Team Wellington comfortably beat Otago United 2-0 in the ASB
Premiership match played in Invercargill yesterday.
Otago was not helped by creative fullback Craig Ferguson not
starting due to a recurring groin injury. Wellington dictated
the first half and was 2-0 ahead by the 23rd minute.
Otago coach Richard Murray bemoaned another poor start and
two soft goals, but Henry Fa'arodo would hardly agree, as the
little striker found space where none should have existed in
the Otago penalty area and floated an accurate header over
keeper Liam Little.
The goal was just the tonic Wellington needed and against a
jaded-looking Otago side, coach Matt Calcott's team attacked
across a broad front.
Goal number two came from an Otago error and Hamish Watson
accepted the gift and calmly slotted his side into a 2-0 lead
Things might have become worse as with Otago's defence in
shreds, Watson raced on to a long ball and hammered a strong
shot goal-ward but keeper Little blocked unconventionally
with his face.
As halftime loomed, Otago at last created a classic right
wing attack that had Seamus Ryder drill a strong shot that
rebounded off the Wellington goal upright and away to safety.
Ryder's energy and attacking runs were Otago's best feature
in the first half.
At the break, Murray appealed for more energy and control
from Otago and his players responded.
Ryder again got behind the Wellington defenders and feinted a
cross before rolling the ball back for Scott Gannon, but the
Australian's technique deserted him and his shot flew far too
high over the crossbar.
Otago pressured several corners and long throws that created
chaos in Wellington's goal, but steady hands from keeper
Scott Basalaj and stout defending by Tom Doyle and Luke Rowe
With its two-goal cushion, Wellington stroked good passes
around and alternated with some longer passes that stressed
the Otago defence and had Little racing off his line to
Otago upped the tempo as time ran out and sprayed shots by
Victor Da Costa and Sam Mepham, but the final whistle brought
down Otago's curtain.
Wellington coach Matt Calcott was pleased with his side's
patterned play, and the quality of the goals that were
achieved. In contrast, Murray was again disappointed at his
team's soft start and could only point out the contrast in
the second half when they competed well.
Wellington ... 2
Henry Fa'arodo, Hamish Watson
Otago United ... 0
Halftime: Wellington 2-0.