East Coast Bays 1 Hamilton Wanderers 4 played 28/03/2015 at Bays City Park

It doesn’t really matter if a referee is good or bad, (it’s better if they are good) but they must be consistent in their rulings. If a player is pinged for an infringement, he expects his opponent to be pulled up when committing the same offence. When that doesn’t happen and play is waved on, players become frustrated and the referee loses respect.


Seriously understrength to start with, due to international commitments, the ASB Premiership, injuries and suspensions, East Coast Bays played sixty minutes with ten men and fifteen with nine thanks to two soft dismissals.


With both goalkeepers unavailable, Goalkeeper coach Dave Cunningham made an unexpected comeback and assistant coach Matt Pitts put on his boots to help out in defence.


Bays took the lead after 10 minutes when captain Joe Bresnahan finished off a fine move with a low drive into the corner of the net. Wanderers countered almost immediately as Bays were forced to scramble the ball off the line.


A Lee Robinson corner was saved by Matt Oliver, the Wanderers keeper, before the visitors equalised when Tewi Te Pou broke the defence and chipped the advancing Cunningham.


A couple of nonsense bookings were handed out which were to have consequences later on and Bays were set back when communication between Avi Estrin and Cunningham broke down allowing Frederico Marquez to nip in between them, collect the back pass and sweep it into the net. Wanderers ahead 2-1.


Dillon Barnett headed against the post and Bresnahan was just wide before Bays were down to ten in the 28th minute when Bresnahan was booked for pushing which turned out to be his second yellow and a consequential red card.


Ten man Bays regrouped, holding out Wanderers for the remainder of the half.


Another setback at half time with Cunningham forced off with a dislocated finger meaning that Under 17 keeper Michael Williams made an unexpected first team debut.


Wanderers hit the crossbar five minutes into the half from a Marquez free kick, but Bays were not out of the game and both Barnet and Jack Anderson were denied by good defending. As the second half continued, Bays came back into the game and Barnet forced a fine save from Oliver while John White  was just wide with an overhead kick.


It seemed that Bays may just get something out of the game but any chance was snuffed out in the 74th minute when Pitts stretched out to clear a ball, a Wanderers player fell over him and Pitts was off for a second yellow card.


Two minutes later Jama Boss scrambled home to put Wanderers further ahead and Marquez grabbed his second with six minutes remaining, tapping in from a cross as the weakened defence struggled to deal with a two man advantage.


It was expected to be a tough start to the season and can only get better once players come back. However this is supposed to be the best league in the country after the ASB Premiership so it is disappointing to be allocated an official still on training wheels.


Team:  Cunningham (Williams 46), Barnett, Pitts, James Anderson, Estrin (Benei 65),  Bresnahan,  Robinson,  Peat, Stansfield, Jack Anderson (White 59), Beguely


Scorers:  Bresnahan 10









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