Clinical display sees Tikipunga into final

10/09/2012 13:00

Tikipunga vs. Kerikeri, Stafford Choat semi final, 8th September 2012

Clinical display sees Tikipunga into final

By Arriane Christie

Tikipunga put together a clinical display to beat Kerikeri 1-0 and advance to the final of the Stafford Choat Cup on Saturday at Kerikeri.

With a strong wind at their backs, Tikipunga had the territorial advantage in the first half and used this to keep the pressure on the Kerikeri defence. Their passing was working well and despite not getting shots on goal early on, the team remained composed.

Around the 20th minute, Kerikeri conceded three corner kicks in a row, which Tikipunga were unlucky not to score from after a fumble from the Kerikeri keeper. But the continued pressure on the Kerikeri defence saw errors start to creep into the home side’s game.

A hard shot from joint man of the match Scott Burgess in the 26th minute winded the Kerikeri keeper, before another shot came off the crossbar.

In the 37th minute, Tikipunga finally made the breakthrough when a long cross ball from joint man of the match Mike Crowley sailed over the Kerikeri defensemen and on to a waiting Burgess on the left post. Burgess chested the ball down, under the Kerikeri keeper, to give Tikipunga the lead.

Tikipunga coach Clive Adams said he thought the strong wind was worth two goals, so he was nervous going into the sheds with only a one goal advantage. But he knew if he could keep Kerikeri from scoring in the first 20 minutes of the second half, his team would have the psychological advantage in the tough conditions.

With the wind at their backs in the second half, it was Kerikeri’s turn to spend time on attack. They had a few half chances to score, but nothing that really troubled the Tikipunga keeper.

The rain started soon into the second half and made the conditions harder for both teams. The game’s intensity meant the tiredness soon started to show, and both teams’ structures started to break down. Kerikeri were trying too hard to get back into the game and their shots went far wide or high over the goal.

Adams said after the match he was very happy with the result and the way his team played. This is the second final Tikipunga have reached this year, having progressed through to the Federation One Cup final last weekend.

Tikipunga will play Central Brown in the Stafford Choat Cup final at Toll Stadium next Saturday 15th September, following the Plate final between Bay Cosmos and Kamo Reserves.