to the bad guys. The good passing lead to some good possession and after that some good chances. Simple game isn't it lads!
After several warnings one of their forwards burst on to a through ball and slotted it past the outstretched fingers of the toddler in goal. 1-0 BNU. Arse.
After that wake up call we again started to apply some pressure and eventually there was a bit of a scramble in the box. CJ was desperately close to nicking the ball away from the BNU keeper but lucky for them there was a card carrying member of the keepers union on the whistle and Davey Boy gave him the ball back. CJ quietly disagreed with this decision.
A little more Elite pressure lead to a poorly punched clearance from a corner and the BNU keeper was again fighting for scraps in heavy traffic. This time Dave turned his back on the Keepers Union and awarded a pen after a scrambled shot struck the arm of a BNU defender who was caught sunbathing at the front post. Everyone in a BNU jersey quietly disagreed with this decision.
CJ stepped up and gave us the chance to witness a piece of history when he blazed it over from 12 yards. Only the second ever miss during his 50 year career in the number 9. I understand Niall is the only living person to have seen both.
A little while later my face was violently assaulted just outside the box at the zoo end of Newtown 2 in what is becoming somewhat of an uncomfortable tradition. At least it had nothing to do with CJ's balls this time.
Blurry, blurry, blurry.... My face hurts. I don't know. Half time BNU 1-0
The next 15 minutes were forgettable at best so I'll try to do this in bullet points:
4-0 BNU. ARSE!
At this point Damo removed his gloves and our keeper got about 3 feet taller.
Again, we actually looked like footballers and passed the ball around well at times. CJ, Rori and Nik did their best to flatten anyone who stood near them and Greg strutted around the centre circle buoyed on by his recent investment in Blue Tape Inc. How were we 4-0 down!? And then another reminder. A whippet dressed in red and black flicked the ball over a defender and our new extra tall keeper to push the score out to 5-0.
Full time.... Wow. Must do better.
Really hard to award points this weekend with the defense taking a bath and the strikers not troubling the scorers either. So, in my official capacity as Chairman of the Midfielders Union....
3pts - Shane: Ran all day and was the best outlet for a lot of our attacking moves. Tough afternoon with a solid cross-wind taking the ball away from you for most of the second half but you always found a way to get involved.
2pts - Jay: Except for wandering off the field mid game to rest his shins he was best in transition for us and provided a lot of positive go forward.
1pt - Gregor: Managed to not cripple himself (again) even when I was making a habit of it. Nice to have you back mate. More tape next week.
Write-up by Tim
Elite 1 - 3 JJs
This Monday (weirdly) the Elite travelled to Wakefield Park to take on top of the table Island Bay and for the first time at this ground, the night was still and skies clear. Ganes burped out a week’s worth of lunch, Turk caught the bus and Greg mummified his ankle with tape (surely he must be playing? reffing? running?!), we were ready. The lads relished in the fact that we were playing on turf and warmed up professionally. Our opposition warmed up by pinging shots at the goal from 30 yards. We were quietly confident. These lads were top of the table for a reason however, and we knew we needed to be on top of our game to get a result.
And with that we were straight off the bat. Damo was breaking legs and Roger was flying up the flank as if his $450 jacket was blowing away. Despite Island Bay’s silky through balls we were dealing with it, and before long a scorching free kick from Angus nearly flew into the top corner (but I think it went out for a throw in the end). Before long we got the ball up to Clem who weaseled his way through the defence and earned a shot. Nik and Shane were working hard and at periods, we were playing our best football. Island Bay had some tricks up their sleeve however and would press us back at times. Angus went back to the ol’ misty slide tackle but caught more of me than the opposition. A few whiskey swings later and the Shane Long looking bloke from Island Bay had rattled one off the bar (pretty sure CJ had it covered anyway). Despite a few swoops under the lights, the defence was solid, we had outlets to attack from and he first half ends at 0-0 with the Elite looking solid.
Half time team talk highlights: Greg drops a few C bombs talking about the United game. Dec: “If we can keep them from scoring and stay in it for 90 minutes they’ll get frustrated and we’ve got a shot”. Ha, ha.
The second half begins and within about five minutes Island Bay pumped a fizzer into the box which Decs coolly poked beyond CJ at his near post. You read that correctly, an OG and $5. But we were still in it. Working it up the flanks to Shane, Turk and Nik was proving fruitful, the best chance falling to Shane who produced a great reactions save from the keeper.
But then drama, Ganesy gets turned at the edge of the box, and even a 6 foot leg stretched out couldn’t stop the curler from old mate nestling in the bottom right corner, 2-0 Island Bay.
