OF THE SEASON
MAGS got off
to the perfect start at Macleans College. Dakota Lucas ran
onto a Mark Withers flick-on in the third minute and lobbed
the ball over Earl Crowley in the Macleans goal from the edge
of the penalty area.
The 1-0 lead was a dream start upon which MAGS should have built.
During the next fifteen minutes, many direct free kick opportunities came their way via the whistle of the referee Mr Glen Williams for some very crude tackling by the MacLeans' defenders.
Unfortunately for MAGS, Skye Parmenter and Zane Sole squandered these goalscoring opportunities, shooting way off target on most occasions. In the 26th minute Pomare Te Anau cut inside, leaving two defenders in his wake, but his well-struck shot was held by Crowley.
At this stage the game was being played in the Macleans half of the field. It was survival tactics for Macleans, hoofing the ball down the field and over the heads of the MAGS back four. Corliss and Yusuf from Macleans both found their names in the referee's book for overenthusiastic challenges.
MAGS went to the half time break in control of a toughly fought encounter that had not really got going as a football spectacle.
Half time: MAGS 1 MacLeans 0
No changes were made at half-time by MAGS coach Kevin Fallon. MAGS started the half facing a stiff breeze in their faces. In the 56th minute, striker Mark Withers had the perfect opportunity to wrap up the game, but he fluffed his shot from six yards. Crowley was grateful for what amounted to a pass back. It would prove to be a costly miss.
Ten minutes later, the Macleans big centre back Ben Corliss got up at the far post to a left wing corner. His powerful header beat George easily in the MAGS goal. The game was all locked up at 1-1.
From this point on, MAGS started to look a little fragile at the back. Elder was getting chased down the left, captain Raj started to mistime headers and Parmenter was fully extended down the right-hand side. Only Porter was looking comfortable.
In the 70th minute, Dakota Lucas had an opportunity to put MAGS in the lead. Running onto a Mark Withers flick-on, he overran the ball for Crowley to smother on the edge of the penalty area. With twenty minutes to go, MAGS were looking very uncomfortable under the high ball. Porter was replaced by the tall Adam Cowen.
In the 76th minute MacLeans delivered a real body blow to MAGS when a free kick was delivered to the near post. Patrick George was left floundering and Rees Pemberton nipped in to head the ball over the indecisive MAGS keeper.
More headaches were to follow. Another left-wing corner was converted at the far post to give Pemberton his second goal of the afternoon.
MAGS were 3-1 down with eleven minutes to play.
Although Mark Withers pulled a goal back in the 90th minute it was too little and too late from a MAGS team who never came to terms with the small, cramped playing field, nor the direct no nonsense approach of Macleans College team.
A sad day for the playing-through champions, but a joyous one for their opponents. A timely reminder for MAGS that they are not the champions yet.
Final result MAGS 2 Macleans College 3
Team: George, Elder, Porter, Raj, (c) Parmenter, Milne, Sole, Killip, Te Anaau, Lucas, Withers.
Cowen for Porter 72nd minute
Poi for Sole 82nd minute
Pavic not used.
Lucas 3rd minute
Withers 90th minute
Man of the Match Hayden Porter
Referee Mr Glen Williams