Match Day 5 review

Western Suburb 3 – Wellington Olympic 0  

WS: Elijah Just 28, 56, Mohamed Awad 82

WO:

 

 

 

 

Reporter: Tony Bissell

___________________

Wests Formation (4-3-3) WO Formation (4-3-3)

Isaac Tetteh

Alex Clayton, Erik Panzer, Nando Pijnaker, Dom Wooldridge

 Elijah Just, Harry Edge, Sean Bright

Matt Garbett, Marko Stamenic, Xavier Green 

Wests Subs:

Mohamed Awad for Xavier Green (68 mins) – Straight swap

 

Ben Sippola for Matt Garbett (82 mins) – Elijah Just moved upfront

 

Mark Atkinson & Ben Sippola took charge against Wellington Olympic, as Declan Edge observed (silently) from the side-lines, following his sending-off at Napier. Despite the game clashing with several other Wellington fixtures, there was another healthy crowd of over 300 to watch an improving Wests team take on the joint league-leaders.

Olympic were extremely well-organised, matching Wests’ 4-3-3 formation, sitting deep and compact when Wests had the ball, and looking to limit any clear-cut chances. In the early stages, this tactic worked well, with Wests’ only half-chance falling to Alex Clayton after good combination work between Sean Bright, Xavier Green and Elijah Just.

In fact, Olympic possibly looked the more dangerous outfit early-on with some quick-fire breaks, but these were snuffed out by the defensive king-pins, Erik Panzer and Nando Pijnaker, assisted by Harry Edge who impressed again in the holding midfield role. On the one occasion that Olympic managed to bypass the Wests defence, Isaac Tetteh produced a fine save to deny Gavin Hoy.

Within a minute of that effort, Alex Clayton’s surging run led to a good chance for Matt Garbett at the other end, but his stinging shot brought a finger-tip save from Sam Williams. The opening goal was not long in coming though, and when it arrived, it was a goal of the season contender. This was a trademark Wests goal, starting with composure and sharp passing between Isaac Tetteh, Erik Panzer and Harry Edge at the back, followed by some incisive movement involving Alex Clayton and Sean Bright, and then finished off by sublime 25-yarder curler into the top corner from Elijah Just.

Although Isaac Tetteh had to be alert to save a Blake Weston header from a corner soon afterwards, Wests increasingly took control as the half progressed. Xavier Green and Marko Stamenic impressed with their work-rate and teamwork, and they combined regularly with full-backs, Dom Wooldridge and Alex Clayton, who both started to get into very advanced positions.

Early in the second half, Isaac Tetteh produced another fine save from a Leo Villa free-kick as Olympic tried valiantly to find a way back into the game. However, as they committed more men to attack, they were always going to be prone to a Wests’ break, and this led to a decisive second goal just before the hour-mark. It started with a great Erik Panzer run out of defence, followed by swift passing involving Marko Stamenic and Matt Garbett. The latter’s shot was blocked, but Elijah Just followed up with a neat finish to complete a brace.

Wests’ superior fitness and precision now kicked in, and they enjoyed prolonged periods of possession, with Olympic rarely threatening. Mohamed Awad almost made it 3-0 after being set up following a mazy run from Mako Stamenic, but his effort was deflected wide. He was not to be denied though, and with 8 minutes to go, he produced a fine scooped finish to make the game completely safe, after neat passing from Sean Bright and Elijah Just.

In summary, an excellent team performance from Wests, and a deserved first clean sheet of the season.

Click here for photos

Player of the Day:

 

3 points – Elijah Just – Outstanding all-round display, capped by two excellent goals

2 Points – Marko Stamenic – Got stronger as the game progressed, excelling in roaming forward role

1 point – Harry Edge – Dominant number 6 winning all the key battles