Bay Olympic 2, Hamilton Wanderers 3
Olympic Park, Auckland, July 5 2014
[Part 2 of Rod de Lisle’s wonderful two-part thriller on Wanderers’ recent cup run. Thanks also to Garry Konings for the photos. I will pick up my Chatham Cup odyssey once again when Wanderers meet Central United in the quarter finals.]
By Rod de Lisle
If Wanderers manage to win the Chatham cup this season it will be after chalking up more travel than a touring rock band. This was the third Auckland away cup tie in a row and another, to Central, was the prize for the victor of this game. With 7 trips to the city of the JAFA in the league as well, it seems that the big bloke upstairs -yep the NZF fixtures guy- was out to make things unbearably tough for the Blue Army. Our fans, ok our fan, was threatening to cease travelling with us due to spousal pressures and these Auckland clubs always seem to have an army of home support.
But talking of touring bands, as I ranted about the unfairness of it, a friendly voice reassured me. “Take it easy mate”. Legendary Joe Walsh from the Eagles had turned up with his boots and although he was named in the programme he said -like Jeff Sole- he’d only play if hell froze over. However he wouldn’t miss a Wanderers/Bay Olympic clash as they reminded him of the friendly rivalry (read fist fights) in the old days of the Eagles.
Bay Olympic were odds on favourites, being the home team and all. They were sitting 2nd in the league at this point and had defeated Wanderers a month or two ago. Early signs didn’t assuage this favouritism as they had a shot deflected off a post then, from a charge down of a Wanderers clearance, Manko, in a seemingly offside position, tapped in to make it 1-0 as the Wanderers defenders beseeched the lines-bloke to raise his flag, but to no avail.
However Wanderers rallied themselves and bombarded the Bay goal. Several free kicks and Adam Luque throws all unerringly found the head of Johnny Konings. And presently a Ricky Broderson cross was nodded in by Konings to level the scores. Within a minute or two of this goal, a long Adam Luque throw was cleverly flicked on by Broderson to give the blue team the lead.
Konings has a strange haircut with a top-notch thing going on. It seems to give him the extra inch or two in the air though and when another excellent Broderson cross whistled in, it was given the merest of touches by the centre back to leave the keeper stranded. At 3-1 the locals scratched their heads and pondered. This wasn’t in the script?
Konings was understandably elated and said later on. “I’m rapt, my first goals for Wanderers”. Like waiting for a Hamilton bus, nothing for ages then two come along together.
Ten minutes later a Bay header -Manko again- from a free kick made it 3-2. A cup epic and not even half time yet! At half time the Wanderers coaches urged the defence to be tighter and the team to work harder.
As it turned out, the second spell didn’t produce any more goals, although the football was frantic, in a cup-tie kind of way. A Sunni Singh cross just eluded Mark Jones and then Jones slipped a nice pass to Jarrod Young who shot over. Singh had a header wide and then Young cut left and his decent shot palmed away by the home keeper. Singh had one of his days where he worked hard but wasn’t in the right place at the right time, in other games it could have cost us dearly. Javier Gonzalez, on a sub, contributed deft touches and combined well with the midfield.
The rain that had threatened, duly arrived and goal chances fizzled out although Wanderers Jordy Shaw did well to clear a goal bound shot from the line and Vlad Frank in goal, when called into action, showed a safe pair of hands despite the wet ball. The dismissal of Bay’s Darren White for a second yellow card made things a little easier for Wanderers in the last few minutes. The Wanderers support staff and players on the bench huddled under their sponsored Nike jackets and willed the ref to blow the final whistle which he eventually did, to the relief of Cossey and his crew.
So more travel beckons for the gypsies of Wanderers. July games now strangely read: Bay Olympic-cup-away, Central -league- away, Bay Olympic-league-away and Central cup-away in that order. An epic cup tussle. Joe Walsh air-guitared his trademark riff as he sauntered out. “It’s life in the fast lane kids. Enjoy the long run while you can”.
Categories: NZ Chatham Cup
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.