Waitakere United’s youngsters were taught a lesson in defensive work by the Wellington Phoenix at Douglas Field today. Minus injured centre backs Danny Hay and Neil Emblen, young Tim Myers and Aaron Scott were given the job of containing the Phoenix strikers on a hot Auckland day.
Despite competing bravely in most facets of the game through the opening half hour, United were twice caught square at the back and twice paid the price. Despite strong suspicions of offside on one if not both occasions, Adam Kwasnik was calm and accurate with his finishing on both occasions to give the visitors a comfortable lead just after the half hour mark.
The first though came just seconds after pint sized Brazilian Adriano forced Glen Moss into a world class save when he powered an Allan Pearce header goal ward at the far post. Two passes later and Kwasnik made Waitakere pay for the miss.
From that point the Phoenix were always in control and dominated most facets of the game to lead 3 nil at the break, with Jeremy Christie scoring against his former club when a free kick wasn’t cleared.
Helped a little by some interesting officiating, most notably when Greg Draper scored his second from a stationary 3 metres offside, the Phoenix dominated the second half to eventually win by 7 nil against a Waitakere side that received a rude wake up call ahead of the FIFA World Club Cup in December.
The Phoenix got the chance to run some of their fringe players while for Waitakere, it showed the work that is yet to be done ahead of Japan and just how valuable the likes of Emblen and Hay are to this side.
Danny Robinson (Richard Gillespie HT), Jonathan Perry, Aaron Scott, Tim Myers, Benjamin Totori (Cory Hitchin 86th), Allan Pearce (Daniel Ellensohn 75th), Daniel Koprivcic (Kayne Vincent 60th), Chris Bale, Jake Butler (Jonathan Key 86th), Ian Hogg, Adriano Pimenta (Paul Seaman 55th)
Wellington Phoenix (subs not available at this time)
Glen Moss, Jeremy Christie, Karl Dodd, Leo Bertos, Daniel, Richard Johnson, Troy Hearfield, Adam Kwasnik, David Mulligan, Andrew Durante, Manny Muscat
Wellington Phoenix: A Kwasnik 2, J Christie 2, G Draper 2, V Coveny 1