East Coast Bays Summer Sevens
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The Premiers and Development team have finished their season.
It went to extra time but really shouldn’t have got that far. Once again a number of chances were wasted, causing a great deal of suffering for the hardy band of supporters who has travelled down from Auckland.
It started well with a break down the left in the first minute but Dan Peat was unable to get to Luiz Del Monte’s cross. At the other end, debutant keeper Sam Copp was out quick to block a Ngaruawahia attack.
Pressure told in the tenth minute when a Peat cross to Del Monte, saw the latter cut inside and push the ball through to Mario Hoffman who prodded home from close range.
Play continued back and forth with some fairly dangerous tackles allowed by the local referee who then dished out cards for something far less career ending. With the half drawing to a close, Bays forced a series of corners and some desperate defending denied both Del Monte and Dillon Barnett, while Kris Carpenter headed wide.
The second half started with Carpenter just unable to get this head to a Deklan Wynne corner and a Del Monte cross from a corner, cleared off the line. More crunching tackles went unpunished.
Ngaruawahia were coming back into the game and just after the hour both Wynne and Copp denied the home side with goal line clearances.
Play surged from end to end as the clock ran down with both sides having chances but being denied by some great defending.
Then with just three minutes remaining, Ngaruawahia levelled. Federico Marquez had a shot which took a slight deflection and squirmed beyond Copp.
Into extra time and Jack Anderson broke through only to be hauled down for a free kick when there was conjecture as to whether the defender was the last man. Barnett had a shot saved and then Ngaruawahia were down to ten after a second yellow card was finally shown.
Del Monte capped off a fine game with a 99th minute strike which eluded the keeper and just before the turnaround Augustin St Germes should have added to the score but failed to connect to an Anderson cross.
The final fifteen minutes saw both sets of supporters with the hearts in their mouths and both sides went for it. Barnett should have put the game to bed but somehow missed from straight in front and Stansfield got through with only the keeper to beat, he slid his shot wide of the keeper but also just past the upright.
There must be something about the goal at the far end from the clubrooms, Bays have yet to score at that end.
Bays hung on through the last few minutes and now progress to Round 4 of the Chatham Cup.
A great debut from Copp who was assured in goal and special mention of Ash Crawford who stepping in for Elias Scoponi was part of the outstanding back four that mopped up virtually everything thrown at them.
Luiz Del Monte dominated midfield and Dylan Stansfield ran his socks off for 120 minutes. Young Jack Anderson continues to impress but we need to be more clinical in front to goal.
Team: Copp, Darkwa, Carpenter, Crawford, Wynne, McKeown, Stansfield, Del Monte (Daw 119), Peat (St Germes 72), Hoffman (Anderson 86), Barnett
Scorers: Hoffman 10, Del Monte 99