MATCH REPORT: Round 20 vs Ellerslie AFC

31 Aug

NRFL Men's First Team Round 20 Match Report: Ellerslie FC v East Coast Bays, Michaels Avenue, Ellerslie, Saturday 26th August 2023.

Bays turn wealth of possession into eventual comfortable win

EC Bays travelled across the bridge for a night game at the new Ellerslie pitches with new floodlights lighting up the new ground. One change to the starting line-up saw Logan return in place of JS Chang as Bays faced back to back road games.

Bays were quickly on the attack when a cross from the right was brought down on the opposite flank by Nathan. He set up Leo who was off balance when he shot way over the crossbar. Logan was using the long diagonal balls to good advantage. One of these found Liam and his cross found Thomson in the middle. Unfortunately, a heavy touch took the ball away from a good shooting opportunity. Bays took the lead in the 14th minute when Liam broke down the left flank and as he entered the penalty box he was bundled over by an Ellerslie defender. The referee pointed to the spot and up stopped Mr Reliable, Callum, to drive his penalty into the bottom right hand corner. Ellerslie 0 EC Bays 1.

It took Ellerslie a little while to get going but when they did they broke at speed. A shot by Durkin flashed wide of Louie’s goal and then Johnson was clean through only to be denied by Louie taking the ball off his toes when danger loomed. Leo gave away a free kick 30 yards out. The ball was played in and when it was cleared to outside the box Rezaie hit a sweetly timed volley that crashed into one of the Bays defenders. Logan made a run down the left and earned a corner. From this a foul was called in the middle when the corner was played in. Liam & Nathan teamed up well and a cross was headed wide at the back post by Callum of all people. Marowa made a great burst through the Bays defence and just as he was about to pull the trigger James made a great tackle.

Nick then produced a foul that lead to a free kick from Shigematsu going way over the crossbar. Another long ball from Logan found Liam. His shot was saved by the keeper’s legs and then David blazed the rebound well over. Thomson then played in Liam again on the left and his left foot shot went over the goal. Good team play by Ellerslie saw Durkin through again but Louie was smartly off his line to collect the ball. Smith was then shown a yellow card for a poor tackle from behind on Mikey K. More good team work saw Thomson set up Nick and his left footed drive was pushed around the post by the busy Ellerslie keeper. Thomson then had a close range shot saved. Another ball down the middle found Liam. He rounded the keeper and crossed to the back post but it was just out of reach of David. Nathan then had a shot saved before the half time whistle went.

Half time and the score read Ellerslie 0 EC Bays 1. For the amount of possession and chances Bays had they probably should have been further ahead at the break. But Ellerslie had defended well and their keeper pulled off some great saves. Early in the second half Bays were on the attack again. A chip from one flank to the other by Nathan to David saw shots by Thomson & Liam blocked. A cross from Liam on the right saw Thomson shot way over. Rezaie was then booked for a late tackle on Nathan. Bays doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Leo intercepted a stray pass from Ellerslie. He found Liam down the right who in turn found Thomson. He fed Nick who was charging in on goal and Nick’s left foot shot found the bottom corner for 2-0 to Bays.

Ellerslie then had a sustained spell on attack. First up Louie had to tip a cross over the bar that was sailing under the crossbar. Louie then had to do the same thing from the corner. Down the other end there was a sort of comedy of errors to not score as Liam had a shot against the post and from the rebound one of the Ellerslie players sliced his clearance against the post as well. Johnson was then booked for backchat to the referee. David made a break down the right flank and his cross saw Liam’s shot on the run saved low down. In the 64th minute Bays scored again when Nick played Liam through. He drew the keeper and slid the ball across to David to shoot across the keeper into the far corner. The score now read Ellerslie 0 EC Bays 3.

From the kick off Ellerslie made a change with Johnson replaced by Corbett. Ellerslie made a number of breaks down the right flank of the Bays defence as they attacked to get back into the game. Rezaie had a shot on the right side comfortably saved by Louie. Bays then made two changes in the 71st minute with Orlando & Mikey G coming on for Leo and David. Good play by Fusha down the right saw the ball laid back and a shot cannon off Logan for an Ellerslie corner. From this Louie made another smart save from a low shot. The Ellerslie attack rained down on the Bays goal as Fusha cut inside Mikey K and let fly with a left foot drive that Louie did very well to palm away for another corner. Ellerslie made a second change with Robb coming on for Marowa with 15 minutes to go.

With ten minutes to go Bays made a third change with Niko coming on for Thomson. Both sides then had half chances as the final ten minutes seem to disappear very quickly. A break down the left saw Orlando shoot over and shortly after the referee blew the whistle for full time. The final score read Ellerslie 0 EC Bays 3. The score line looked like a convincing win (in some ways it was) but Ellerslie laid siege on the Bays goal for the final 10-15 minutes. The three points keeps Bays at the Top of the table and the team now travel to Andersons Road, in Mt Albert, this Saturday to take on 3rd placed Mt Albert Ponsonby. A win or a draw will more than likely earn Bays promotion to the Top Division so get across there and support the team on their promotion drive. See you all there.  

Final Score: Ellerslie 0 vs East Coast Bays 3

Ellerslie FC: K Hansen, S Fukami, T Marowa, E Fusha, T Durkin, E Smith, J Rathbone, D Andrews, L Johnson, S Rezaie, S Shigematsu

Subs: R Corbett 65, L Robb 75

East Coast Bays: L Caunter, J Edgeler, N Maisey, C Simmonds, T Kim (M Gaze 71), N Gaze, M Kolston, T Nkoy (N Ellie 80), D Brown (O Thorpe 71), L Andersen, L Archer 

Goals: EC Bays: C Simmonds 14 pen, N Gaze 55, D Brown 64  

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