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Often licked, never beaten…

Waiuku 6, Fencibles 0
Massey Park, Waiuku, August 10 2013

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Yesterday, yet another woefully neglected place was ticked off my list of Northern League grounds I haven’t yet been to for a game. Once again, shame on me. The Franklin District town of Waiuku is a lovely country place, despite the fact that upon my arrival it very quickly became apparent that the “golden hay bale” to sit on I was promised by the club’s Twitter account on Friday night wouldn’t be forthcoming. What I instead received was much better though – lots of friendly smiles and warmth from the locals despite the cold and dreary weather.

And why wouldn’t they be smiling? Who needs a golden hay bale when your lads are on a golden run of form of late? They’ve won 6 of their last seven games now including last weekend’s slip-up to Lynn Avon, and collected some prized scalps along the way including promotion contenders Oratia, and now Fencibles, and what a comprehensive victory this was. One they may well justifiably look back on as their best of the season by far.

Fencies probably still have an outside chance of promotion, but it’s not looking terribly great now even though they still have games in hand on their rivals. They have two very good teams ahead of them in Oratia and Mangere United and they need both to choke somewhat. One might, I can’t imagine both will, and then there’s the small matter of their form. They weren’t really in this game. Apart from a couple of minutes at the start and a few at the end, they never threatened and the scary thing is it could have been much worse for them.

Waiuku supporters thought they had two early goals, both deemed to have not crossed the line despite loud pleadings from the home players and crowd alike. They were kept scoreless only by desperate last ditch lunges from Fencibles defenders with goalkeeper Sergio Bustos (who it was wonderful to see back in action after his horrific broken leg while playing for Manukau City in the Chatham Cup quarter-final in Dunedin last year) beaten. My photos in both cases show the referees were spot on. The first one in particular was mightily close though. The home side’s first break through wasn’t too far away however, about five minutes before half time thanks to the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Here’s Cody Ralph’s conversion:

There was still time for a George Winship deflected goal before the break. Then after the break we had goals from Chris Abbott, the famous Derek ‘#scoreswhenhewants’ Sinclair, Elliot Crean, and Sam Van Pomeron in that order. Six goals, six different names on the score sheet! While it was great to finally see the prolific Sinclair in action, who said this was a one man band? Another broken promise from the Waiuku Twitter account was a Sinclair hat-trick… But they can rest assured on that front. I’m quite prepared to take it in instalments. I will be back.

After the match I spoke to Waiuku gaffer Jim Evans, and I have to say that right from the get-go he showed himself to be a consummate professional! Check it out, he hardly misses a beat…

Categories: NZ Northern Men's Division 2

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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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