By EAFC Media
The second round of the Lotto NRFL saw Ellerslie visit Waitemata at McLeod Park – a venue that Ellerslie have struggled at in recent times. According to the Waitemata FC program these struggles go back to 1982 when we last won there – although due to Waitemata being in lower divisions in the years between then and 2017 the two teams had not met in that time span.
After last weeks loss to an impressive Mt Albert Ponsonby side, but a performance from the Ellerslie side that was less than convincing, fans of the Ponies had hoped to see a little more attacking intent in this fixture and didn’t they deliver with 4 goals and some quality on show as well.
Man of the Match Dylan Horgan who scored a powerful free kick and laid on an assist for Seb’s first goal was closely followed in performance by Seb who headed home two goals with perfect heading technique.
Another encouraging sign was the debut of Olly Chiaroni who ran at the Waitemata back line often and when he found some space he exploited that well, particularly with his contribution to the winning goal when Dylan found him wide with some space to pick the ball up and run at the backpedaling fullback – after a couple of shimmies in and out Olly found the space to fire in a low, hard cross which was turned into the goal at the near post by a Waitemata FC player in the 96th (and final) minute of the game.
Gutting for Waitemata as they had battled hard throughout the game and showed real moments of quality upfront when Kuyama Toma (KT) and Arnold Kochasira combined – the latter with extreme pace causing all sorts of issues. Their cause was not helped however when KT was given a yellow card in the 83rd minute for dissent of the referee which resulted in the first sin bin we have observed this season. It didn’t seem like Waitemata FC were even aware of the rule and that caused some confusion, even to the point when in the 93rd minute they tried to put KT back into the game – but of course with added time not official time any sin bin from the 80th minute onward results in that player not being able to return.
For the neutral an exciting game to watch with a first half packed with goals (5) with most of them coming very late in the half and then a cagey second half with plenty of opportunities and of course late late drama – feel free to check out the extended highlights of the game below:
The Reserves game was quite similar to the First Team game in a lot of ways – Waitemata FC took the lead and Ellerslie came back with two quick goals but then it all changed and the Ellerslie side took the game by the scruff of the neck and made sure they didn’t let go.
Waitemata’s opening (and what turned out to be only) goal came from a header and to be honest they should have scored a few more via this method as they looked genuinely dangerous throughout the game, but particularly early on. Kojo Norku in his first game of the season scored the equaliser after he found some space on the edge of the box and fired in a low shot that beat the keeper at the near post (the shot was partially missed on the video below). Ellerslie then got into stride and Monju won a penalty after being dragged down by a Waitemata defender just inside the box and he stepped up to calmly convert the spot kick.
Our third goal came from a keeper error – which is a bit harsh as the young keeper was excellent throughout the game and while he made a mistake on this goal when he let the ball slip out of his control while sliding out to intercept a through ball – his performance for the match in it’s entirety was very good. Patrick was the beneficiary of the error after he had made an outside to inside run from the right flank and Caleb had spotted his run and played the ball through the centre back channel – the GK had spotted the opening and had done well to make the ground but couldn’t recover quick enough to stop Patrick sliding home the loose ball past a cover defender.
Kyryl kept the margin at two goals just before the halftime whistle with a sharp point blank save! Excellent work from the young custodian
That completed the action in the first half and Ellerslie re-focused at halftime as Marshy and Seb took the team through a few things that were not working.
Second half was more of the same as Ellerslie continued to create chances and Waitemata continued to scramble well on defence and not give up easy chances – but they continued to make a few mistakes, one of which was when Monju blocked a pass in midfield that flew straight back past one centreback into some space for Patrick to run onto, leaving the covering centre back in his wake – there was so much space the keeper couldn’t come out to cover it and Patrick picked his spot and finished with a nice low shot from outside the box.
The final goal of the game which was Patrick’s hatrick was easily the best goal of the game – the move started with Denny who drove inside from full back with the ball and played a nice channel ball to Dee who had made a nice run down the inside left – he picked up Denny’s pass and with a shimmy got past the cover defender and played a perfect cut back to the penalty spot for Patrick to slide it home. A great team move!
This weekend both teams host Forrest Hill Milford which should be another tough challenge – see you all there!