Write-up by CJ
Naenae 0 Elite 3
Scorers: Bryn, CJ & Adam
While a good number of grades were cancelled for the weekend, Cap 7 was on and the Elite keen for another 3 points against a young Naenae team.
CJ woke on Saturday morning knowing it wasn’t going to be all roses as he had a text from Adam saying that Barton had pulled out and Dave had the squirts so could I get anyone to help us out from the bench. Many texts later and it was no go as the Honey Badgers had raided the cancelled teams already.
After a delayed departure from Hataitai, CJ arrived at Fraser Park late but still able to find large shorts to avoid a kit abuse fine. His day got better when Adam asked if he was happy to play keeper in Dave’s absence. A reluctant yes followed on the basis it was for a half only and Niall duly stepped up for the second half.
Now that was sorted, the team talk revolved around playing our own game, winning the 50/50s and going the full 90 minutes as the young Naenae team would be up for it if we gave them a sniff.
First half kicked off and it was Elite from the off.
We won everything in the air and got plenty of balls out wide but just lacked quality final ball into the box.
Crespo had a number of chances but was showing a bit of rust due to a lack of recent football over the last few weeks. In saying that, our finishing was poor all round compared to the warm up when no one could miss.
Finally we were able to get a shot on target from Bryn and the keeper gifted him a goal by letting the ball get through him. 1-nil to Elite. (Not sure it warranted the fist in the air pump Bryn J)
For the rest of the half Elite were still creating a lot but Naenae had a number of chances also – one against the cross bar and one against the post but we managed to keep them out and go into the half time break with a 1-nil lead.
With our massive one man bench at our disposal, we made a change upfront with CJ switching from keeper to striker, Niall from midfield to keeper and Crespo getting a spell on the side lines. Team talk was to keep our composure, keep it tight and the goals would come.
Second half kicked off and Elite took control straight away with great passing and creating plenty of space out wide for Tom and Doug to run into.
There was further frustration for the Elite on the scoring front as plenty of opportunities weren’t taken - Doug had 2 or 3 chances off layoffs from CJ, CJ with a missed header from a great Bryn corner and a couple of scuffed shots wide from others.
However, Tom and Doug continued to toil out wide and a great ball down the wing saw Tom with his head up to play a great left footed cross into CJ who got in front of his defender to put the ball in for 2-nil Elite.
At this point Naenae’s heads went down and the Elite continued to press. Next moment a late tackle on Adam saw him push the perpetrator on the ground only for the lad to jump up and punch Adam in the back of the head – key weekend WWE wrestler Pete “the Pistol” Archer to come flying in to Adam’s defence with flying head lock slam on said perpetrator! This resulted in a few handbag but end result was the young Naenae lad sent to the side lines in disgrace with a few choice words following him off!
At this point football was back on the menu and another run out wide from Doug lead to a ball reaching Adam (who was now fired up to get on the score sheet) who managed to keep his shot on the deck, having missed a golden opportunity earlier, to place it inside the far post – 3-nil Elite.
With 10 minutes to go, the call came out from Steveo to CJ to switch to striker to get off the nudie run as the defence hadn’t had much to do for the 2nd half. One opportunity came for Steveo but again the nudie run beckons!
The final whistle blew on another 3 points for the Elite, 3 goals and a clean sheet reward for a decent effort but again leaving behind plenty of opportunities to add to the goals for column.
After 90 minutes for majority of the lads, it was back to the Parrot & Jigger for a few deserved Panheads, a couple of classic Ganesy calls and light hearted fine session!!
3 points – Tom – Best game of the season for Tom. A missed opportunity to square early on was more than made up for by great wing play & plenty of effort with only a goal missing from a strong performance.
2 points – Doug –Created plenty of opportunities and with greater belief in his ability to beat a man and shoot first time could have had a hat trick on another day. Always good to have both wingers having a good day!
1 point – Bryn – Dogged effort in the middle of the park, harassing their midfield and good loud calls in winning plenty of ball in the air. Topped off with a goal!
Elite Match Reports