The Matamata Bus was back on the beat today, after a few weeks of taking it more than a little bit easy.
After another mad dash up to Auckland, following a morning of mini-kickers football (basically chasing round after 5 and 6 year old kids), I made it to Fred Taylor Park just as the Waitakere City versus Bay Olympic match kicked off. And just as the drizzle started. Drizzle that later in the match turned to big, cold, ugly, smelly, cold, demonish daggers of razor sharp, er, rain that forced me to leave early. Well, my feet were wet so what do you expect?
Anyway, before my cowardly exit I had the pleasure of watching what, if you didn’t know, appeared to be one of those typical end of season matches that neither team had anything to play for. That’s what it looked like. Only, they both had plenty to play for – namely, a guaranteed place in next season’s NRFL Premier League.
Given recent results, Waitakere would have been favourites, but looking at the team sheets then the visitors had the upper hand. The team on paper, as it turns out, ended up winning. 2-0 to Bay Olympic it finished, securing their spot for 2014…but it wasn’t a spectacle. Actually, I couldn’t wait to leave. So much for spring being here.
The first goal, a tame Kyosuke Kitano header that squirmed though the keeper’s hands (well, it was wet. But he should have held it) wasn’t a classic but said a lot about the conditions. The second goal, after the break, was much more like it. A decent move and a good finish, from Shane Tanner, was enough to get the points and ensure Waitakere United Green defeated Waitakere United White.
It hasn’t been a classic season for Bay Olympic, the two time defending champs. They get to look for better in 2014. Waitakere City, however, have the incentive of a Chatham Cup final to look forward to if they can get past Melville United next weekend. On this showing they will be very, very nervous about their trip to Gower Park because they were not good. Their recent form paints a different picture and I expect they’ll have a bit more space to play in next Saturday, so their season is still very much alive. If I was Steve Williams, though, I’d be feeling as comfortable as you can at this stage of the Chatham Cup.
As for their survival hopes, Waitakere only needs a point from their last two games so I expect they’ll be okay, and in the process send one of my favourite clubs, Ellerslie, back to Division 1.
I’m still trying to thaw myself out, so this is all you’re getting from me this Saturday. My fingers are actually still purple. So until next week, when I get to see Waitakere again (in the cup semi) you’ll have to get by on a few pics, below, and a movie (One Minute At… Fred Taylor Park).