Match Day 8

Western Suburbs 3 – Wellington United 0

WS: Callum McCowatt  41, Matt Garbett  58, Dalton Wilkins  60


Reporter: Tony Bissell


Wests Formation (4-3-3) WU Formation (3-4-3)

Isaac Tetteh

Alex Clayton                Mikey Faber            Nando Pijnaker               Dalton Wilkins

Elijah Just              Owen Parker-Price         Callum McCowatt

Matt Garbett                Ihaia Delaney              Mohamed Awad

Wests Subs:

Xavier Green for Ihaia Delaney (46 mins) – Mohamed moved to 9

Sean Bright for Mohamed Awad (58 mins) – Elijah moved to false 9, Owen to 8

Jayden Rodwell for Callum McCowatt (73 mins) – Straight swap

A blustery day at Endeavour did not stop two excellent young teams from serving up an extremely entertaining game which was again a credit to the Central League. The quality of the entertainment was aided by the bravery of visiting coach, Paul Temple’s decision to maintain an attacking formation despite having to field a very inexperienced side including four debutants. He could have parked the bus and most likely lost meekly, but he at least allowed his team to “have a go” and his players will certainly learn from the experience.

Wests’ tactics were spot-on. In the first half, playing into the brisk wind, they used Ihaia Delaney very effectively as a target man, and he won most of the aerial duels, before linking with the lively Matt Garbett and Mohamed Awad. In the second half, Wests reverted to their neat, sharp passing game and ruthlessly exploited a Wellington United team that was chasing the game by that stage.

Like many of Wests’ games, the early stages were quite cagey with both sides closing each other down very quickly. As the half wore on though, Wests started to take a strangle-hold with Owen Parker-Price, Callum McCowatt and Elijah Just pulling the strings in midfield. Their best chance fell to Matt Garbett when he raced clean through on goal but he was denied by the impressive United keeper, Zac Jones. Mohamed Awad blasted another chance over after being set up by Matt Garbett, and Ihaia Delaney was presented with a couple of heading opportunities but he was also thwarted by the well-positioned Zac Jones.

Wests’ growing pressure finally paid off five minutes from half-time when Callum McCowatt latched onto a poor clearance. He cut in from the left and beat a couple of defenders before dispatching a firm shot into the bottom corner. United responded with a short period of pressure before half-time and might have equalised except for brave, last-ditch tackles from the impressive defensive duo of Mikey Faber and Nando Pijnaker.

Wests upped the pace straight from the off in the second half, and from an early corner, Mohamed Awad’s firm header was spectacularly tipped over by Zac Jones. The pressure continued to mount, and Elijah Just was next to threaten but his effort was fractionally wide after he was set up by Callum McCowatt.

The second goal finally arrived just before the hour-mark and was a trademark Wests’ goal of teamwork and slick passing. Owen Parker-Price provided the initial impetus freeing up Callum McCowatt. He drew his defender before slotting in Xavier Green whose cross was controlled and slammed home by Matt Garbett.

Two-nil almost immediately became three-nil as Callum McCowatt played a neat one-two with Xavier Green before crossing for Dalton Wilkins to drill into the net. It was then one-way traffic and incessant pressure from Wests for the next 20 minutes, with Zac Jones almost single-handedly keeping the score down with a procession of good saves from Matt Garbett, Dalton Wilkins and Elijah Just.

With the game safe, Wests became a little complacent in the last 10 minutes and had to thank Isaac Tetteh for two excellent late saves which preserved a third consecutive clean sheet.

In summary, this was another excellent team performance from a Wests side that is growing in confidence every week. They will be hoping to maintain this momentum in back-to-back away games against Havelock North over the next two weekends, first in the league and then in the Chatham Cup.

Player of the Day:

3 points – Matt Garbett – Troubled United with his pace and trickery throughout, and bagged a well-deserved goal

2 Points – Callum McCowatt – Impressive return to the team, involved in most of Wests’ best attacks

1 point – Isaac Tetteh – Great distribution from the back, and two crucial saves to secure another clean sheet