Match Day 15

 Western Suburbs 8 – Miramar Rangers 2

WS: Mohamed Awad 17, Elijah Just 45, 57, Callum McCowatt 53, 58, Dalton Wilkins 63, Matt Garbett 83, Nati Hailemariam 90

MR: Angus Kilkolly 11, 77

 

Reporter: Tony Bissell

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Wests Formation (4-3-3) MR Formation (4-3-3)

 

Andrew Withers

Alex Clayton, Mikey Faber, Nando Pijnaker, Dalton Wilkins

 Dom Wooldridge, Harry Edge, Owen Parker-Price

Elijah Just, Mohamed Awad, Callum McCowatt

Wests Subs:

Noah Billingsley for Harry Edge (63 mins) – Dom Wooldridge to 6, Elijah Just to 8

Nathaniel Hailemariam for Callum McCowatt (68 mins) – Straight swap

Matt Garbett for Mohamed Awad (77 mins) – Straight swap

Despite recent inclement weather, Endeavour Park was in excellent condition for the visit of Miramar Rangers, the only side to beat Wests this season. However, that defeat was comprehensively avenged with Wests putting on a superlative team performance and completely outplaying a team laden with National League players.

Captain Harry Edge was returning from injury, along with Nando Pijnaker, and there were a few positional changes from the previous weeks’ Chatham Cup victory at North Wellington.

Head Coach Declan Edge had clearly challenged his team to play with high intensity for the whole 90 minutes, and the players didn’t disappoint. From the first whistle, Wests hounded Miramar whenever they were in possession, frequently winning the ball in advanced positions. This, coupled with the sharpness and incisiveness of Wests’ passing & movement, was simply too hot to handle for Miramar and the result was never really in doubt even though Miramar took a shock early lead.

Having bossed the first 10 minutes, Wests gave away a free kick about 25 yards out, and Angus Kilkolly dispatched it into the top corner, giving Andrew Withers no chance. Wests didn’t panic though and simply continued to play their effective high press game and its wasn’t long before they equalised. Alex Clayton was the architect, darting down the right wing and pulling the ball back to Elijah Just who beat his man before squaring to Mohamed Awad for the easiest of finishes.

There was no let up from Wests with Dom Wooldridge inches away from a converting a fine cross from Dalton Wilkins, Callum McCowatt having a good shout for a penalty turned down, and then Dalton Wilkins stinging the palms of Marcel Kampman in the Miramar goal. There was the occasional scare at the other end, particularly when Kilkolly was just wide with a header, but Miramar rarely managed to maintain possession in the face of Wests’ incessant pack-pressure on the ball. The forwards and full-backs did most of the harrying, resulting in hurried clearances which were snapped up by Wests’ midfielders who would immediately instigate another wave of attacks. This tactic paid dividends on the stroke of half-time as Callum McCowatt showed great perseverance to win back the ball, allowing Mohamed Awad to set up Elijah Just who slammed home the go-ahead goal.

There was no drop in intensity for the second half, and Callum McCowatt, Owen Parker-Price and Mohamed Awad had all gone close before Wests managed to extend their lead. Elijah Just was upended as he headed towards goal, but justice was done as Callum McCowatt nailed the 25 yard free-kick into the top corner.

Miramar now started to look ragged, and this was exemplified by the mistakes that led to a spell of three goals in six minutes. In each case, Miramar defenders were caught in possession enabling Wests’ players to run clean through on goal, and all three instances resulted in polished finishes from Elijah Just, Callum McCowatt and Dalton Wilkins. Callum McCowatt was then desperately unlucky not to complete his hat-trick as his thumping header from an Alex Clayton cross was superbly saved.

With the game well and truly sewn up, Miramar might have hoped that Wests would take their foot off the pedal. Instead, Declan Edge introduced fresh legs in the form of three top quality strikers from his bench and urged his team to push for more goals.

Angus Kilkolly scored an extremely fortuitous consolation as his mis-kicked cross looped into the top corner, but Wests replied with Nati Hailemariam setting up Matt Garbett for goal number seven, before Nati himself benefited from good approach play from Owen Parker-Price and Noah Billingsley to net the eighth.

In summary, Wests were not flattered by the comprehensive 8-2 score-line and the 250 well-entertained supporters will surely be back for more next week against Stop Out.