By Ezra Whall
The most important thing for a football spectator isn’t what they wear, or what they say, or even what they do, but where they choose to sit, or in my case stand because there were no seats left.
I guess I was a pretty lousy spectator at last night’s game between Western Spring FC and Central United because I didn’t get to see much action.
I decided to stand on whichever side was Central’s left in order to see Emiliano Tade, completely forgetting that he picked up a red card in the last game and, along with Reid Drake and Angel Berlanga, he wouldn’t be playing.
Which kind of left this game a bit dull. Boring even.
With Central 4 points behind the leaders and Springs one point off relegation, I thought it would be a wise idea to head down to Seddon fields to see some premier football between two sides on opposite sides of the table and both looking for all three points.
What I really saw was premier football players playing pretty average football.
The pick of the first half for me was Central’s Scott Hilliar who made some great runs up the right-wing from right back (I think) and whipping in some dangerous crosses. Unfortunately poor old Maro Basu-Maro was one of the shortest dudes on the park (second only to Western Springs’ Jonno Quinn) and try as he did, he was no match for the average height centre backs.
As the players headed into the changing rooms to relax, the rest of us were stuck outside in the Tuesday night cold to talk amongst ourselves.
0-0, probably an appropriate half time score.
In any other league in the NRFL, one would’ve predicted 2nd place to trounce all over 10th place, but maybe it was the missing Centralmen, maybe both sides were too scared to make a mistake, all I know is I was freezing my hands off, which was making it very hard to type (you know it’s a dull game when I start writing the blog before the game’s over). I couldn’t decide if Central weren’t looking like a second place team, or Springs weren’t looking like a 10th placed team.
Anyway the second half started off much like the first, back and forth.
It wasn’t until about 20 minutes in when the Western Springs keeper, Adam McDonald, recieved the ball to his feet, but took a second too long to clear and it went from his feet to the back of his net via Finn Cochran.
This had me smiling A) Because it meant the game would get a bit tenser, and B) Who doesn’t love to watch a good old goalkeeper blunder.
Things started to pick up a bit after this, but mainly for Central, who were looking for their second. Springs had a chance flash across the goalface, but Danyon Drake got a foot to it, turning it into a corner.
I think it was Mario Illich though who came the closest to scoring a real goal (you know what I mean) when his shot beat McDonald but was deflected off the far post.
1-0 at Fulltime in a game to be forgotten. Although the result was more interesting than the game itself, with Central seeing themselves now within only one point of Eastern Suburbs, who have to play Birkenhead away from home this weekend.
Springs will just be slightly nervous, finding themselves only one point ahead of the bottom three teams and having to play Eastern Suburbs in their next encounter.
I’ve never really had much interest in the premier league because there seems to be no real consistency of the clubs from season to season, although this season it will be interesting to see if Central can catch up to the favourites, and with 3 teams being relegated, the pressure will really start to build for clubs at the business end of the season.
All I can say is thank god I’m a neutral spectator.
[Ezra Whall plays in goal for Glen Eden United in the AFF/NFF Conference. He is supporting Germany on Sunday morning but I still posted this because I’m feeling generous today]
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.