Chatham Cup - Quarter Finals

 Western Suburbs 4 – Onehunga Sports 1

WS: Mohamed Awad 12, Callum McCowatt 22, 86, Elijah Just 27

OS: Tom Boss 37

 

Reporter: Tony Bissell

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Wests Formation (4-3-3) SO Formation (3-4-3)

Andrew Withers

Alex Clayton, Mikey Faber, Nando Pijnaker, Dalton Wilkins

 Elijah Just, Harry Edge, Dom Wooldridge

Mohamed Awad, Noah Billingsley, Callum McCowatt

Wests Subs:

 

Adam Thomas for Dalton Wilkins (66 mins) – Straight swap

Matt Garbett for Noah Billingsley (82 mins) – Straight swap

Nati Hailemariam for Alex Clayton (87 mins) – Straight swap

 

Wests unceremoniously dumped current cup holders Onehunga Sports out of the Chatham Cup at the quarter-final stage with a dominant performance at Waikaraka Park.

Fresh from the late drama of last week’s victory over Stop Out, Declan Edge named an unchanged starting 11, with only positional tweaks in the roles of Elijah Just and Callum McCowatt. Onehunga are currently top the Northern Premier division and were looking to extend their recent impressive Chatham Cup record.

Right from the first whistle, Wests took a stranglehold on the game as their sharpness and determination resulted in them winning nearly all second phase ball, often in dangerous advanced positions. Noah Billingsley had already gone close twice before Mohamed Awad gave Wests a deserved early lead, benefiting from some fine approach work from Elijah Just and Callum McCowatt.

Mohamed Awad almost immediately doubled the lead, drawing a great save from Louie Caunter in the Onehunga goal, and Dom Wooldridge was then denied by a last-ditch block after a flowing move involving Harry Edge, Callum McCowatt and Noah Billingsley. A second goal seemed inevitable and it soon arrived in typical Wests fashion. Elijah Just caught an Onehunga defensive midfielder in possession, feeding Noah Billingsley who drew his defender before slipping the ball to Callum McCowatt who drilled the ball home off the post.

Despite fielding some dangerous players in the likes of Sean Lovemore, Tom Boss and Jake Porter, Onehunga lacked any cohesion in their play. In fact, the one-sided nature of the game instigated an early Onehunga substitution and a formation change to 4-4-2 in an attempt to stem the tide of incessant Wests’ pressure. There was no let up however with Elijah Just extending Wests’ lead when he played a neat one-two with Callum McCowatt and found the bottom corner with his 20-yard shot.

Noah Billingsley almost added a fourth, beating the keeper but being denied by a covering defender, before Onehunga secured a lifeline as Tom Boss applied a clinical finish after a rare foray into the Wests’ box. This led to a short spell of Onehunga pressure, but Wests’ defence remained focussed and composed, dealing comfortably with everything that was thrown at them.

The 3-1 half-time score-line did not flatter Wests and further evidence of their dominance was the fact that four Onehunga players had already been booked for crude challenges on Mohamed Awad, Elijah Just and Callum McCowatt.

Wests started the second half at a good tempo, and there were early half-chances for Dom Wooldridge and Elijah Just. The game then tilted further in their favour as Onehunga were reduced to 10 men after another rash challenge on Elijah Just resulted in a second yellow card for Andrew Milne.

Wests should really have put the game to bed during the next 10 minutes. First, Noah Billingsley and Callum McCowatt opened up Onehunga down the right, slotting in Alex Clayton for a one-on-one. He was denied by Louie Caunter though, and Mohamed Awad was similarly thwarted after an even better move involving Mikey Faber, Harry Edge, Alex Clayton and Callum McCowatt.

The fourth goal was certainly elusive, and with Onehunga adopting a more compact defensive formation, Wests’ chances actually diminished somewhat against the 10 men. Declan Edge made a couple of shrewd substitutions, introducing Adam Thomas for Dalton Wilkins (who was on a booking), and bringing on fresh legs in the form of Matt Garbett for Noah Billingsley.

Late on, Onehunga’s discipline let them down again as they were reduced to 9 men with Jake Porter dismissed for a second yellow. Wests then added salt to the wounds when they finally notched their fourth goal, Callum McCowatt providing an excellent finish after a darting run and fine pass from Matt Garbett.

Mohamed Awad almost added a fifth from Nando Pijnaker’s pass before tempers boiled over in injury time and Dalton Wilkins was given his marching orders (from the bench) for backchat after further crude challenges on Callum McCowatt and Elijah Just went unpunished.

This may have slightly knocked the gloss off the victory, but Wests were worthy comprehensive winners and Onehunga could not have complained if the margin had been even greater.