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The Draw

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A football match without goals is somehow incomplete. Obviously the point of the game is to score at least one more than your opponent and the 0 – 0 draw is often used by those who criticise the game as proof that football is, at heart, boring. Because sometimes nothing happens.

Except a 0 – 0 scoreboard doesn’t always reflect the game which has been played out on the pitch. Far be it for me to compare the Stirling Sports Premiership with Serie A in the mid 80’s, but sometimes two teams evenly matching to the point that neither makes an error leading to a goal – can be bloody absorbing.

Canterbury always, ALWAYS score at least one at Kiwitea St. But today they didn’t. And City, off the back of two 4 – 0’s in a row, didn’t either. What the kids from the local schools, invited along as part of family day, got to see was two very well coached sides play out a draw – except there wasn’t a ‘playing out’ element to it.

After the final whistle, Clayton Lewis admitted he was knackered. Canterbury ‘keeper Danny Knight had an impressive head bandage on. Both teams tried their best to get something, but were stymied by their equally committed opponents.

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It was curious, from a City perspective, to see Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi at centreback, and slightly annoying that Alfie Rogers was dropped given his excellent performances in the previous two games – it was good to see Clayton Lewis back in midfield, and even better, Micah Lea’alafa was at Kiwitea – if not on the team sheet.

For Canterbury, Matt Wiesenfarth looked dangerously capable and Aaron Clapham demonstrated that while his hair continues to be out of control, he’s got all the class on the ball needed to dictate the pace of a game. Komolong at the back looked bloody good too.

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A thrilling 3 – 2 might have got many of the hundred or so kids in attendance (and their parents) back to Kiwitea Street in a few weeks. However, as Niall Anderson, once of this site, pointed out on twitter this is the first 0 – 0 draw in the NZFC since November 2013! 203 games had passed without a stalemate – so really, it was an exceptional day. Yeah, I know.

However, they were satisfied with the free Hi Chew, team posters, the half time photos and the chance to meet their heroes and get autographs signed at the end of the game. Not a bad day out at all.

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Full Time

Auckland City FC 0 – 0 Canterbury United

Categories: NZ Men's National League

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John Palethorpe

John Palethorpe lives in South Auckland which is very far away from Fratton Park and Champion Hill. Having been told there was no football in New Zealand, he was delighted to find that there is.

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