Manurewa AFC 0, Waitakere City 2
Memorial Park, Auckland, August 3 2013
Another one bites the dust – Memorial Park was one of the five places still on my list of Northern League grounds I haven’t covered a game at in the past couple of seasons, and I’m really glad I chose yesterday to finally get there. It was a pleasantly mild winter’s afternoon, with the odd glint of sunshine, and the place was looking a picture with the pitch in lovely nick. A nice game of footy took place as well, which was a nice bonus!
On paper this was a bottom of the table clash, with Rewa sitting bottom and Waitak second from bottom going in, but as they say, football is seldom played on paper.
Waitakere City have been in their typical late season form in recent times. Ever since the formation of the summer National League and the advent of Waitakere United, City have tended to struggle early in the Northern League season then pick up a big head of steam once players trickle back from their summer sister club following the end of the ASB Premiership. That’s why I must say I wondered if it was a Freudian slip or deliberate dig by the home club that yesterday’s match day programme billed the match as “Manurewa vs Waitakere United” and carried the United logo, not the City one next to the player line-ups.
The visitors always looked far more likely to get on the score sheet, but it was a brave performance from the home side as they defended stoutly throughout. With things delicately poised at 0-0 right the way through to around about the 68th minute, the Waitakere attack were looking increasingly irritated with their lot in life and it was starting to get that feel about it where so often we see the plucky underdogs nick something. It wasn’t to be though sadly. The Manurewa back four were starting to look a bit tired from all their hard toil and it only took a split second of inattention for Roy Krishna to pounce, break through the line and take his chance in a one on one situation with the keeper.
Ten minutes later Rory Turner sealed Waitakere’s victory and Manurewa’s fate with a well slotted penalty.
It’s been a tough old season for Rewa. They have taken their fair share of good old-fashioned beatings but one felt that perhaps they’d turned a corner when they only went down 2-1 to league leaders East Coast Bays last week. I would conclude from this week’s outing that they still have a lot to offer the premier division, but sadly by my maths they are now officially relegated to division 1 next season.
The win takes Waitakere City clear of the relegation zone for the first time this year. They also have a Chatham Cup semi-final coming up fast after blasting their way past fellow Northern Premier side Onehunga Sports via a 7-0 thumping. Methinks they won’t be in any relegation danger again anytime soon. Until early next season.
Apologies for the lack of post-match interview on this one. I know they are proving popular but I had to make a quick getaway in order to get to the Warriors in time for kick-off at Mount Smart!
Categories: NZ Northern Men's Premier
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.