Tikipunga Ground Out 2-1 Win

21/05/2012 10:22

Tikipunga vs. Onerahi, 19th May 2012

Tikipunga Ground Out 2-1 Win

By Arriane Christie

In what was to be their tightest game thus far, Tikipunga Premier Men’s team ground out a 2-1 win over Onerahi Premiers at Tikipunga on Saturday.

With Onerahi playing for a place in the Premier Division, they came into the game needing a win.

The match started evenly with end to end play, but Tikipunga had more control over the game. Their strong defence kept Onerahi from having any real chances, but Tikipunga’s lack of accuracy with their shots on goal let them down.

Tikipunga had the first two real chances to score with Daniel Johnston and Steve Crowley getting shots on goal. But it was Onerahi who were the most unlucky not to score when a shot 15 minutes into the game went under the young Tikipunga stand in goalkeeper Mike Chapman before being saved off the line by Daniel Hilton.

In the 26th minute, Tikipunga’s Chris Mitchell was tripped in the goal box and was awarded a penalty. Crowley stepped up to the mark but his shot was saved by the Onerahi keeper.

It wasn’t until the 38th minute when Tikipunga was able to break the deadlock. Crowley played a nice through ball for Johnston, who drew the keeper wide before slotting it in the left side of the goal.

In the second half, Tikipunga kept up the attack. The game was mostly kept in Tikipunga’s attacking half, where they played a nice passing game, but were poor with their final touches near goal. Stand in coach Daniel Dunbar commented on their lack of finishing saying the team made “poor decisions”.

Seventeen minutes into the second half, Onerahi scored their goal against the run of play when Ian Page was left open on the left post and was able to tap the cross ball in for the goal.

After Onerahi scored, Tikipunga seemed to lose their composure and intensity and Onerahi took advantage. The game was played at Onerahi’s pace and they were allowed a few more good chances.

Dunbar then made some tactical changes and put on substitute Patrick Moon. In the 77th minute, Moon was allowed to take the ball up the left flank where he made a good cross. After missing all the Tikipunga attackers, it came off an Onerahi defender’s arm and into the bottom right corner, to take Tikipunga to two.

Dunbar wasn’t overly happy at his team performance, saying they showed too much complacency against an Onerahi team who came out to win. He did however complement Hilton by awarding him man of the match, saying he “had the game of his life”.

Onerahi are now looking unlikely to move on to the Premier grade after Central Brown beat Kamo, moving them ahead of Onerahi into third position with one match of the grading rounds to play.