MATCH REPORT: Round 20 vs Metro

22 Aug

NRFL Men's First Team Round 20 Match Report – East Coast Bays Vs Metro FC, Bay City Park – Saturday 13th August 2022.

Hard fought battle results in last minute win for Bays

EC Bays returned home after a few weeks on the road to face struggling Metro at Bay City Park. A couple of changes to the starting line up with Julyan & Nick returning, Mikey K dropping to the bench and Thomson returning to the bench after injury.

Bays were straight into attack mode and after a break down the left by Nicolai his cross was blocked for a corner. Callum’s corner was taken easily by the Metro keeper. Four minutes later Nicolai had a shot blocked after the ball had been intercepted by Julyan who then found Keegan. At the other end a cross by Macloud found Engelfield who’s left foot shot went wide. Liam then made a break down the right & his cross was blocked out for a corner. Englefield was causing the Bays defence a lot of problems with Logan fouling the Metro striker. The resulting free kick was played in from the left but was cleared comfortably.

A great team move in the 18th minute saw Julyan’s diagonal ball find Keegan. He in turn found Sam and his cross to the back post was set up by Nicolai for Liam’s shot that was saved low down by the keeper. From the resulting corner Logan headed into the side netting. Nicolai was then fouled on the right side and the free kick was cleared by the Metro defence under immense pressure from Logan & Julyan. Oscar was then fouled by Chandra and from that free kick Julyan had two shots blocked. Macloud then had a long range shot that went straight to Louie. Bays should have taken the lead when a cross right across the Metro penalty area led to a scuffed shot by Oscar that went wide.

Metro also should have taken the lead when a cross by Chandra from the right found Minto but he mishit his shot & the rebound fell to Englefield, who was offside. Han then had a shot on the right side go narrowly wide. Louie was then blocked off from an attempted punch and the ball fell to Englefield. His low shot was saved low down after a good recovery by Louie. Metro then had another free kick from the right that was headed clear by Logan. Five minutes before half time Han made a break down the right and his cross was headed over the goal by Macloud.

Nick then played a great diagonal ball out to Sam and his cross was blocked for another corner. Bays were almost caught on the break as Smith was straight through but Oscar tracked back superbly to clear. Two minutes before the break a Metro cross was met by a spectacular bicycle kick by Han. Louie managed to get his fingertips to the shot to turn it on to & over the crossbar. That save turned out to be crucial as Bays created a great team goal. The ball was played out to Nicolai on the right. He crossed for Oscar to shoot against the crossbar and from the rebound Sam rose to head the ball over the line for 1-0 to Bays. Both teams had created & missed many chances in a highly competitive & entertaining first half. Half time and it was 1-0 to Bays.

Four minutes into the second half Bays should have doubled their lead. A ball right down the middle found Keegan who shot first time and the Metro keeper managed to save with his hip. Another Metro free kick found Han who shot straight at Louie. At the other end Sam broke into the Metro penalty area but was shepherded away from goal. Oscar then played the ball off to Nick for a shot from long range but the shot was little bit weak. Han then almost scored from a cross/shot that Louie fumbled over his goal for a Metro corner. Nicolai then made a break into the Metro box and it looked like he was shouldered off the ball. Ref Alan Wilson called it a shoulder to shoulder challenge but it could have easily been given as a penalty.

Englefield was a constant danger. He made a break down the left and set up Turner for a half volley that just went wide. Liam then played a ball in from the right that went right across the goal & was just missed by Oscar. Han then had a shot that deflected off Logan and the rebound was headed over by Englefield. Oliver then played a dreadful back pass to his keeper that Keegan tracked back to & headed over. After 65 minutes Bays made their first change with Josh replacing Oscar and Metro made two changes with Gillespie & Faheem coming on. Three minutes later Metro made another change with Soffe on for Oliver.

A Metro corner by Han was headed away by Logan and a couple of minutes later Julyan was booked for a tackle from behind on Englefield. Han tried his luck from long range but the free kick went well wide. A minute later Metro were level. Englefield made a break down the left, played a smart one two with Turner and placed his right foot shot under the advancing Louie. No more than Metro deserved and all of a sudden the score was 1-1. Bays reacted a couple of minutes later with Thomson & Mikey G coming on for Nicolai & Sam.

Thomson had an immediate impact as his cross from the right found Keegan who played it back to Liam whose header was saved for a corner. Callum’s corner found Julyan who had his shot in the box saved. Nick then had a great win in midfield & he found Thomson whose cross into the middle was cleared. With three minutes to go Bays brought on Mikey K to replace Logan. Julyan then launched a long throw into the box that was headed away for a corner. Callum’s corner sailed over everyone at the back post and went out on the other side of the field.

Just when the game was looking like it would end in a draw (and a very disappointing result for Bays) a break down the left side found Thomson who broke into the left edge of the box. He crossed and even though the ball was slightly behind him Keegan swiveled & shot low into the bottom corner for the match winner. Shortly after, the final whistle went and Bays had sneaked home 2-1. Metro were gutted with the result as they battle down the other end of the table but for Bays it was a hard fought win to keep up the slight hope of making the Top 2. Liam was named Bays Man of the Match for his tireless running & tracking back all game.

Make sure you come down to Bay City Park this Saturday for the final home game of the season as Bays take on second placed Manurewa in another must win game (3rd v 2nd in the table)                       

Final Score: East Coast Bays 2 vs Metro 1

Line Ups: East Coast Bays: L Caunter, J Collett, K Kelly, C Simmonds, O Garcia (J Coe 65), N Berry (T Nkoy 79), N Gaze, DW Kim, L Andersen, S Wilson (M Gaze 79), L Archer (M Kolston 87)

Metro FC: J Marshall, D Chandra, J Minto, J Englefield, H Han, T Pratley, K Maclou, A Smith (M Faheem 65), J Turner, O Rajabi (K Gillespie 65), J Oliver (M Soffe 67)  

Scorers: East Coast Bays: S Wilson 44, K Kelly 90

Metro FC: J Englefield 77

Official attendance: 58,605

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