Central United v Forrest Hill Milford
Sunday 13th August
Central’s Northern Premier League title defence this year was effectively over before their National League players returned to the side. Their Chatham Cup ambitions, however, rely on a home game against Bay Olympic in a fortnights time.
Forrest Hill Milford, by comparison, are still battling with Hamilton Wanderers to avoid dropping into NRFL Division One. With Jacob Spoonley between the sticks and Ryan De Vries warming the bench, Andy Boyens’ side were well acquainted with Kiwitea Street.
Obviously not well enough though, as Central raced into a 2 – 0 lead within the first 25 minutes. Emiliano Tade, who tormented Ryan Howlett throughout, slalomed his way into the box before shaping to shoot and sliding a precise ball for Nicolas Zambrano to power home.
There was controversy as Margetts, through on goal, was brought to the ground by Ollie Wright. Mr Batoor declined to award a penalty, leading to a frustrated Margetts to shout ‘How am I supposed to score?’. The chaps behind the goal swore blind it was a penalty.
However, minutes later Margetts set Tade loose behind the defence, which I almost completely missed as I was checking the programme. 2 – 0 and seemingly cruising.
It was time to roll out the big guns and after a short consultation with Boyens, Ryan De Vries entered the fray. Within minutes, the extra attacking player paid dividends as David Brown (no, not that one) demonstrated balance, timing and awareness to hook a magnificent volley, from twelve yards out, leaving Central’s Danyon Drake absolutely no chance of getting it.
Half Time – Central United 2 – 1 Forrest Hill Milford
The half time break, during which I availed myself of some chips and took a wander around the edge of the pitch, seemed to settle Milford down. Within five minutes they were level, Abdulla Al-Khalisy powering home another highlight reel strike for FHM.
It seemed to strike the tone for his side. Often they would work into good positions, but be unable to find a way to score a scruffy goal – but they were level thanks to two wonderstrikes.
A few minutes later, and after a stoush with the referee, Emiliano Tade and Seamus Ryder were hooked in favour of Albert Riera and Alfie Rodgers. In fairness, Tade was incensed by a challenge from Howlett, who was quickly led away from the scene leaving the Argentinian to vent at the referee.
He wasn’t the only one unimpressed. Not too much past the hour mark, FHM coach Andy Boyens was incensed by an offside flag not being raised as the ball skimmed the head of one of his defenders, releasing a Central player. First insisting, in detail, that the rule was clear, when the ref returned to the pitch Boyens took a stroll along the touchline, loudly.
A returning Mr Batoor reiterated his decision, asked the FHM coach not to scream at his officials to which Boyens replied that he was, in fact, screaming at Mr Batoor. The gantry rippled with laughter at this, which probably sealed Andy’s fate. He was sent off, and decided to watch the rest of the game from behind the barriers.
It had started raining and despite the livewire efforts of late substitute Ignacio Machuca, or early substitute Ryan De Vries, neither side could break the deadlock.
For Forrest Hill Milford, a valuable point. For Central, a decent if uninspiring workout ahead of their Chatham Cup Tie.
Central United 2 – 2 Forrest Hill Milford
Categories: NZ Northern Men's Premier
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.