Chatham Cup - Semi Finals

Cashmere Technical 2 - Western Suburbs 3 AET

CT: Lyle Matthysen 2, Aaron Clapham 45


WS: Matt Garbett 7, Mohamed Awad 32 (pen), Dom Wooldridge 112



Reporter: Tony Bissell


Wests Formation (4-3-3) CT Formation (4-1-4-1)

Andrew Withers

Alex Clayton, Adam Thomas, Nando Pijnaker, Dalton Wilkins

 Elijah Just, Harry Edge, Dom Wooldridge

Matt Garbett, Mohamed Awad, Nati Hailemariam


Wests Subs:

Ben Sippola for Matt Garbett (70 mins) – Elijah moved upfront

Sean Bright for Alex Clayton (96 mins) – Straight swap

Marko Stamenic for Elijah Just (115 mins) – Straight swap


Wests finally overcame Cashmere Technical in extra-time at Garrick Memorial Park to reach the 2018 Chatham Cup final despite not playing a single game at home.

Head coach Declan Edge made only one change, restoring Mohamed Awad to the starting line following suspension, with Elijah Just dropping to the right-sided number 8 role. CT fielded a strong side in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Aaron Clapham leading the line, and the Schwarz brothers (Dan and Tom) helping to make up an extremely uncompromising back four.

Wests started the game brightly with a long period of passing culminating in a Nati Hailemariam header but this was comfortably saved. They were then shocked as CT scored on their first attack with Aaron Clapham playing the decisive ball through to Lyle Matthysen who gave Andrew Withers no chance.

The lead was short-lived however. Sharp passing from Adam Thomas and Nati Hailemariam led to a Mohamed Awad piledriver which was tipped over, but from the resultant corner, a subtle near-post flick from Mohamed Awad was clinically finished by Matt Garbett. With confidence buoyed by the quick response, Wests then grew into the game playing all of the best football, although CT remained a threat on the break particularly trying to exploit space behind Wests’ full-backs.

Wests’ go-ahead goal again came from a corner, although this time a CT corner. The ball was volleyed clear from the edge of the 18-yard box by Mohamed Awad and chased by Nati Hailemariam. He ran 80 yards, accelerating past two CT defenders who misjudged the flight of the ball, then rounded the keeper, only to be upended by Nicholas Haworth. The referee had no alternative but to brandish a red card, and Mohamed Awad ensured that further punishment came CT’s way by drilling home the penalty.

Against 10 men, Wests immediately began to find more space with Elijah Just, Harry Edge and Dom Wooldridge dominating midfield, and the front-3 all combining well and creating a number of half chances that went begging. Wests were left to rue the missed chances as CT conjured an equalizer just before the break. A long throw down the line was controlled near the corner flag and quickly crossed to the in-rushing Aaron Clapham who again gave Andrew Withers no chance with a slick finish.

The goal on the stroke of half-time gave the 10-men renewed hope and CT started the second half very strongly. Wests were indebted to Andrew Withers for two crucial saves, including a particularly fine stop from Lyall Matthysen. There were still threatening moments from Wests but they were increasingly restricted to long-range efforts from Mohamed Awad, Elijah just and Harry Edge.

CT were starting to out-muscle Wests with several robust and borderline challenges deemed fair by the officials. Declan Edge acted quickly to address the situation, bringing on the feisty Ben Sippola to add further steel to his midfield. This almost paid immediate dividends as Wests won the ball in the centre-circle and a neat left wing passing move resulted in a great cross which was headed just wide by Nati Hailemariam.

CT consolidated again however and continued to hold their own despite being a man short. The game appeared destined for extra time, but Wests thought they had scored the winner deep in stoppage time. Yet again the action came from a corner - this time, it was only partially cleared by CT, enabling Elijah Just to hit a stunning shot that flashed past Danny Knight in the CT goal. Celebrations were cut short though when the referee spotted the lineman’s flag and after consultation, awarded a free-kick for offsite (obstructing the view of the goalkeeper).

Into extra-time, and it was clear that only one side (Wests) were trying to win the game. Elijah Just had a bullet shot deflected for a corner and Nati Hailemariam almost scored direct from the corner. Mohamed Awad then broke from his own half, slotting a perfect pass to Elijah Just but he was foiled by a superb save by Danny Knight.

The game was starting to meander towards the dreaded penalty shoot-out when Wests finally got a deserved winner. Amazingly, it was yet another goal from a corner, with Dom Wooldridge leaping highest to plant a firm header home from Elijah Just’s delivery.

With weary legs, CT were unable to rouse themselves to force another equalizer, and a feature of the last 5-10 minutes was the fine sportsmanship of both sets of players as they assisted their opponents who were progressively struggling with cramp.

In summary, a tremendous effort by CT, playing with 10 men for about 90 minutes, but “corner-specialists” Wests were worthy winners in the end.