Wellington United Elite 2 – 1 win over Olympic
The Elite were struggling for numbers this week with some of the usual suspects injured, away or just soft.
A late night Friday text stating we were in need of a striker , probably left many of the Elite wondering where this weeks goals might come from with the ginger assassin and silver fox both relegated to the sidelines.
Turning up at Mcallister Park, the home of football , the fields in a pristine mud condition, this was going to be a day for traditional Wellington wet weather football.
Going through the usual pre game rituals, Gansey telling us about last night, then almost throwing up, the new players being introduced as Jamal thus followed by the old gaffer reinstating that we don’t loose to Olympic and we want to do the double – the team of athletes was ready to take the field!
With half the field in a playable condition, and the other half good enough for mud wrestling this was going to be a game of 2 halves, literally.
The first 25 odd mins the Elite seemed to have the run of play with Olympic resorting to the long ball or breaks to try and get a sniff.
Stu was pulling the strings in midfield with perfectly placed “in the air” switches and through balls
Horton was at his usual best – missing a 1 on 1, and a few pass backs to their keeper, with Liam the ringin striker also proving to have not lost his touch (after Pete had queried him on this pre game)
But the Elite was creating chances, surely a goal was to come….
Gansey, coming off the back of another bender was at his graceful best with some mud dancing and great line balls, before being taken out in a poor slide tackle – 1 sub gone
Horton, not to be outdone and wanting to keep Gansey company on the sideline, then fell victim to his shin splints and was off… - 2 subs gone ….
Josh, in the Elite goal, filling in for Davey Boy had a fairly quite first half with the couple of Olympic chances inside the box snuffed out by some standard Elite defending – including Stu, who was playing box to box it seemed in this first half.
The Elite started the second half with just the one substitute, and a few players that were sure they weren’t going to make the 90 min mark… but it was game on! Apparently attacking the “better” half of the field ….
United kept the pressure on in the second half, with Stu again pulling strings in midfield and Tinder Todd playing more as a striker rather than a defensive mid
The home team had introduced their secret weapon upfront a striker called “bull” who almost crushed Pete in a 10m slide tackle – but the Elite weren’t running scared
The pressure was resulting in corner kicks for the Elite, which Doug was struggling with in the “puddle corner”, however a few great deliveries saw a bit of ping pong tennis in the box which the Elite were unlucky not to convert and Tinder putting a header chance over the bar.
At the other end Olympic were starting to use the long ball well and put pressure on the United defence – with a change needed , Liam decided he had enough upfront and had busted his nut for 70 mins (first game), however he was beaten to the sideline substitution by Stu, who had been one of the stand out players most of the game.
On came the game changer …. Niall
Niall playing upfront in his lucky boots was looking for his first of the season, and with the ball at his feet Pete went to beat their right midfielder and play Niall in….
However this worked better for Olympic with Pete gifting the ball to their right midfielder, who delivered the perfect cross only to be headed in by a late Olympic far post run, Elite 0 –1 down… against the run of play, Pete gets an assist.
With the Elite chasing the game there were shouts to go to 3 at the back and send one player forward, we decided looking at the backline that Steve was the best option (goal conversion record)
Almost immediately this had an impact, with Olympic seemingly switching off thinking that 1-0 was enough to beat the mighty Elite.
Step up Tinder Todd, a lovely pass to him inside the box off another Elite players knee, Todd managed to flick his head backwards like a swim suit model and the ball sailed into the top left hand corner…. 1 – 1
The Elite could sniff victory, with Olympic looking like they had no tricks left up their sleeve….
Some great build up play again from the Elite, playing pass and move football, saw Tinder Todd for his second at the back post… 2-1 Elite
With the final 5 minutes of play remaining the Elite pressed on for a another goal, but had to settle for the 2-1 win, the first double of the season, and who says we need our strikers when we have Tinder at defensive / goal scoring mid!
Not a bad second half effort given we had the one sub and some gutsy efforts to get through the 90
A quite beer at the pub after the game to reminisce on the win, the Elite were happy, and Tinder Todd headed off to see if he could turn his 2 goal bag into a hat trick on Saturday night in town.
3 – Stu, was great in the first half, box to box, and switching play
2 – Todd, 2 goal hero, went about his quite self and worked hard all game
1 – Doug, had a hard time with the corners, but was causing trouble all day down the left
Special mention to Liam, who if an Elite player would have picked up a point today – came and payed the full 90 and got stuck in! Gives Crespo something to live up to… a full 90!