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Friday night football

Metro FC 2, Forrest Hill Milford AFC 1
Phyllis Street, Auckland, June 29 2012

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Metro FC, one of New Zealand’s oldest football clubs (founded in 1899), play almost all of their home games under lights on a Friday evening. Why, I don’t know but it obviously suits the club. Although I’m not so sure it suits at least one of their players, who appeared to be late arriving to this game from his day job and was observed sprinting out of the changing room and onto the bench ten minutes after kick-off. As for the spectators, have you ever voluntarily watched football in a fridge? I can see the idea behind it and if I’d had a hot cup of minestrone soup in my hand instead of a camera last night, I’d probably have been in a much better mood towards it…

But enough whinging, this was a game I really wanted to see because on the surface it promised a tale of two sides relegated from the Northern Premier League last season, and coping with that very differently. Forrest Hill Milford, the Swans from Auckland’s North Shore, are battling for promotion straight back up. Metro, from the central Auckland suburb of Mount Albert, are at the other end of the table battling against double relegation.

But you could have fooled me last night. The Swans put out what I think they would acknowledge as a below par showing and Metro played very well to show that this is in actual fact a very even division. The 2-1 final score flatters Forrest Hill in some ways as Metro could easily have had at least 4 but for some poor finishing and great goalkeeping. But in saying that, both Metro’s goals that actually went in were pretty soft and the game could also have easily gone the other way.

The Swans had a lot of possession but their genuine opportunities to score were few and far between and on the whole, dealt with competently by a staunch Metro defence. It was the reds who looked the more incisive with what they had and they opened the scoring around about the tenth minute with a free kick. I was standing too far away to see exactly what happened but be it a deflection or bobble, it seemed to deceive the keeper and trickle inside the right hand post.

There was a bit of controversy in the second half when the boys from the Shore were awarded a penalty and their striker slotted it home only for the ref to make him take it again. This never bodes well and the keeper easily saved the second effort that was hit far too close to him on his right.

Metro’s second came about ten minutes from the end on a counter attack. These things happen when the trailing side is trying so hard to play catch-up. The visitors made up for it with an injury time goal but it was too little too late. 2-1 the final score.

You will have to excuse me now. If you need me I’ll be erasing this game from my memory as fast as humanly possible. Just thinking about it makes me COLD!

Categories: NZ Northern Men's Division 1

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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