MATCH REPORT: Round 21 vs Mt Albert Ponsonby AFC

6 Sep

NRFL Men's First Team Round 21 Match Report: Mt Albert Ponsonby FC v East Coast Bays, Andersons Park, Mt Albert, Saturday 2nd September 2023.

Junior Solo special seals Promotion for Bays

EC Bays travelled across the bridge for their final away game of the season. It was First Vs Third on the table in the knowledge that if Bays drew or won they would be promoted to the Northern League Top Division. One change to the starting line-up saw the Smiling Assassin Moses return after a three game suspension and Nick drop down to the bench. Mikey Gaze was in line to play his 50th game for the Bays First team from the bench and it was a Happy 18th Birthday to young James.

Both teams went at it hammer & tongs and this was understandable with what was on the line. Most of Bays play was down the right flank. Liam put a cross into the centre and unfortunately Thomson miscontrolled the ball when he was in a good position to shoot. MAP broke down the right and luckily Mikey K was in a good position to clear for a corner. Leo made a break down the right and David’s cross was blocked for another corner. Callum’s corner into the centre was back headed away from the MAP goal. MAP made a break down the left and James headed the cross away for a corner. Hajderaj was then shown a yellow card for pulling back Liam as he tried to get away.

MAP made another break down the right with Foster & Hajderaj before a cross sailed past the back post & out for a goal kick. Hadjeraj then had a long range shot from long range that took a deflection past the post for a corner. Another Bays raid down the right lead to a cross in that Thomson shot wide. Thomson then blotted his copybook with a yellow card for a couple of fouls in quick succession. MAP had a corner from the right and a free header in the middle was expertly tipped over the ball by Louie at full stretch.

MAP had to replace Rollinson in the 37th minute as he couldn’t continue because of injury. Egusquiza-Arana came on for him. Bays were making inroads down the right but were a bit reluctant to shoot at times. Leo found Moses and his cross in didn’t find any Bays attackers. David then put a cross in that was cleared by former Bays player Kris Carpenter. Callum’s corner found Logan but not enough force on it to trouble the keeper. Another Callum corner made it to the back post and James’s shot was stabbed into the ground & straight to the keeper. Bays had another free kick that Callum chipped in but it was cleared away. James received an early birthday present as the referee gave him a yellow card for just a little bit too much back chat.

The half time whistle went and honours were even at half time with the score reading Mt Albert Ponsonby 0 East Coast Bays 0. A hard fought battle at both ends of the field and just what you expected in a game of this magnitude. Both teams had good chances but both goalkeepers were in good form.

MAP were out of the blocks quickly in the second half. Gurney broke down the left and earned a corner off Logan. Louie cleared the corner and Cantle shot over the goal. A ball down the right found Foster and his cross made it right across the face of the penalty box before going out for a goal kick. Bays had a free kick on the right that Nathan headed over. Liam made a break down the right and his cross was blocked out for a corner. Bays made their first change in the 57th minute with Nick Gaze coming on for David. Bays then had a free kick central just outside the box but Callum’s attempt went high & wide. Nathan then had a corner swing in and it was caught under the cross bar.

The match winner came in the 65th minute when Moses hit a ball with the outside of his foot down the left channel. Liam raced on to this and outpaced the MAP defence. As the keeper came out to cut down Liam’s angle he placed a shot past the keeper expertly into the far corner for the crucial breakthrough. The score now read Mt Albert Ponsonby 0 East Coast Bays 1. MAP made an immediate change with Player Coach Darren White coming on for Foster. MAP were playing a bit of a dangerous game by playing out for the back. Moses intercepted one of their passes and his shot was deflected over for a corner. Thomson then robbed Cantle of the ball and crossed to the back post. Moses shot against the base of the post and Callum put the rebound way over.

MAP then made two changes with Cantle & Hindson (both with injuries) being replaced by Martin & Billings. Another MAP break down the right saw the ball put behind for a corner. From that corner Martin put a glancing header just wide. Bays then made two changes of their own with Dylan & Mikey G coming on for Leo & Liam. A MAP clearance went spiralling into the air and Moses played in Dylan. He slightly overran the ball and the half chance was gone. Bays were awarded another free kick for a trip on Mikey G. Callum’s free kick was played in but a foul was called on Logan.

MAP continued their barrage of attacks down the right flank and a cross to the back post was met with a shot by Billings that went well wide. MAP tried their luck with a long throw that Turton met with another shot that went well wide & over the goal. Hajderaj was then shown a second yellow card for a trip on Moses which lead to a red card being shown and he was off in the 90th minute. Bays had another free kick that Dylan took and his right foot shot went wide of the goal. With the MAP defence all up field Bays had a quick break where Dylan played in Moses. He was clean through and tried to shoot through the keeper’s legs but the close range shot was saved.

Shortly after referee Nick Waldron blew the final whistle and Bays had won an almighty battle against MAP. In a very hard battle and very close game Liam’s solo goal decided the match and the final score read Mt Albert Ponsonby 0 East Coast Bays 1. This meant Bays had gained promotion and there were scenes of celebration & relief for both the players, the coaching staff, and the Bays supporters at the match. Mr Coyle was there to take some awesome pictures of the celebrations. Congratulations to Mikey G on his 50th appearance for the senior team. Congrats to Joe & the coaching staff plus all the players on the highly successful season. The final game of this season is at home with a 3pm kick off against Hibiscus Coast. See you all there.

Final Score: Mt Albert Ponsonby 0 vs East Coast Bays 1                         

Mt Albert Ponsonby: F Orduna, C Turton, J Cantle, K Carpenter, B Foster, K Hajderaj, S Tutton, N Hindson, M Gurney, J Rollinson, L Black

Subs: A Egusqiza-Arana 37, D White 65, A Martin 70, B Billings 70

East Coast Bays: L Caunter, J Edgeler, N Maisey, C Simmonds, M Akimana, T Kim (M Gaze 83), M Kolston, T Nkoy, D Brown (N Gaze 57), L Andersen (D Stansfield 83), L Archer 

Goal: EC Bays: L Andersen 65

Red Card: K Hajderaj 90

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