Tikipunga vs. Whangarei FC, 21st April 2012
Johnston 4, Whangarei FC 1
By Arriane Christie
Dan Johnston scored all four of Tikipunga’s goals to help his team scrape out a 4-1 win over Whangarei FC’s Division One team on Saturday at Morningside Park.
Tikipunga started the second game of the grading rounds with nearly all the ball in their attacking half of the field, but were unable to finish any chances, a trait that has cursed the team in the past. Coach Clive Adams commented on his team’s lack of finishing, saying “we missed too many goals, sending them over the top, wide, in the drain or straight to the keeper.”
Frustration soon crept in and Tikipunga’s concentration slipped. Their passes were inaccurate and they lacked the urgency shown in previous matches. Whangarei FC were well in the game, making use of the easily turned over ball and high pressing backs. They were unable to capitalise on the breakaways they made while the Tikipunga fullbacks were busy asking for offside to be called by the referee.
It wasn’t until the 55th minute when the deadlock was broken by Johnston’s first goal. After a period of unsuccessful attack by Tikipunga, Johnston was left with too much space at the top of the box and was able to smash one into the lower left corner.
The scores were almost evened two minutes later when the Tikipunga goal keeper, Michael Buchanan was forced to make a one-on-one save.
Fifteen minutes later Johnston struck for the second time when again he was given enough space to get a clear shot, which he nailed into the same lower left corner.
With fifteen minutes remaining in the second half, Whangarei FC got one back with a breakaway goal to Gareth Blithe. His one-on-one with the Tikipunga goalkeeper hit the post, before he pounced on his own rebound to send it home.
With Whangarei FC tiring, Johnston got his third goal five minutes before full time off a Chris Mitchell through ball, completing his second hat trick in as many matches. In the final minute of the game, Johnston scored his fourth off a messy corner kick, to conclude the scoring at 4-1.
Adams announced Johnston as man of the match but wasn’t happy with the way the team played overall, leaving Tikipunga with a lot to work on before their next match.