Wasteful display leaves Tiki with their first loss

28/05/2012 12:30

Tikipunga vs. Kamo, 26th May 2012

Wasteful display leaves Tiki with their first loss

By Arriane Christie

Tikipunga’s inability to score from their opportunities contributed to their first loss of the season at Kamo on Saturday. They lost two-nil to Kamo in the last week of the grading rounds.

In an aggressive match that saw five yellow and one red card awarded, the two top of the table teams both started strongly, sharing scoring opportunities.

In the 12th minute, Mike Crowley was awarded the first yellow card for an aggressive tackle, which set the tone of the game.  Shortly after, he came off the field for a bloody nose, prompting Tikipunga to use the rolling substitute rule for the first time this year.

Up against a team of equal calibre, Tikipunga struggled to retain possession under Kamo’s pressuring defence.

In the 20th minute, Kamo striker Shane Stanners got his first goal of the game, off a through ball that left him one-on-one with the keeper. This is how the score remained at half time.

Two minutes into the second half, Crowley was given his second yellow card for an aggressive tackle, and so shown the red, forcing Tikipunga to play with ten men for nearly the entire second half. Despite this, Tikipunga still created plenty of opportunities, but failed to convert them into points.

After a flurry of Tikipunga shots, Kamo struck again in the 67th minute through Stanners who was on the left post to put away the cross.

Then the aggression stepped up a notch and the referee’s yellow card saw a lot of use. Kamo were given two yellows in quick succession, for a bad tackle and a deliberate hand ball, before Tikipunga received a booking for a slide tackle.

From here Tikipunga had a number of very good chances to score and were not playing like a team that were down a man. However, they were unable to convert.

Fill in coach, Daniel Dunbar wasn’t happy with his team’s performance, labelling it a “wasteful display”, with senior team members showing ill discipline. He says it “is a steep learning curve for what is coming for the rest of the season”.

The top three teams of each grading division will now make up the Northland Premier grade that starts next week. Despite their loss, Tikipunga still finished top of their grading division on goal difference, ahead of Kamo and Central Brown.