ECB 1 North Force 0 played 09/08/2008 at Tikipunga

It took a cracking goal from Joe Bresnahan three minutes into the second half to give Bays a deserved win in boggy conditions and remain undefeated in this competition. Playing the Reserves on the same pitch had cut it up quite badly and a couple of heavy passing showers only made conditions worse. The 3.15pm start time to allow supporters from other games to attend saw a crowd of approximately 50 of which at least 10 were Bays supporters who had made the trip north. The referees decided to change their strip from red to yellow so Aidan was forced to change jerseys right at the start of the game which didn"t please him, but "haay its Whangarei so get over it". Bays applied early pressure but some wayward shooting and fine goalkeeping from the North force custodian kept the scoresheet blank. After fifteen minutes the ground had cut up quite badly, especially just outside the North Force penalty area, making it difficult to pass accurately. Aidan Gwilt made his first save just after the half hour and his second, three minutes from the break, other than that it was all Bays with the North Force keeper making good saves to deny Dan Peat, Glen Forrest, Jack Beguely and Nick Hyde. It was scoreless at the break. The pristine all white strip was attracting liberal layers of Tikipunga mud and the overcast weather conditions made it very murky at the start of the second half. In the conditions, Bays opted to use the long ball and it paid off. Dan Morgan-Howell won the ball on the left and crossed to Arek Kubicki. Finding himself closed down, Kubicki returned the ball to Morgan-Howell who then laid on a cross to a mud-covered Joe Bresnahan who lashed the ball into the top corner of the net from some 25 metres to give Bays a deserved lead. Morgan-Howell had the ball in the net two minutes later but it was disallowed for off-side and Bresnahan had another shot cleared off the line. The next twenty minutes saw play bogged down as conditions worsened, and the North Force keeper continued to impress making good saves at the feet of Dan Peat and from a Jeff Campbell freekick. With time running out North Force had their best chance when Sammy Oso was put through but a brilliant tackle from Bresnahan on the edge of the box snuffed it out. Oso had the last say right on time but put his shot over the bar. Another great team performance with Bresnahan outstanding. Team: Gwilt, Forrest, Hyde, Suri, Estrin, Kenyon, Campbell, Beguely (Morgan-Howell 42), Peat (McKeown 78), Kubicki (Webster 63) Scorers: Bresnahan 48


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