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1st win on the road for Youth Development

Arriving at Seaside Park, we had a slightly changed team due to injuries and players being away. Still, we changed and the lads warmed up in their new training shirts and waited for the game currently being played to finish. Up  then stepped an official neutral referee and off we went.  Playing into both a good wind and bright sunshine, the team were put under early pressure from Otahuhu. However, the new pairing of Thomas McKee and Kyle Watson stood up well and weathered the storm. Brett Zinzan looked strong at right back and Dylan Thompson was doing a great job at left back. Old warrior Grank Muckle tried his luck in the centre of midfield, alongside the 'Speedy' Coster, with Dylan Smyth Kirk on the right and Shane Holmes on the left completing midfield. Up front were the reliable pairing of  Roddy Peat and Lev the 'Scarlet Pimpernel'. Between the sticks was the familiar face of Stuart Ruddell.

As the game entered the 9th minute, an Otahuhu player hit the deck injured and we put the ball out for him to receive treatment. As the Ref stood above the player, there was a sudden commotion and alot of shouting coming from that direction. Suddenly the ref produces a red card and Otahuhu are reduced to 10 men with the injured player given his marching orders.

Restarting, Waiuku were playing some nice football but still lacked that penetration. However, within a few minutes, Roddy Peat finds himself in space after good work from his team mates and buries it into the net through the legs of the keeper ! 1-0 to Waiuku!! Back to the restart and calls to tighten up were given from the coach. Unfortunately, that was not listened to and after a defensive mixup, an Otahuhu forward found himself in open space on the edge of our area. Out comes Stuart to force an error, but the ball is chipped over his head and into an empty goal. We had held our lead for about a minute. Still, back to the grindstone and Waiuku kept having a go! Good play kept putting Otahuhu under pressure but the breakthrough was not there. As Waiuku pressed, the 'Pimpernel' charged into the box and was cut down from behind. 'Got to be a penalty' I thought, but to my bewilderment, the ref warns the 'Pimpernel'  to stop diving and we get nothing!Then bad luck hit us with Shane having to leave the field due to a quad problem, so the taem was changed with Roddy moving to the wing and Gareth Morgan taking the front man role. Waiuku were looking strong going forward but always vulnerable to the counter and so Dylan Thompson was given a breather whilst Scott Withers moved into left back. However, another robust challenge from Otahuhu (We were getting alot of that!) caught Scotty, injuring his back and he was forced from the field and so Dylan had a very short breather before getting back on. 

Half time and the team talk is one of optimism. We can take this. Just be stronger in the challenge and take them on. This we did and Otahuhu were starting to flag. Both Gareth and the Pimpernel had chances, with Gareth hitting the bar and the resulting melee only just being cleared. As we continued to attack, chances were coming and once again we were denied a clear penalty as our striker was brought down twice within a milisecond in the 6 yard box. However, yet again the referee was unimpressed and waved play on! Was this to end in a 1-1 draw? No!! Roddy Peat once again got himself into a good position and from the edge of the area hit a speculative shot towards the goal. The Otahuhu keeper must have had the sun in his eyes because he was slow to react and the ball flew into the top left corner! 2-1 Waiuku!!

Waiuku kept it tight this time around and shut out Otahuhu, completing the first win of the season to the Development Squad! To be honest, once again we gave a soft goal away but we did deserve alot more than we got today. Spirit and the will to fight got us through and the man of the match went to Roddy Peat for his goals and workrate. Mention has to go to Dylan Thompson for outstanding defending when he is not normally a defender, to Stuart for some good saves that kept us in the game and to the 'Pimernel' who was given some rough treatment by Otahuhu but still kept tormenting them! We played as a team and it showed. Things are now gelling and we are getting stonger. Our next game is at home against Uni-Mt Wellington at George St KO 2.45. Well done lads and lets start climbing the table!!

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