Chatham Cup Round 1

Western Suburbs 4 – Tawa 0

WS: Elijah Just 54, Xavier Green 59, Ihaia Delaney 67, Mohamed Awad 75 (pen)

 

Reporter: Tony Bissell

___________________

Wests Formation (4-3-3) TAWA Formation (3-5-2)

Isaac Tetteh

Alex Clayton, Erik Panzer, Nando Pijnaker, Robbie Sabo

 Elijah Just, Josh Rogerson, Sean Bright

Mohamed Awad, Ihaia Delaney, Matt Garbett

Wests Subs:

Xavier Green for Josh Rogerson (46 mins) – Matt moved to 8 and Sean moved to 6

Jaga Scott-Greenfield for Robbie Sabo (68 mins) – Straight swap

 

Injuries to Harry Edge and Dom Wooldridge, combined with the ineligibility of Callum McCowatt, Owen Parker-Price and Dalton Wilkins, meant that Declan Edge fielded a very young side for the Chatham Cup local derby against Tawa. Like last week, Wests’ normal flowing football was hindered by a poor pitch which was well-worn in places, but also overly grassy and slow.

Tawa adopted a 3-5-2 formation defending quite deep, aiming to crowd-out Wests’ midfield creativity and try to counter-attack through the nippy front duo of Soe Reh La and Tom Hinder.

Wests took their time to adapt to the slow pitch and received a few stern touchline rack-ups to sharpen their passes and their speed of play.  Possibly the highlight of the opening 20 minutes was the sight of Isaac Tetteh well over half-way and charging down the left wing, once again proving that goalkeepers tend to be a bit crazy.

After a cagey opening, Wests gradually picked up their pace and started to execute more incisive passes. They had most joy down their left side with Robbie Sabo twice being released by classic “inside the full-back” passes from Elijah Just and Sean Bright. Although those openings came to nothing, Wests increasingly took control and seemed certain to break through provided they maintained their intensity.

The best chance of the half fell to Elijah Just but his effort went was just over after an excellent one-two with Ihaia Delaney. The lively Mohamed Awad went close after a neat pass from Sean Bright, and Matt Garbett & Ihaia Delaney also had opportunities but could not hit the target.

Just before half-time, Josh Rogerson incurred a nasty knee injury and had to be assisted from the field. This resulted in a small re-shuffle with Xavier Green coming on, Matt Garbett dropping to No. 8 and Sean Bright taking over in the pivot 6 position.

Wests started the second half very strongly and almost scored in their first attack. Matt Garbett and Mohamed Awad combined down the left and when the cross came in, Alex Clayton rose above everyone but planted his header just wide.

The opening goal finally arrived about 10 minutes into the half. Erik Panzer, Alex Clayton and Xavier Green were involved in the build-up, but there still didn’t seem to be anything on until Elijah Just curled a left-foot beauty into the far top corner. It was now all Wests, and they could have had two more goals within 5 minutes as first Elijah Just and then Matt Garbett were both just wide with their efforts when well-placed. Instead, it was another superlative 20-yard curler, this time a right-footer from Xavier Green which gave Wests a deserved two goal buffer.

Although Tawa tried to mount a comeback, their attackers were well marshalled by Nando Pijnaker and Erik Panzer, with Sean Bright also excelling in the shielding No.6 role. Almost inevitably as Tawa pushed for a way back into the game, they left more gaps at the back, which Wests ruthlessly exploited. For the third goal, Alex Clayton made a great challenge high up the pitch and immediately fed Mohamed Awad. He skipped past one defender before hitting a firm shot which the keeper could only parry to Ihaia Delaney who made no mistake.

Jaga Scott-Greenfield came on for a strong 20 minute cameo, replacing the equally impressive Robbie Sabo, and he created a couple of late half chances for Xavier Green and Ihaia Delaney. The final goal however came from the penalty spot, with Mohamed Awad deservedly getting on the scoresheet after his trickery resulted in him being upended in the box.

Ultimately an imposing performance from Wests after a sluggish start. They remained patient and were rewarded by way of four second half goals and another clean sheet, with the final score-line a fair reflection on the game.

 

Player of the Day:

3 points – Sean Bright – Good decision-making and incisive passing from No. 8, then assured at No. 6 in second half

2 points – Mohamed Awad – Very lively throughout the 90 minutes, getting a well-deserved goal late-on

1 point – Nando Pijnaker – Again dominant at the back alongside Erik Panzer