Waitakere United continued their unbeaten run into a second 12 month period with a comfortable 3-0 win over Otago United in NZFC action at Douglas Field today in hot conditions.
The visitors came closest to scoring in the 15th minute when against the run of play a deflected shot from Dave Dugdale almost eluded Waitakere keeper Richard Gillespie, the big custodian colliding with the post at the same time as trying to take the ball just under the cross bar. The subsequent loose ball was fired wide by a supporting player.
Waitakere dominated possession and territory without threatening to score, the closest was when Jeff Campbell floated in an accurate free kick from the right wing in the 26th minute, the ball just eluding the advancing support and the post for a goal kick when it deserved better.
Moments later it was Allan Pearce who got on the end of a through ball, controlled well and shot low but couldn’t get beyond the advancing Liam Little in the Otago goal.
Not long after the pressure told with Totori making the most of a great run off the ball from Roy Krishna to go around the right fullback and drive the ball home off the far post with an accurate left foot shot.
That goal just after the half hour hinted that the floodgates might be about to open up with Totori, Krishna and in particular Allan Pearce down the right more involved. But despite numerous chances and shots that at least drew saves out of Little, there was no addition to the score before half time.
The fans had hardly taken their seats after the break when the score was doubled. Great work by Chris Bale in midfield freed up Roy Krishna down the left and despite having some work to do, the Fijian international must have impressed Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert in the stands with a cool and decisive left foot finish from just inside the area, his 6th of the season.
Pearce was then finally rewarded after a frustrating afternoon of near misses when he calmly turned home a clever pass from second half substitute Paul Seaman with twenty minutes left.
Despite dominating possession and territory against an Otago side who lacked the personnel to trouble the home side, Waitakere will be disappointed that they didn’t add to their tally but will be glad of a further three points in their quest for a second consecutive NZFC title.
There were no bad performances but amongst those to impress were young defenders Aaron Scott and Tim Myers while Neil Emblen lived up to his pre-match presentation of the NZFC Dewars Player of the Month award with another classy performance.
Coach Chris Milicich will also be glad that his players weren’t forced too hard in hot and sapping conditions, with another match in store on Sunday against Waikato FC in Ngaruawahia.
Richard Gillespie, Aaron Scott (Ash Solly 74th), Tim Myers, Benji Totori (Kayne Vincent 66th), Allan Pearce, Neil Sykes, Roy Krishna, Jeff Campbell, Chris Bale (Paul Seaman 62nd), Neil Emblen ©, Jake Butler
Goals: B Totori 32nd, R Krishna 46th, Allan Pearce 69th,
Liam Little, Rhys Henderson, Tristen Prattley, Mike Smith, Robbie Deeley, Tom Jackson (Blair Scoullar 60th), Dave Dugdale, Andy Coburn (Barry Gardiner 70th, Arron Burgess, Tim Horner, Stu Kelly
Yellow Cards: Aaron Burgess 35th