December 7, 2013Score: 4 – 2
John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge. Kick-off: 5pm (ASB Premiership)
On an afternoon when WaiBOP United’s squad depth was severely tested it was 18 year old substitute, Reid Drake, who lit up John Kerkhof Park with a left foot stunner to help his team to their second win of the ASB Premiership season.
Just after the hour mark Drake swivelled and drove the ball home from outside the area to score his first goal at ASB Premiership five minutes after coming on for his debut. It was a rare moment of quality on an otherwise low key afternoon.
The first 20 minutes were the definition of humdrum as Southern fought to shake their travel out of their legs and the re-adjusted WaiBOP back four settled into their task. Young Tom Probert made his second start for WaiBOP and Ben Latham came in for his debut at right back in place of injured captain, Aaron Scott.
Again WaiBOP could be accused of attempting to walk the ball in rather than pulling the trigger, but the match came alive on the half hour WaiBOP when wide man, Shaydon Young, ghosted past his marker and was brought down in the box.
Milos Nikolic stepped up to comfortably send the ball past Tom Batty in the Southern goal.
WaiBOP sparked up and looked the more cohesive side as the match neared the break. Their more enterprising play was rewarded just before the break when Mark Jones got in behind the Southern left back and whipped a lovely cross to Young at the far post. Young’s header back across goal looped in at the far post to double the lead.
Half time: 2-0 WaiBOP.
WaiBOP had the best of the opening stages of the second half and their play was rewarded by Drake’s excellent strike to stretch the lead out to three. A fourth for WaiBOP looked more likely than a Southern goal, but the visitors were given their opportunity when Probert or Latham was deemed to have brought down Nick Hindson in the box.
Henrique Viana stepped up for Southern but WaiBOP captain-for-the-day, Andy McNeil got across to his right to save…only to see the penalty taker roll home a rebound for the second week in a row.
The match became a bit scrappy through the closing stages, but WaiBOP was able to extend their lead again when Nikolic nodded home unopposed from a Reid Drake corner five minutes from the end.
That secured the result, but the visitors were able to have a final say, of sorts, when Southern captain, Matt Joy, nodded home an Andrew Ridden cross from close range.
While this wasn’t the best WaiBOP United performance of the season it was the win the team needed and was made all the more special through the involvement of youngsters such a Probert, Drake and Latham.
|1. Andy McNeil|
|2. Liam Higgins|
|4. Takahiro Yokota|
|6. Masaki Nomoto|
|7. Mark Jones||Assist|
|99. Milos Nikolic||GoalGoal|
|13. Ben Latham|
|99. Maksim Manko|
|9. Shaydon Young||GoalAssist|
|18. Alexis Varela|
|23. Tom Probert|
|8. Mikhail Bredeveldt||Sub7|
|16. Scott Hilliar||Sub18|
|17. Reid Drake||GoalAssistSub9|