Chatham Cup - Round 3

 Western Suburbs 6 Waterside Karori 3 (AET)

WS: Elijah Just 4, 94, Mohamed Awad 5, 47, Callum McCowatt 96, Owen Parker-Price 106 (pen)

WK: Kyung Dung Kim 65, Ryan Cain 83 (pen), Tor Davenport-Peterson 90+1

 

Reporter: Tony Bissell

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Wests Formation (4-3-3) WK Formation (4-4-2)

 

Andrew Withers

Alex Clayton                Mikey Faber            Nando Pijnaker               Dom Wooldridge

Elijah Just              Harry Edge         Owen Parker-Price

Nati Hailemariam                Noah Billingsley              Mohamed Awad


Wests Subs:

Callum McCowatt for Noah Billingsley (46 mins) – Straight swap

Xavier Green for Nati Hailemariam (61 mins) – Straight swap

Sean Bright for Mohamed Awad (108 mins) – Elijah moved forward

 

The Chatham Cup third round provided Wests with another trip to Karori, having dispatched the same opponent 5-1 the previous week. Declan Edge made a couple of changes with starting spots for Mohamed Awad and the returning Noah Billingsley.

Wests had taken an hour to break down Karori in last week’s Central League game but this time came racing out of the blocks with two early goals. The first goal actually came from a Karori corner. Dom Wooldridge made the initial clearance and after a sharp pass from Elijah Just, Owen Parker-Price was surging forward with Wests having a four-to-one player advantage. Mohamed Awad ultimately took the shot, and although it was palmed away, Elijah Just was on hand to slot home the opener.

Within a minute it was 2-0. Owen-Parker-Price won the ball high in the Karori half feeding Noah Billingsley who slotted the ball through for Mohamed Awad to neatly tuck away. Wests then commenced to dominate the entire half with a feature being the very advanced full-backs, Alex Clayton and Dom Wooldridge who assisted with Wests’ swarming high press tactics. Karori did however manage to re-establish some structure and composure to their play, restricting Wests to half-chances for the remainder of the half, although Harry Edge, Owen Parker-Price and Mohamed Awad all came close to extending the lead.

Wests made a fast start to the second half too with Alex Clayton, Elijah Just and Callum McCowatt providing the high press that presented a chance for Mohamed Awad which he calmly converted. It could easily have been four-nil when after yet another high-win, this time by Elijah Just, Callum McCowatt was clean through, but his shot was narrowly wide.

Generally, Wests are very strong in the latter stages of games so spectators probably thought it was game-over. However, football is a “funny old game” and Karori mounted a monumental comeback to force extra time. Kyung Dung Kim started the recovery with a cool finish from a right-wing cross, although Wests should then have move out-of-sight but Callum McCowatt’s excellent free-kick was parried, Mohamed Awad’s follow-up tipped onto the post, and a subsequent chance for Mohamed Awad flew just over.

After those near misses, nervousness grew when Karori were awarded a penalty which Ryan Cain drilled home, and Karori then launched a series of late attacks in search of an equaliser. Solid defending from Harry Edge, Mikey Faber and Dom Wooldridge looked to have sealed the win for Wests, but in stoppage time, Tor Davenport-Peterson lobbed the leveller after Andrew Withers failed to get distance on an attempted punch clearance. Incredibly, there was still time for Andrew Withers to redeem himself with a fine save from a late free kick.

Into extra-time and for the third time, Wests scored early in a half. Nando Pijnaker won a key header and Harry Edge combined with Callum McCowatt who produced a superb pass to Elijah Just who made no mistake. Almost immediately, Elijah Just repaid the favour, slipping Callum McCowatt in for a cool finish, after yet another high win by Mohamed Awad. This finally broke Karori’s resolve and there was certainly no way they were going to be able to recover again.

The scoring was completed in the first minute of the second period of extra-time, with Owen Parker-Price expertly converting a penalty after Elijah Just was brought down. A deserved victory in the end for Wests, but a quite strange one with Wests scoring early in all four periods (in fact all six of their goals were scored early in the halves) and conceding more than one goal for only the second time this season.

Player of the Day:

3 points – Owen Parker-Price – Again the dominant force in midfield

2 points – Elijah Just – Two goals and three assists, terrorising Karori for the second week running

1 point – Mohamed Awad – Livewire forward, scoring two and could have had four