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Oratia United 0, Waiuku 2
Parrs Park, Auckland, April 26 2014

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There are some teams that I jinx every time I watch them play, namely most Waikato clubs and other organisations I have a soft spot for such as Birkenhead United. But for Waiuku AFC I appear to be a reverse curse! I have watched them play twice now and both times they have defeated more fancied opposition, scoring eight goals and conceding none in the process! This time it was Oratia United who succumbed. The West Auckland club are hoping to go one better than last year when they were unlucky not to get promoted after being in the top two for most of the year, but they have had a bit of a weird start to their 2014 campaign, now having dropped their last three games after comfortably winning their first three.

It was Waiuku who came out of the gate the best today and pretty well bossed the game in the early stages. Multiple raids on the Oratia goal with the fabled Derek Sinclair constantly making a nuisance of himself inside the penalty area culminated about a quarter of an hour in with Oratia keeper Karl Clark coming way off his line to try and deal with a spot of danger only for the ball to be passed out of his path and lobbed towards his open net. Miraculously, he scrambled back and pulled off a spectacular save, but it only delayed the inevitable.  Luke Chapman pounced on the scraps from the resulting corner and bludgeoned home the opening goal for the visitors.

Waiuku didn’t look as though they were the sort of side to sit on a one goal lead either. They kept on attacking with relentless ease until around about the half hour mark when Oratia appeared to finally begin to settle into their work and hold onto a bit of the pill. I thought the locals had the better of the rest of the first half from that point on with a smattering of opportunities spurned that on another day might have drawn things back to all square. The best of these was when Mario Rotella went one-on-one with the keeper late in the half, but pulled it across the face of the goal where it harmlessly bypassed the left hand upright.

The home side’s dominance of possession largely continued in the second half but like the first it took them a wee while to settle into it. Waiuku’s attacking chances were largely on the counter but that didn’t stop them from taking the best chance they were presented with to double their lead. This came via a penalty which I have to admit to not really being in much of  a position to comment on with any great authority as I was too far away to see what occurred. What I can tell you is that up stepped Luke Chapman once again who waited for the keeper to commit right before dinking the spot kick left into an empty net.

Oratia never gave up, they kept coming looking for a way back until the final whistle but their problem today appeared to largely be that age old difficulty that has ailed football teams since time in memorial – getting the little round thing into the big square netty thing. They created plenty of chances but quite simply failed at football’s most basic aim. Waiuku weren’t so wasteful, taking the chances presented to them and doing enough on defence to get the points over the course of a rather entertaining 90 minutes from a neutral’s perspective.

So thus concludes a big week and a bit of football! I have covered five games over the past nine days, not counting the one netball game also blogged. It has been a lot of fun but I’m taking a well-earned day off tomorrow. Just to warn you, in case I have raised expectations too high, I will be reverting back to one game per week starting next weekend. As much as I do love covering multiple games in any given week right now, I also think it’s important to pace myself rather than risk burning out or getting otherwise sick of the whole lark.

My firm policy of maintaining some semblance of gender balance dictates that it will be women’s premier’s turn next Sunday and there are several mouth-watering options to pick from. But until then, thanks for tuning in!

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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