Crowley double gets Cup defence campaign underway

24/07/2013 11:55

Tikipunga vs. Oratia, Federation Cup, 20th July 2013

Crowley double gets Cup defence campaign underway

By Arriane Christie

Tikipunga have taken the first step towards defending their Federation One Cup title after beating Oratia United 2-1 in their first round match on Saturday.

Tikipunga player/coach, Daniel Dunbar admitted his side had “got out of jail with that one [win]”, mentioning they were “a little bit flat to start [the game] with”.

It took both teams a little while to settle into the game, and it was the visiting Oratia who had the first real chance ten minutes in, after the Tikipunga keeper fumbled a save before diving to make another crucial one. Oratia then stayed on the attack but a breakaway from Tikipunga’s Josh Morunga led to the first Steve Crowley goal.

When Tikipunga weren’t awarded the free kick they were screaming for 20 minutes later, Oratia took advantage of their lack of concentration to break away up field. They were awarded with a penalty after being fouled in the box. Tobi Agbede stood up for the West Aucklanders, kicking a hard shot into the bottom right to beat the diving Tikipunga keeper.

The goal seemed to lift Oratia’s spirits and the rest of the first half was played at a higher pace, but with the score remaining 1-all at half time.

Tikipunga came out firing in the second half and took advantage of having most of the possession to put Oratia under pressure. The must-win game intensity and a deadlocked score line ensured a niggly battle between both teams during the second half.

 It wasn’t until the 85th minute that the visitors finally cracked under the pressure, when an overhead ball found Chris Mitchell unmarked on the wing. He made a quick run up the right before an easy cross to Crowley on the post for a tap in goal.

Shortly after, Crowley had the chance to extend the lead when he stepped up to take a penalty, but the Oratia keeper made an outstanding save to keep the score 2-1.

Tikipunga start the defence of the other trophy in their cabinet when they take on Kerikeri Reserves in the Stafford Choat Cup competition next week.