MATCH REPORT: Round 1 vs Waitemata FC
Todays match report comes from ECB's roving match reporter Ian Overton – East Coast Bays vs Waitemata FC, Bay City Park, Saturday 26th March 2022.
Final Score: East Coast Bays 3 vs Waitemata 4
Opening Day Fightback close but just short in the end
The first day of the new season saw the return to Bays of former players Judd Baker & Zane Olla and the full debuts of Under 23’s players Bailey Stevenson & Keegan Kelly. EC Bays started off playing possession football and after the first couple of minutes it was 100% possession to Bays. Only problem was that one of the passes from Logan Archer to new captain Louie Caunter was just a bit short & Louie’s clearance ricocheted straight into the net off S Davies for an early Waitemata lead. A minute later Waitemata broke down the left wing, but the cross was blocked by Bailey. A minute later a ball down the Bays left wing led to Liam Anderson being clattered from behind by I Sellar, who didn’t even try to play the ball. The referee should have yellow carded Sellar, but this did not happen so no precedent was set for the afternoon which led to numerous fouls & late tackles by Waitemata players.
After 7 minutes a great through ball by Zane Olla found Liam, whose shot was saved by the keeper. Next up Logan’s turn & shot went out for a corner. The corner was cleared, and Logan had another shot blocked. Then T Van Leeuwen was booked for a foul on Nicolai. In the 11th minute things boiled over when some rough play ended with Daewook Kim following through on a tackle from behind and to everyone’s surprise he was shown a straight red card by the referee. So, Bays would have to play with ten men for almost 80 minutes.
After 13 minutes a back pass by Michael Kolston was cleared straight to S Davies who passed to Arnold Kochasira who was clear through, but luckily for Bays Arnold missed the far post with an open goal to shoot at. Bays upped the anti and within a couple of minutes Liam had a shot saved and Keegan Kelly had a header saved from a Callum Simmons cross. Liam then escaped down the left but his cross across the box was missed by everyone in blue. Three minutes later a through ball by H Mackay to A Kochasira led to a shot that was smartly saved by Louie. Three minutes later Waitemata were two up when another ball played through by S Tanner was smashed home by M Mohebbie.
On the half hour mark Waitemata scored their 3rd goal when another ball by H Mackay down the outside right channel found A Kochasira who turned inside Mikey Kolston and hit a perfect left foot shot into the far corner. Waitemata made a change a minute later as S Davies went off injured and was replaced by L Webster. Bays were shell shocked after being 3 down but instead of the heads dropping, they lifted and carried on attacking. A ball by Nicolai to Liam lead to a cross that was deflected out for a corner. Nicolai then had a cross/shot saved by the keeper. In 1st half injury time Bays finally scored when a pass from Mikey K found Liam who went around J Smith and crossed for Keegan Kelly to shoot home for 1-3. Half time the score was Bays 1 Waitemata 3.
Bays intentions to carry on attacking showed when a half time substitution saw Oscar Garcia come on for Ryan Singh. A fast break by Bays lead to a corner and a booking for H Mackay. A minute later a Waitemata clearance led to a cross/shot from long range from Nicolai that took a deflection and sailed into the top corner for 2-3. The comeback was definitely on. 5 minutes later I Sellar finally was booked for numerous fouls during the game. After 59 minutes a free kick was flicked on by Zane which led to the ball being punched out by the Waitemata keeper and in trying to get to the ball Keegan was held down on the ground by a Waitemata player. Neither the referee nor assistant referee saw what should have been a penalty. Zane was booked for a foul a minute later and in the 67th minute Bays were level when a break down the left saw Oscar Garcia cut inside, play the ball off & the lay off back was expertly tucked away into the bottom corner of the net.
The 10 players of Bays had made an incredible come back against the odds. A couple of minutes later Zane was replaced by Declan Sweeney and James Edgeler came on for Bailey who had a very good, steady debut game. Bays continued to attack with crosses being fired in by Nicolai. Keegan was unlucky not to get on the end of a couple of these. Liam broke down the right and his cross was met by Declan whose close rage shot was saved by the keeper. On 80 minutes the Macca attacker was brought on to replace Liam who put in a great shift. After 83 minutes Waitemata broke quickly but a cross from J Smith sailed harmlessly over the goal. Six minutes later Waitemata substitute Webster played a perfect through ball down the Bays right to S Tanner who turned inside Oscar & planted a left foot shot into the far corner for 3-4.
Waitemata then started consistently fouling the Bays players and J Smith was booked for kicking the ball away. In the 89th minute Bays had a free kick that was played to the far post & was knocked out of play by the arm of T Van Leeuwen. Once again, the hand ball was missed by the referee and the assistant referee on the right-hand touchline in what should have been another Bays penalty. Bays had another corner that cleared everyone in the box. With 5 minutes of injury time played another Bays cross was headed behind by Van Leeuwen with a suspicion of hand ball again. Nothing given. Another corner was headed wide before a quick counterattack by Waitemata was dealt with by Louie. Logan was then fouled by J O’Neil for another Waitemata yellow card. Shortly after the ref blew the whistle and the highly entertaining match finished EC Bays 3 Waitemata 4.
A fine comeback by the 10 men of Bays to just fall short at the end. Some fine performances and two very good full debuts but the inconsistent refereeing did not help the flow of the game at all.
Line Ups: EC Bays: L Caunter, B Stevenson (J Edgeler 69) , L Archer, M Kolston, DW Kim, C Simmonds, Z Olla (D Sweeney 69), L Anderson (J McKeown 80), N Berry, K Kelly, R Singh (O Garcia 46)
Waitemata FC: L Sherpa, H Mackay, T Van Leeuwen, S Sedon, S Sellar, J Smith, S Tanner, A Kochasira (J O’Neill 94), I Sellar, M Mohebbie, S Davies (L Webster 31)
Scorers: EC Bays: K Kelly 45+1, N Berry 52, O Garcia 67
Waitemata FC: S Davies 2, M Mohebbie 24, A Kochasira 30, S Tanner 85
Red Cards: DW Kim 11 (The 1st ever in his distinguished career).