East Coast Bays Summer Sevens
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The Premiers and Development team have finished their season.
Credit to the Councils over the years for their upgrade of playing fields, but we appear to have developed a generation who can’t play football in the mud.
As one who grew up playing on the likes of a soggy Macalister Park in Wellington with a howling southerly and the Domain and Avondale racecourse in Auckland where you were lucky to find a blade of grass in midwinter, Walker Park, although a little cut up, was playable, although not up to the standard of most club grounds these days.
FC Old Boys are one of the many non-league clubs that enter the Chatham Cup every year and their moment of glory is to draw opposition who play in a higher competition. They demonstrated this straight from the kick off with Alex Carr forced to make a fine save from a free kick.
Bays then took command, dominating proceedings for the next thirty minutes but finding it difficult to control the ball and over-hitting many passes.
Old Boys scrambled the ball off the line in the seventh minute and Judd Baker was wasteful in front of goal on two occasions before getting the final touch in the sixteenth minute after the ball had bobbled around the goalmouth.
He could have doubled the score straight from the kick off but lost his footing while bearing down on goal.
Sheldon Pillay was denied by the Old Boys keeper, who went on the have an excellent game, denying Joe Bresnahan whilr both Pillay and Kieran McMinn were wasteful with other chances.
In the 34th minute, the unthinkable happened. Old Boys made a rare break, caught the defence napping and scored an equaliser.
Bays then camped in the Old Boys half for the rest of the half but Baker was off target and denied by the keeper three times with Dillon Barnett also missing a chance.
The second half saw Bays continue to dominate, with the Old Boys keeper denying Pillay with an excellent save and Baker putting the rebound wide.
Bays had the ball in the back of the net just past the hour but were denied by an offside flag.
It was starting to look as if the game may go to extra time but in the 74th minute, Bresnahan lashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner of the net to restore the advantage to Bays. Pillay was then twice denied by the keeper before Old Boys were reduced to ten when they had a player sent off for a second yellow card. It took a while for the referee to realise the player had been previously booked.
Baker had the ball in the net with a spectacular overhead kick only to fall foul of the offside flag once again. He then had to leave the field minutes later after conceding a free kick by hitting his opponents studs with his ankle – on of the more bizarre decisions from the man in the middle.
With clock winding down, John White cut in from the left to score in the corner and a second dive in the 90th minute from Bresnahan completed the scoring and Bays are through to the next round.
Credit to Old Boys, they are quick on the break and have an excellent shotstopper in their goalkeeper. Bays need to adjust their play to the conditions.
Great to see Dan Peat, James Anderson and Alec Solomons (man of the match) back from injury.
Team: Carr, Barnett, Beguely, Forrester, Solomons, Bresnahan, McKeown, McMinn (White 64), Olla (Peat 60), Baker, Pillay (Anderson 82)
Scorers: Baker 16, Bresnahan 74, 90, White 86