Once the car pooling had been arranged during the week, we could finally focus on the match ahead against Upper Hutt.
A near full squad arrived at memorial park in Petone to the delight of a new artificial pitch and a not so new white kit.
However, one straggler was reluctant to don the white strip and stood on and watched as the team warmed up.
Once the first warm up was finished at 6pm, the team undertook a second warm up.
Early in the first had, the two squads battled for possession in front of a raucous crowd of 32 fans (20 of which were from the training before the game), but neither team was able to sustain a passing attack down the field.
The Elite found it hard to get with the pace of the pitch but once the team kept possession, the team’s performance improved which created a few chances from outside the box which the team could not hit the target.
Upper Hutt seemed intent on playing to their strengths and their ‘style’ of football paid dividends when an U/H player made a run into the box and with a one on one beckoning got chopped down. Penalty conceded which they duly converted.
1-0 at half time.
In the second half the team played some good football, with the front 3 players working well together without any early reward. It took a moment of class from Stu, whose corner crept in at the back post for the Elite to get into the game.
1-1 and game on.
Head Coach CJ rotated the team and the Eilte continued to press in attack and defend well with Stevo marshalling the backline, Adam and Cory winning lots of ball in the middle and Dec’s driving the team forward.
It happened to be another of U/H’s counter attacks which they managed to get past the defence and they scored to make it 2-1 which is how the game ended.
Despite the loss, the Elite played some decent football and will look forward to the short turn around and come back stronger in Friday’s game.
3 points go to a player gave the ref the first lot of abuse of the game, ran hard all night, had some nice link up play and was unlucky to be dragged back by an UH defender when it looked like he was going to be through on goal - Nick
2 points to a mid fielder who ran his socks off getting back to help the defence on a number of occasions, moved the ball around the park and was vocal during the game ( mainly about his ankles) - Cory
1 point to Todd who made good challenges, got up and down on the right flank and even suggested a position higher up the pitch may be to his liking.