Round 16 – VS Brooklyn Northern United Thirds, Newtown Park
Write-up by Rolf
Elite 2 – 1 Brooklyn Northern Utd
After a tough 1-2 mid-week loss against the Tawa ACU team, the Elite
are looking to face a relegation battle for their last 3 games. First
up are the Brooklyn Northern United Thirds who are on equal points as
the Elite coming to this game. The sky was blue and there was hardly
any breeze noticeable, glorious day for a game of football. The Elite,
once again struggling for numbers, were this time assisted by the
likes of Saji, Niall and Ozzy who were keen for some minutes.
While the boys in orange were enjoying a casual warm-up, the opponent
from Brooklyn came out storming, wearing matching warm-up gear while
they placed down some cones for a run of pre-game training. It didn’t
seem to have much of an influence at first as the Elite looked calm
and confident after their defensive performances against the top teams
in the league. The Elite were eager to get a result, but the confident
looks on their faces were deceiving of a good start.
Not even 5 minutes in, a ball curled in from the corner, met a
Brooklyn head at the back post, miraculously nutmegged both Tim and
Niall, and ended up over the line. Was this the result of the pre-game
work-out by Brooklyn or was it just bad luck? We’ll never know. But
the first goal was in, 0-1 lead for Brooklyn.
After that shocker of a first few minutes, the Elite seemed to
struggle even more. Brooklyn kept coming, outplaying the defensive wit
of the Elite and putting in shot after shot. Some unlucky attempts
from long range, some cat-like saves of Niall in goal, and the Elite’s
little angel on the crossbar prevented the score from getting worse.
All the Elite could do at this stage was hope for an opportunity on
the counter attack and pinch in a lucky goal.
While the Brooklyn team kept raging on the Elite’s defence, those
potential counter attacks seemed to be getting more and more likely.
The Brooklyn defenders started to get slowly less grip on the pace of
Turk, the movement of Levi, the ball control of Gav and the work rate
of Shane. Even the hardworking midfield and the overlapping full-backs
had the chance to occasionally join in.
Although it took a while for a real chance to be created, the first
one immediately counted. And what a goal! Great passing work on the
right side of the pitch allowed for a through ball for Turk to get in
behind the defence. He took a few touches and was looking to give it a
shot, but he kept his overview and squared the ball to Levi who was
given an unmissable one-on-one with the goalie. All that was left was
a coolly slotted finish in the bottom corner. The Elite were back on
level terms, 1-1.
The first half came to a close, some motivational speeches were
shared, and the second half was quickly underway again. The second
half was largely a tactical stalemate, although Brooklyn did come
dangerously into the box a few times on the one end, and some cheeky
passes of the Elite were able to create breakthrough opportunities on
the other side of the pitch. Gav tried to chip the Brooklyn goalie on
one occasion and Shane got tackled from behind while he was looking
for the one-on-one.
Bad luck for both sides, and a draw seemed to be the likely outcome as
energy was draining from both sides towards the end. The Thirds from
Brooklyn forgot one thing however. ‘Last-minute Turk’. For a few times
this season he has proven that defenders will need to stay
concentrated for at least 90+5 minutes, as his speed and dribble are
an eminent threat. And it proved yet again. Jason, who came back in as
a left-back, won the ball at the half-way line and didn’t hesitate for
one second when he heard Turk screaming for the ball. Jason played a
perfect 30 yard through ball and Turk was left one-on-one. You could
see doubt in the goalkeeper's eyes. Is he going left? Is he going
right? One dummy to the right, and a little flick to the left it is!
See ya, Mr. Goalkeeper!
With the tip of his boot Turk slotted the winning goal. What a win for
the Elite! Undeserved? Maybe. But the 3 points are staying at Newtown
Park. The lads had all reason to celebrate and holding a massive fine
session after the game to boost the piggy bank. The end-of-the-season
is coming near!
Next week the boys are playing at the Boyd Wilson Turf at Victoria
University against the Beavers. All, come and watch these boys fight
in their battle against relegation. Just a few more points will do the
a fantastic team performance above all!
2 – Turk – Didn’t see much of the ball for most of the game, but made
it count when it mattered. One goal and one assist to be added to the
2 – Vaughan ‘Ozzy’ – Deserves a reward for making his comeback on the
big pitch after a long time, and putting in a great performance.
1 – Tim – Was working incredibly hard in the back, keeping it as tight
as possible for most of the game.
1 – Garrick – Working hard in the full-back position and even joining
the attack on a few occasions.
Elite Match Reports