2088 views: 13 comments: Gaffer
posted on May 02, 2009 21:00
Waiuku got their season back on track in a hard fought game against local rivals Papakura at McLennan Park. For the first time all season Waiuku had the option of a full strength side as most players put their recent injuries aside, the rest took pain-killers to keep them going. Waiuku welcomed back Jamie Pegg for his first game of the season and Grant Muckle after he served a two match suspension.
It was easy to see that there was local intensity between the two teams even in the pre match warm up and the large crowd who turned up to watch turned up the heat. This was further fuelled when Papakura did an Irish War dance similar to the Maori Haka before the game to get things warmed up.
The game was end to end in what was an intense battle between two very competitive sides. Papakura nearly scored first when leading goalscorer Carlos Ferreira hit the cross bar with a 25 yard shot however Waiuku also went close when Captain Cody Ralph waltzed past two Papakura defenders in the box but got floored only for the ref to wave the game on. However the next time Papakura wasnt so lucky and when Ralph hit the deck again the referee pointed to the spot. Ralph stepped up to take the kick and scored on the second attempt after Russell Dixon got down and made a superb save to his left. It did not take long for Papakura to strike back however. Muckle tried to play a pass back to goalkeeper Justin Baldwin but it fell short and when the ball fell to Papakura attacker Shane Godden his drive deflected off vice captain Jerry Hubbard and sailed into the roof of the net. Derek Sinclair nearly gave Waiuku the lead straight away when he cut in from the left and shot the ball from the edge of the area. Dixon in goal could only parry the ball and Pegg shot narrowly wide with the rebound.
Waiuku started the second half strongest and managed to get a couple of half chances on goal, first from Sinclair and second from Jesse Smyth Kirk. However Papakura were awarded a penalty when Sam van Pomeron was harshly adjudged to of brought down Ferreira, in fact it should of been the other way round. However Pablo Fuhr gave Baldwin no chance as he slotted into the bottom left hand corner. Seconds later Waiuku were even. Wayne Trout drew the defence and sent Sinclair free on the right. Sinclair beat his marker and sent a superb cross on to the head of Ralph who gave Dixon no chance.
Papakura came close again with another shot crashing off the crossbar and then Waiuku nearly went ahead through Daniel Baldwin who nearly beat the entire Papakura defense and Robert Thornton who managed to get a one on one with Dixon but shot wide. Waiuku took the lead when Ralph scored directly from an inswinging corner which Dixon could only catch over the line. Waiuku sent Vaughan Banfield and Charlie Heather on to the pitch to close the game out and Waiuku finished 3-2 winners
Coach Jim Evans was happy with the win "It is nice to get some options again and we have showed what we can do when we are full strength and it was great to play in front of such a large crowd. The injuries are now behind us and we can look forward to competing with top of the table Fencibles next week at Massey Park. We played a very attacking formation and we defended well as a unit considering the attacking potency that Papakura pose. Man of the match goes to Ralph for an outstanding hat trick. Ralph has shown today why he is captain of this team. Not only was he injured going into this but he was also knocked out during the first half and had double vision at halftime. Still he wanted to keep going"
Papakura coach Dave Heads was disappointed" We didnt put our chances away today and it cost us. We have good team spirit but we need to learn to finish teams off when we are ahead and today we didnt. Papakura man of the match is Shane Godden"
Team: Justin Baldwin, Dave Johnson, Jerry Hubbard (vc), Grant Muckle, Sam van Pomeron, Wayne Trout, Derek Sinclair, Danny Baldwin (Charlie Heather 79), Jamie Pegg (Vaughan Banfield 75), Cody Ralph (c), Jesse Smyth Kirk (Robert Thornton 65)
Subs not used: Phil van den Broek, Joe Rayson