Our Men’s Premier season started off in the right fashion as a generation of demons were banished with the long awaiting league win over South Dunedin powerhouse Caversham AFC was finally achieved.
Much has been made of our new look side with a positive football environment attracting a string of new players to the club; based on the performance yesterday there is every reason to think this group of players could have a successful season.
The scoreline doesn’t really reflect the dominance we displayed for the majority of the match, Caversham had their moments at times with their direct style of play always likely to require rearguard action but with the triumvirate of keeper Stewart Catto, and centre backs Tim O’Farrell and Tom Sule up to the task at times it was one way traffic.
Our first goal came via our captain Dom Scahill who thrived off the dependable service all day via our busy midfield of Oban Hawkins, Ben O’Farrell and Greg Nimmo; there are debates about how clean the finish from Dom was but as they say, they all count.
The second goal was something a little magical, an absolute quality cross-field ball from Tom Sule was controlled by Ben Stanley who took one look at the goal from his wide left position and expertly curled home. The large University crowd situated 10 meters from Ben erupted as the ball nestled in the net. Ben has probably slipped under the radar amongst our new players but goals like that will see him become pretty well known.
Caversham were clearly rattled based on the comments flying at our side and the officials from a few supporters on the sideline. Our midfield in control and able to feed our three front runners at will.
Playing with the wind in the second half a slew of chances came our way with Tom Durkin on for Greg Nimmo looking threatening and coming close on three occasions; Ben O’Farrell also had what looked like a stone walled penalty waved away as he was shoved to the ground from behind but the response from the officials was not in our favour.
Ben Stanley rightly claimed Man of the Match honours after a performance full of quality and endeavour plus that aforementioned goal.
There was more pre season action happening around the grounds with our Women’s Premiers, Seconds and Thirds and Men’s Seconds and Thirds all in action.
The Women’s Premiers played Roslyn-Wakari AFC Premiers at a makeshift Logan Park ground; the first half hour was a fairly cagey affair Roslyn had the better of the chances but seven changes on the half hour changed the game in our favour with the arrival of attacking threats Erin Roxburgh, Beth Elliott and Bella Cartman opening the game up. Erin and Beth both scored twice with Megan Walker impressing in midfield with her control of the match alongside Lena de Ronde. Final score 4 nil.
Women’s Seconds and Thirds played out a quality game at Logan Park with the Thirds sneaking a one nil win via a long-range strike from Katie Spencer. Plenty to like about both sides with the Thirds looking really threatening on the break.
Men’s Seconds and Thirds clashed out at De Carle part with the second shading the game featuring two sides that the club has high hopes for this season. There is real quality through both squads and the 3-2 scoreline more of a reflection of the strength of our Thirds than anything else.