On what could not be described as a beautiful Dunedin autumn day there were goals galore for our Men’s Premiers as they overwhelmed a plucky Northern AFC side seven nil in the North Dunedin Derby.
With the Caledonian improving in condition and now in a position to be able to host Premier League matches and Southern United Academy sessions the football on display from our side warmed as the match went on with Northern making a good fist of things in the first half and having a couple of chances to beat Stewart Catto in our goal.
Not a lot of real quality on display from our side in a sleepy first half as we replicated the snail pace of ball movement from our visitors, a piece of real quality from Ben Stanley was all the separated the sides at the half . A goal which came with us down to ten men as Captain Dom Scahill was off the pitch receiving medical attention after a blow to the face. The message from Darren was to get back to the game plan and move the ball much quicker.
An immediate reaction from our boys after the half time break with three goals coming in quick succession with Ben Stanley locking away his hat-trick with goals in minutes 47 and 52 which came either side of a goal to Dom Scahill. The first from Ben came from the spot as he tucked away the finish as a result of being fouled where he was simply to quick to the ball and the Northern Captain Robbie Columbus swiped him down in the box. His second was real quality as he strode forward and curled the ball home from just outside the box. Even better was the team play on the goal to Dom after Ben O’Farrell broke down the right hand side and played a lovely cross to Tom Durkin lurking at the far post who rather than attempt to finish on the angle squared the ball back to Dom to finish in the empty net.
Northern stemmed the flow for a period of time and as the replacements came on the game became a little disjointed, a few reminders coming from our bench about keeping the quality high. Again a succession of goals came as that man Ben Stanley found himself unmarked in the box after a quality Oban Hawkins corner and claimed his fourth. This was quickly followed by a smart finish from Dom to get his second and then Tim O’Farrell scoring another quality goal coming forward from the back. All and all a pleasing result.
Our boys are fighting hard towards finishing in the top three to earn South Island league qualification and the potential to play in a South Island League is a new challenge for the team.
The full live stream of the match is available via our Facebook page.
With a few of his squad returning Stu was able to field what is close to his preferred side, things started brightly for the Men’s Seconds with the always dangerous YoungJae Lee giving us the lead on 24 minutes. The wheels fell off somewhat as half time approached as Roslyn hit back with two quick goals to go in the half in the lead.
Harry Gaskin in his first start for 2019 restored parity just after half time and as Stu urged the boys forward we looked to claim a winner that on the balance of play we felt we deserved. With not long left on the clock YoungJae popped up to score the winner and take all three points. Our thoughts were with our midfield schemer Jack Mawdesley who suffered a nasty head knock and went off to A&E for a check out. Reports are that Jack suffered a concussion so should be back on the field after his three week mandatory stand down.
Women’s Seconds with newly appointed coach Arnon Tapp at the helm traveled over the hill the suburbs to face Hamish and his Roslyn Wakari side. With a few new personnel on board since their last outing against Green Island and without any training facilities since that match on 6 April we thought this might be a tough fixture against a side that has been scoring bucket loads.
Got off to the worst possible start as former OUAFC player Renee Bacon sprung the offside trap on three minutes and hit a strong shot at young Emma Andrew making her starting debut for us at the tender age of 15. The shot was straight at Emma who did well to get behind the ball but could only parry it in to the net. Our confidence was shaken by going behind and despite having plenty of ball as the Roslyn side looked to get numbers behind the ball and hit quickly on the break we struggle to get any real rhythm. Two further goals came as Roslyn had a number of chances via their direct balls in behind our backline. Emma did well to get hands to both goals again and was unlucky not to save them.
Half time brought a reshuffle of personnel as Libby Antunovic came on and made almost an immediate impact as Dani Martin broke down the Roslyn left hand side and delivered a cross that Libby met well first time. Unfortunately we couldn’t push on from there as a mix up at the back presented an unmissable chance for Roslyn to go ahead again. The game opened up after that as we gained some momentum with Ruth Perese and Tania Savery combining well with the returning Katreena Drake in midfield but there were gaps appearing as we got tired.
A good first time finish from Roslyn saw them push out the lead to 5-1 with Tania answering with a quality move as she won the ball in midfield and stepped past a couple of tiring Roslyn defenders and arrowed the ball home from 25 yards, its not often you see a goal of that type produced in women’s football. Renee settled the scoreline for Roslyn as her cross from the right agonisingly sailed in to the top corner over Emma. A good performance from the girls with seven stepping up from Division One for the match and not looking out of place against the Roslyn side who finished third in the league last year. Emma in goals was brave throughout and was awarded Player of the Day.
Down in Balclutha, Jack and the Men’s Thirds (aka the Cobra’s) went out in to a four nil lead at the half time break as the pace of front runners Trent Lynch and Ale Geldard was too much for our hosts to handle. Some changes at the break made the game a bit loose and with local favour at play as is the norm the boys gave away a couple of contentious penalties and the subsequent yellow cards for dissent (the ref is the ref boys..). In the end a solid 4-2 win with the boys being able to celebrate the bus ride home a bit more than has been in the case in years gone by with win’s down south hard to come by.
Megan’s Division One Yellow team took on Dunedin Technical and in a pretty open game ended up coming away with a solid 7-3 win with new singing Bella Cartman getting among the goals scoring a couple. A good solid start for Yellow who might just end up challenging our other side Blue for either the league title or based on the goals being scored and conceded each week the most entertaining sides.
To finish a word of comment on regarding training facilities – with the soon to be finished Artificial Turf Facility being built at Logan Park, OUAFC no longer has access to our historic training facilities. With day light saving coming at the start of April our training options have been limited to 7:30 to 9pm at Opoho Rugby Fields on a single junior rugby pitch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. For some perspective each of those nights would have to cater for 60 players during that hour and half. We respect the work Football South and in particular Chris Wright has done to see the project realised and this comment is not a criticism of the organisation.