University gives Royals first loss

South City Royals’ Ollie Cassidy seeks to shrug off the challenge of University’s Ben Stanley at...
South City Royals’ Ollie Cassidy seeks to shrug off the challenge of University’s Ben Stanley at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
University went to the top of the table after a 2-0 win over South City Royals on Saturday.

The students won a tight battle at the Caledonian Ground to hand the newly combined club its first loss.

Roslyn-Wakari had a tough 2-1 win over Northern at Ellis Park, Green Island had a 5-2 victory at Sunnyvale over Wanaka while Mosgiel and Queenstown drew 1-1.

Northern might have fancied its chances to bag a win over Roslyn-Wakari and started strongly, Al Julanda Al Muwali opening the scoring after eight minutes.

He followed up the rebound after Tom Stevens saved his initial shot.

It was a torrid affair and referee Dan Woulahan called both captains together to calm the players down.

Despite the warning, Northern’s Scott Wesney was shown a red card for an over-vigorous challenge with 20 minutes played.

Roslyn started to threaten and Mateo Savou cleared a goal-bound effort to deny James Le Comte an equaliser. Northern was then reduced to nine men on 33 minutes when the officials deemed goalkeeper Zane Green was fractionally late to the ball outside his box.

Seamus Gray donned the gloves and his first job was to pick the ball out of the net as Luke Clissold scored from the resultant free kick to equalise.

Roslyn was unable to take advantage of its numerical superiority, as Northern’s Matt Johnstone impressed in defence.

Roslyn then had Shay Thom sent off for a challenge.

The home team was still looking the most likely but Gray in goal was showing a steady pair of hands.

Al Muwali then got through on goal and only the lightning-fast reactions of Stevens denied him a second goal.

Roslyn did eventually break the deadlock with 15 minutes left when Le Comte attacked down the right and as Gray came out to close the angle Le Comte delicately clipped the ball over him for what was the winner.

A second-half hat-trick from Adam Hewson secured all three points for Green Island.

The turning point of the match was a red card to Wanaka’s Thomas Van Hees and penalty which allowed Green Island to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

Mosgiel dominated for a large period the game against Queenstown in the resort and scored early in the second half, when Caleb Osborne shot a well-taken finish into the bottom corner.

Queenstown equalised on 61 minutes when Thomas Mills stooped to head in a Graeme Beveridge corner from close range.

Mosgiel should have won it with a late flurry of chances but fine work by the defence and goalkeeper Daniel Bocatios kept it at bay.

In the top-of-the-table clash the students came out on top.

A great through ball from Aiden Barbour-Ryan on 18 minutes found Yun Sang Chang running down the left-hand wing.

He raced into the penalty box, cut back on to his right foot and with the Royals keeper off his line, Chang put a sublime strike into the far right hand corner.

A late strike by Finn Rathbone with three minutes left secured all three points to put the students clear at the top of the league.

 - Neville Watson

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