Write-up By Shane
Elite 1 - 2 Cosmos
Flying high the newly promoted Wellington Utd Elite were full of confidence after sealing promotion by beating the top of the previous grade in a hard fought battle.
There were ominous signs when the team arrived – well those that could get there at the designated time anyway – Rori was standing around WAG on arm and standing in a muscle shirt - the Temperature would have been lucky to be in double digits. CJ was quick to walk up and without hesitation the words “that’s a fine” came freely from his mouth.
While getting changed the Elite were confronted by a self-appointed referee (more on this douche bag later) who made it known that for future away fixtures we had better have a 2nd strip available as our socks matched that of our opposition……such a nice guy though let the game go ahead, that’d be the last favour the Elite would receive.
The warm up run by Rori was quick to get underway – looking to impress the WAG I’m guessing. The Elite seemed up for the game – a few new faces in the line-up as is the norm.
We caught a glimpse of the opposition and to our surprise they appeared to be a Masters squad, crafty older guys was the thought and our observations were to be proven with some gamesmanship once we got underway.
A makeshift starting 11 was finally advised to the squad after much confusion, we took to the pitch and had a slow start with the opposition spraying some passes around and when we got on the ball we were rushing from defence to attack with ambitious balls. Once we settled in though the Elite started to fine space in behind the fullbacks which we were unlucky not to able to convert. Que the ref to start to get whistle happy and for any 50/50 contested balls he would blow things up not allowing much flow for either side. After some fast paced end to end football from both sides the half time whistle blew – the ref was happy to be able to blow his pea again so everyone went into the break reasonably happy other than Dave who on the sideline was shown a yellow card for asking a question of the ref on a basic call he got wrong…..
The Elite chattered at half time about playing more passing football with the ball on the ground as the long ball up to the strikers wasn’t getting us much reward.
The second half started and we started linking together some good phases of possession and passing which was a bit of a confidence boost for the squad. With a sweeping fast paced break down the left wing Travis broke into the box and managed to square the ball under pressure by 2-3 defenders as well as the keeper, Shane was lucky to just have to react with a side footed finish into an empty net 1-0 Elite.
It wasn’t more than 5 minutes later and the opposition managed to break free and their strikers linked well for an equaliser 1-1.
Both teams were trying to get into the game and assert themselves – trouble was the ref wasn’t allowing anything and was still blowing his whistle far too often, the Elite were guilty of talking back and asking too many questions of the ref – warnings were given to the Elite lads and Shane as captain was growing increasingly frustrated.
There was some good fast football working for the Elite with one move seeing Turk break into the box and have a challenge put in on him only to be able to lay the ball back to Shane who may have snatched at the chance a little and their keeper managed to make a great reflex save.
Tim and the Elite defence were dealing expertly with the Olympic strikers and giving them nothing it was impressive to watch how we kept thwarting each wave of attack they tried.
The ref blew for yet another free kick or three for Olympic, I can’t recall if it was a free kick or a corner which was poorly defended by the Elite – CJ was blocked in goal and one of the Olympic centre halves managed to bundle the ball into the net using his chest on the far post, disappointing for the Elite who had repelled these situations well up until this point 1-2.
The Elite created a few more chances but the ball just couldn’t find the back of the net, either their keeper would make great saves (with plenty of noise from their supporters) or our shots would be partially blocked.
Rolf asked the question of a hand ball in the Olympic penalty area where the ref responded with a “that’s never a hand ball” referring that a raised elbow in the box is a natural position……yellow card for the question though.
Rori then decided to check a couple of their attackers and after a little bit of “banter” with the ref he was shown a yellow also.
Not long after and Rori was penalised for a push and then spoke to the ref in a way that ref regarded as disrespectful and was shown a straight red, first in Elite history we were later informed by CJ. Harsh call and something Rori was remorseful of afterwards.
10 man Elite were taking the game to Olympic and the opposition were becoming very nervous and sitting deeper and deeper allowing for the Elite to be camped in the opposition half. The Elite just couldn’t make it count and the game ended, guttered!
The Elite’s first game up in Cap 5 didn’t go to plan but we showed we are more than capable in this grade and we should take confidence from how we played in patches.
2 – Tim, great game and dominated their attackers.
2 – Stu, for someone suffering from the Flu he was all over the pitch and providing great link play in Midfield.
1 – Travis, a great outlet and gave us good impetus in attack.
1 – Isaac, great composure on the ball and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet late in the game.
Elite Match Reports