Not long after this a corner to Island bay tested how CJ dealt with the low ball. Unfortunately, despite a palm from CJ who had otherwise been a brick wall, their header crept across the line and it was 3-0.
The Elite had reason to feel a bit hard done by at this scoreline and responded in the best way possible. A beauuuuuuutiful turn and pass from Nik set up Jay who fizzed it past their keeper and made it 3-1. We were still in it.
This was the catalyst for a momentum shift, and soon shots were falling to Jay, Clem and Turk. The Elite were fired up, Jay called someone a bitch, gangster! We just could not quite put it in the net no thanks to an impressive Island Bay shot stopper. The game ends 3-1 and we head to the pub where CJ tells us of the glory days (Wednesday night $15 deals at dream girls).
If we play like that every week well be back on the winners road in no time.
3 - Shane. Ran like the wind, was our most creative player and was unlucky not to score
2 - Damo. A force to be reckoned with at centre back, crushing tackles and winning everything
1 - Blake. Very solid at the back, got forward and was a passing outlet too.
Write-up by Jason
Elite 2 - 2 Olympic
The Sun was shining, wind non-existent, kit freshly laundered and a pitch in great condition. The perfect conditions for football. Our opponent were the Greek gods of football, Olympic United. A little less statue-esque but formidable regardless.
Our start was a little laboured and we struggled to find out feet. Olympic started strong mounting several probing runs, but our defence was up to the challenge using both left feet to clear the ball. It felt like barrage, a never ending wave of pressure. Our chance finally came with a break away down the right side, finding ourselves inside the opponents 18 yard box Turk cut the ball back to Nic but the Olympic defence were having none of that and poked it into their own goal to open our scoring! Not how we'd like it but we'll take it regardless. Then their goalie went down and went off in an early injured substitution.
A little shell shocked Olympic were quick to respond finding an opening down our right side, an overzealous tackle push the ball out for a corner. The ref was having none of that and awarded a free kick 5 meters in. The defence was set and in came the free kick. A whipped in kick, Niall jumped heroically but only managed to get finger tips to the ball as it sailed in the back of the net to equal the score.
The game continued with us finding a little more structure, minimising the opportunities for Olympic whilst making a few incisive runs on their goal. Our best chance came from a corner that was sailing in. Seeing his chance to fly high Angus threw himself trying to put the ball in the back of the net, but only managed to net himself there. Tangled and squirming he was soon cut free.
We managed to hold out Olympic for the remainder of the half most of which was on our side of pitch. A few great saves from Niall and a few close calls saw us out. Absent from the half time talk was CJ's renowned pep talk about how we don't lose to the Greeks but nonetheless we knew what we'd need to do the next half and with a small structure shuffle we were at it again.
Now with 2 guys up front they were making themselves a handful to deal with. Jay was constantly running and using his fancy feet to be a menace. Turk and Clem were combining down the right to create opportunities that were absent earlier in the game. Nik tried his luck at a long range floater that looked like travelling over the goalies head, he just managed to get his hand to it to knock it out for a corner. The corner was whipped in and the whole side line stood poised as the most fantastic kick was performed. Keeping one foot on the ground, Declan kicked the ball over his head and into the net. Demonstrating the results of his weekly Callisthenics routine. We'd dealt Olympic a blow they were not expecting.
The game was on! We had everything to lose now. The defence was fierce putting life and limb on the line as Blake demonstrated with his knee high heading. Rory was unstoppable as Olympics strike was soon to find out. CJ was brutal with his clearances, not caring for friend or foe. We were in this for the win. That was till an unfortunate deflection push the Olympic winger wide and with a pin point accurate cutback and an unmarked striker waiting in the box, the scores were drawn equal once more.
Heads went down but we still had a battle on our hands. We had a point to secure and a victory to chase. Our best chance to push on came when Jay found a little space and was one on one with the keeper. Their defence was tight, a clown on the left and a joker on the right, Jay tried to push it under the fill in keeper but he was up to the challenge.
As the final whistle approached, we nervously defended a few more attacks. Niall came quick and snuffed out their chances. And that is how the game ended. Two apiece and a shared point. Not bad given our opponents but something we know we can improve up on for the return match.
Lots of big efforts today, everyone had their moment to shine. I would award everyone a point for their effort if I could.
3 - Declan. Working extra hard, tonnes of talk ( at least that is what I am told that noise is) and a phenomenal goal.
2 - Blake. One of the hardest working men out there today. Constantly putting in the tough challenges, making himself available for a pass and all this only a week after coming off his bike.
1 - Rory. Probably one of the more solid performances from Rory. Very solid on the left. Lots of good defending and not giving them a chance.
Elite Match Reports