Write-up by Rolf
Elite 1 – 1 Seatoun
Back-to-back home games for the Elite as they are facing Seatoun, who
managed to stay unbeaten in their first 3 games, including a draw
against league leaders Tawa Bears.
With 6 points from the last 2 games the Elite are slowly starting to
gel together and morale was high, but a horror scenario arose as 5
players couldn’t attend the game on Saturday. Team manager Dave used
all his resources to get some fill-ins, but most of them also had to
give a negative reply. On the game day the Elite were lucky to have a
12 man squad including Decs (who already indicated wanting to start
from the bench) and Patrick who’s normally only refereeing.
This game squad included JL and Damien from the Honeybadgers helping
out as well. They were keen to test their skills on the Cap 6 level
while keeping in mind they also had to play their own game with the
Honeybadgers, which started later that day. Great effort guys! Also
joining the line-up for the first time, was Kengo. He recently arrived
in Wellington, and when Dave found out he was a goalkeeper he had to
sign him up for the Elite.
As the game commenced on a cloudy afternoon, the Elite were struggling
to get a grip on the game, with Seatoun having the upper hand. Seatoun
had some great technical players in midfield, and 2 very adapt
strikers. The Elite’s midfield stayed deep for most of the game,
keeping a solid defensive formation and for a very long time they were
able to keep Seatoun only putting in some long range efforts. However,
the shots were usually easy prey for Kengo who enjoyed an excellent
debut. It wasn’t until halfway through the first half before the first
great chance for the Elite came up, as Turk was set up one-on-one with
the goalie. He took a shot, but the goalkeeper saved it, and the
rebound by Rolf ended up wide of the goal. There was a brief moment of
controversy as the Elite claimed the goalkeeper used his hands outside
the box, but the referee was having none of it.
The Elite later had some more shots from distance by Stu, Isaac and a
free kick by Damien. But with Elite slowly pushing forward, the space
opened up for Seatoun, and they used it well. First Rori was able to
prevent a goal-scoring opportunity with a professional foul just
outside the box, but not much later the 0-1 came on the scoreboard.
Seatoun outnumbered the Elite on the left flank in the counter, and
after a few touches their striker had an easy tap-in.
It wasn’t against the odds, but the Elite knew something was still
possible today. Determinately they kept possession of the ball, trying
to find an opening, and just before half time they were rewarded. The
ball fell into the box, Seatoun were unable to clear it, and after a
short scramble, Decs managed to tap it in, 1-1.
The second half had a similar outlook, with Seatoun generally being in
control. However, except for a few long distance efforts, there
weren’t any great chances for them. The biggest opportunities were
again for the Elite, with Turk showing up in front of the goalkeeper
again twice, but he was unlucky and the goalkeeper stood his ground
with the help of his defenders. A few more long shots by Isaac and Gav
looked dangerous, but they were from too far out to be a real goal
Halfway through the second half Seatoun were claiming a penalty, but
the ref didn’t want hear about it. The ball was being played by Rolf,
and the Seatoun attacker was clearly looking for penalty by diving to
the ground. It wasn’t the last bit of controversy as nearing the end
of the game Rori and Stu charged the same player and Rori’s elbow
unfortunately ended up in the Seatoun attacker’s face. The whole bench
of Seatoun riled up and it took some stern words from the ref and the
Seatoun goalkeeper to prevent the situation from escalating. Shortly
after everyone finally calmed down the ref blew for the final whistle.
The Elite can be proud for standing their ground this week and one can
only imagine what this team is capable of when they are at full
strength. Next week the Elite play another game at their home ground,
this time facing the bottom-ranked Lower Hutt Mooseknuckles.
As everyone had a solid game, this was a tight call.
2 – Isaac – Starting at the wing, and later in midfield he remained
composed on the ball and was well positioned in defence. Had some
opportunities from long distance, but was unlucky in his efforts.
2 – Jase – Once again a rock in the defence, organising his team
members well and not giving the Seatoun strikers an inch.
1 – Kengo – Unlucky not to get a clean-sheet on his debut, but proves
to be good goalkeeper for the Elite. Calm and confident, and had some
1 – Turk – Him and Gav were mostly outnumbered by Seatoun defenders,
but he used his movement, pace and dribbling skill well to get
one-on-one with the goalkeeper on 3 occasions. Should've scored at
least one though.