MATCH REPORT: Round 22 vs Northern Rovers

11 Sep

NRFL Men's First Team Round 22 Match Report – Northern Rovers vs East Coast Bays, McFetridge Park, Glenfield - Saturday 3rd September 2022.

Battle of the Caunters ends in a stalemate

East Coast Bays travelled over to Glenfield for their last game of the season against local rivals, Northern Rovers. It was billed the Battle of the Caunters as the two captains Jack & Louie played against each other. Bays made two changes as Louie was back in goal and Oscar started in place of Mikey G.

After only 3 minutes Liam was making a run down the left and his cross to the back post found Thomson who played the ball back across the front of goal before it was cleared to safety. Three minutes later a long throw by Mikey K was headed on by Oscar onto a Rovers defender & out for a corner. Liam made another break down the left and his cross was blocked for a corner. Callum’s corner drifted out past the back post. Nicolai took the next corner that was headed over his own goal by Burney. The next corner was a skimmed header by Logan that went into the keeper’s arms. Burney was then put under pressure to force yet another corner. Nicolai’s corner reached the centre and it looked like James was fouled in the box before the defence cleared away.

Liam then made a great break down the left, turned inside his defender and fended off a second defender as his cross was blocked for yet another corner. Nicolai’s corner failed to make it into the centre because of the strong breeze. Two minutes later Bays took the lead when a Callum free kick was clipped to the back post where Logan headed home powerfully. Bays were justifiably 1-0 up after the many chances created in the first 25 minutes of the game. Saying that, Bays were almost caught out straight away when Turner played in Burney down the left but Thomson made a fine recovery tackle to clear the danger.

Bays then had a fast break which led to Nicolai shooting between the keeper & his post but the ball came back off the post & in the follow up Liam scores but was flagged offside. Nicolai then beat 3 defenders and from the resulting corner James couldn’t get enough power into his header that went straight to the keeper. Four minutes later Northern Rovers had their first real chance when a diagonal ball to the left found Turner, who cut inside Thomson, before his cross was headed away by James. Bays almost doubled their lead when Northern Rovers lost the ball. Keegan pounced and fed Nicolai who had his shot defected wide.

Northern Rovers were almost level in the 41st minute when a shot by Turner was blocked. The rebound fell to Brown who played the ball past Louie but the shot was cleared off the line. Nicolai then played the ball down the right flank to Keegan & on to Thomson who’s cross was blocked for another corner. Mikey K then had a long throw in that was headed behind by the defence. Rovers then could have had a penalty. Turner played in Harbottle who looked like he was clipped slightly by Mikey K in the box but played was waved on. Turner played in Harbottle again who beat Louie to the ball but the goal ward shot was cleared away.

The half time score was Northern Rovers 0 East Coast Bays 1 and Bays were well worth their lead with the many chances they had created. In fact, they should have been leading at the break by two or three goals but too many wasted chances. Rovers only really started attacking 5 or so minutes before the half time break. Bays were straight at it just after the break with a break down the right by Nicolai & Thomson. Nicolai then made another break and his left footed shot was blocked before Keegan put the rebound over. Five minutes into the second half Rovers made a change with Rhodes coming on for Turner. Liam then made a break down the left and his cross was taken by Diver just out of the reach of Keegan.

Nicolai then made another break down the right, cut inside, and his left footer went well over. Another ball down the right found Thomson and his cross was blocked for a corner. Nicolai’s corner was whipped in and Diver did well to punch away under pressure. Keegan was then fouled by Burney and the resulting free kick found Logan who headed into a Rovers defender. The resulting corner was headed wide by Logan who probably should have scored. Nick Gaze then made a break and his left foot shot went wide of the left post. A Bays fast break by Thomson & Keegan led to Keegan having a shot saved & Nick shot the rebound straight at the keeper. Liam then made a break down the left & his excellent cross into the penalty box was just too far in front of Keegan.

Bays were then clearing their lines when Harbottle committed a nasty late tackle on Mikey K. Harbottle was booked and after unsuccessfully trying to run off the knock Mikey was replaced by Julyan Collett. Rovers also made a change with Mak coming on for Edwards. Liam then put in another cross from the left and Keegan slipped as he was about to shoot. Master goal scorer Callum shot wide. A slick Bays move saw Nicolai play in Liam who played in Nick & his left footer just went wide. Oscar then tried his luck from long range but his shot was over the goal. Logan then played in Thomson who played in Oscar but his cross cleared everyone in the middle. Rovers equalized against the run of play when a diagonal ball from left to right found Rhodes who collected the ball and shot under the advancing Louie for 1-1. Rhodes looked decidedly offside but the assistant referee did nothing and the goal was allowed to stand.

The goal got Rovers going again and they just missed going ahead when a ball by Brown was just out of reach of a sliding Rhodes. Thomson then played in Oscar, who fed Liam, who shot past the keeper but was again saved again by his post. Liam then put in another excellent cross and Nicolai hit a right footer over the goal. With 5 minutes of normal time to go Bays made a triple change with Mikey G, Macca the Attacker & Josh replacing Thomson, Nick & Oscar. Nicolai then teased Burney down the right and his cross was headed into a defender by Julyan. Rovers then had a cross cleared for a corner which Julyan then comfortably cleared. Brown was then yellow carded for a pull back on Liam and from Callum’s free kick Julyan’s header was cleared in the penalty box.

Bays continued to attack to get the winner. A diagonal ball by Julyan found Liam & his cross led to a shot by Josh being blocked. A cross in from Nicolai then saw a close range header by Liam saved. Josh then played in Keegan and his shot was saved by Diver’s legs. Five minutes into injury time a ball was played right down the middle. Rovers captain Jack knew what he was doing as he brought down Keegan. From the free kick Callum floated a ball to the back post and Logan had his header saved yet again by the impressive Diver in goal.

The final whistle went and the game had finished 1-1. Not a great result with Tauranga winning, which meant that Bays finished 4th in the table. Bays were guilty of missing too many chances that could have led to a comfortable win and the Rovers goal could have easily been chalked off for offside. The Rovers coach made us laugh when he said his side had the better of the game when the stats clearly showed that was not the case. Bays player of the day was Logan and that’s it for the 2022 season. I hope everyone has a great off season and look forward to doing this all over again in 2023. Thanks for your kind comments about the match reports. It’s been fun & a pleasure bringing them to you this season.

Final Score: Northern Rovers 1 vs East Coast Bays 1

Line Ups: Northern Rovers: R Diver, D Buckingham, L Burney, J Caunter, L Harbottle, D Brown, N Edwards (Y Mak 67), L Middledorp, J Quinlan, J Bracken, R Turner (P Rhodes 50)

East Coast Bays: L Caunter, J Edgeler, K Kelly, C Simmonds, O Garcia (J Coe 85), N Berry, N Gaze (J McKeown 85), M Kolston (J Collett 69), T Nkoy (M Gaze 85), L Andersen, L Archer  

Scorers: Northern Rovers: P Rhodes 78

East Coast Bays: L Archer 23

Official attendance: 5,997

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