Julyan Collett and Louie Bush, of Canterbury United, and
Regan Coldicott, of Otago United, compete for the ball
during the Otago United and Canterbury soccer match at
Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Canterbury United was too good yesterday and beat Otago
United 4-1 in the ASB Premiership match at Forsyth Barr
Coach Keith Braithwaite's side ended a three-match losing
streak, and Otago bore the brunt, as Canterbury makes a
belated attempt to reach the top four playoffs.
Otago did battle from the kick-off, and won a fair share of
initial ball possession, but where Canterbury created
controlled build-ups, Otago was often content to hit long
balls for Regan Coldicott to chase.
With centrebacks Tom Schwartz and Julyan Collett in
unforgiving form, few real opportunities were created.
It took Canterbury 28 minutes to breach Otago's defence, and
neutrals applauded the quality of cross delivered by Louie
Bush, and the well-timed run into space and spring-heeled
leap that earned Ken Yamamoto a clinically executed headed
goal. As has so often happened this season, while Otago was
reeling, Canterbury did it again.
Minutes later, Ashley Wellbourne evaded two attempted tackles
and drilled in a low shot. Keeper Liam Little got a hand to
it but could not prevent the ball trickling over Otago's goal
As expected in a derby between traditional rivals, there were
some crunching tackles. One left Otago fullback Craig
Ferguson in agony, as an over-the-top challenge went
Referee Campbell Kirk-Waugh waved on a tough tackle by Victor
da Costa, then possibly over-reacted when Scott Gannon
tackled All White Aaron Clapham, who bounced back up,
apparently unharmed. But the referee brandished a red card
and Gannon headed for a 66th-minute shower.
Fresh substitute Andy Barton came on and made scoring look
easy, with a shot drilled past Little, then it was retrieval
time again, as Little had to dig a booming shot from Yamamoto
out of his net, and at 4-0 after 75 minutes Otago looked
But as is often the case, 10-man Otago dug deep and competed
well in the sweltering heat. Aajay Cunningham who earlier hit
the Canterbury crossbar, dazzled on the left wing, Aaron
Burgess showed class and true grit battling through attempted
tackles, and at last, Coldicott perfectly timed his run on to
a Seamus Ryder pass, and slammed in a spectacular shot on the
Just too little, too late, and amid a flurry of substitutions
the match finished with Otago panting until the final
whistle, and Canterbury, with Clapham as the hub, stroking
passes around to run down the clock.
Otago coach Richard Murray said: ''They were eventually too
good for us, on the day, but there was some inconsistency in
refereeing, and after some tough tackles by both sides, we
were unlucky to lose Scott Gannon, and from then on, 10 men
were always going to struggle.''
Canterbury coach Keith Braithwaite had a yard-wide smile, as
he complimented his side's battling qualities, the steady
performances of his centre backs, calm control of Clapham,
Russell Kamo, who was wherever the action was thickest, and
the skills of Yamamoto, whose two goals illuminated the
Ken Yamamoto 2, Ashley Wellbourne, Andy Barton