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Nguyen’s finesse saves the game

V-Well FC – 3 Marauders FC – 3
Sir Ron Brierley Turf, Wellington, April 22 2018

V-Well FC controlling the ball under defensive pressure from Marauders

A frenetic finish between V-Well FC and Marauders saw both teams remain at the top of the Division Two table after a closely-fought 3-3 draw at Wellington College’s Sir Ron Brierley turf.

While the scoring was dominated by Marauders early on, resulting in a 3-1 lead early in the second half, V-Well were never out of the game thanks to their short passing finesse and ability to retain the ball.

Late in the second half, a second goal from V-Well’s cool-headed finisher Anthony Nguyen triggered an offensive frenzy from both teams. V-Well capitalised and drew level in the dying minutes thanks to a goal from the chest of Tony Dong following an aerial battle.

Nguyen left the field to chants of “man of the match” from his teammates, having also broken through the defence to go one-on-one with Marauders’ keeper midway through the first half.

“It felt really good out there”, Nguyen said. “When you score one goal, that’s a happy feeling, but getting two goals against a good opposition? That’s great. Right now, I’m overjoyed.”

Marauders captain Ben Twyman said the structured and patient passing game of V-Well had provided an excellent counterpoint to Marauders’ solid defence and tactical long passing game, with the match an even contest throughout.

“Because of the size of our defensive line, they’ve got to try and play around us. It’s a good matchup for sure. They have great ball skills, and they had about three quarters of possession, but we used our height and ability to counterattack.”

At half time, Marauders’ ascendency came from goals to Mike Ross and Duncan McKenzie. The team’s third goal went to Tim Dalman, who scored with a powerful strike to the bottom left corner from just outside the penalty box at the beginning of the second half.

The second half of the game wasn’t without controversy, with Twyman downed by a stray boot and a yellow card going to one of V-Well’s players for blocking a free kick awarded to the keeper. Marauders also saw a chance go begging in the final minute of the game, with a shot missing by a narrow margin of less than a metre.

V-Well were Division Two winners in last year’s Sunday Football League after ascending from Division Three two years previously, while Marauders are playing their first season in Division Two, having stepped down from Division One at the end of the previous season.

In other Sunday Football League action, Lazy 11 were unseated from pole position in Division One by Tuskan Raiders at Boyd Wilson Field, while last year’s winners Lokomotiv Beer Quarter had their first win of the season, beating Levuka FC three goals to two.

A trend of high scoring matches in Division Three continued, with Shamrocks losing to Westwood United 5-4 and Battlers FC following up a 15-0 drubbing last week with a 7-1 victory over Valley Soccer Friends. Harimau Wellington continued their winning run at the top of Division Four, ousting Pirates FC 3-0.

A record 37 teams are competing in this year’s Wellington Sunday Football League, a community based 11-a-side league that was founded over 40 years ago and is growing year-on-year. A full table of results and fixtures can be found at https://tinyurl.com/WSFL2018.

Categories: Wellington Sunday Football League

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Fraser May

I alternate between club, indoor and street football. I'm keen on the social game and have been known to bother urban Wellington by playing street football at night. I usually play keeper or wing back, and I'm enough of a geek to enjoy football manager games.

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