FALL TO PAPATOETOE
It was always going to be a difficult assignment for Mount Albert Grammar School today in the Chatham Cup competition. It was made even harder by six of the squad unable to play through injuries or in Dakota Lucas' case being suspended.
Despite that, they pushed the senior opposition up to half time, going in at the interval 0-0.
Indeed if lady luck had been shining on them, Faitalia Hamilton's far-post header in the 12th minute had goal written all over it, but sadly it flashed past the upright, with the Papatoetoe goalkeeper, Robbie Graham, well beaten.
Five minutes later, hard-working midfield player Thomas Boss found himself one versus one with the goalkeeper, but his shot was smothered. Papatoetoe at this stage of the game were definitely playing second fiddle in the ball possession stakes.
Their first serious threat was presented to them by MAGS goalkeeper Patrick George who pushed his luck dribbling the opposition striker. Fortunately, he recovered quickly to drop on the ball after being hotly pursued by the opposing forward. Approaching the half hour mark, Pomare Te Anau was beginning to dance inside Regan Peverley, only to send his shot straight at the keeper. At the other end, Kopravic turned and shot wide.
Te Anau certainly looked the most likely to score for MAGS, but was thwarted on two more occasions prior to half time.
At half time, debut boy Callum Kiddel was replaced by another 14 year old, Harley Tahau.
Papatoetoe started the second half well with a goal in the 47th minute. A long ball was hiked down the field for the striker, Faheel Khan to find a big hole in the MAGS defence between Central defender, Jude Fitzpatrick, and skipper Ryan Elder. He made sure, firing the ball under George to give the senior team a valuable lead. Five minutes, later Papatoetoe sneaked in around the other side with Hayden Porter and Mathew Rowlands being done for pace.
Patrick George blocked the first attempt, but it was bundled over the line on the follow up.
The game looked over for the schoolboy team, but, to their credit, they kept looking for that elusive goal. In the 60th minute Faitalia Hamilton doggedly forced a corner. Te Anau crossed and Nikko Boxall headed over when it was easier to score.
Three minutes later, Te Anau set up Conrad Poi on the edge of the penalty area but he lashed his opportunity wide.
nail was hammered home by Daniel Kopravic in the 66th minute
when he placed his shot wide of George from what looked like
an off-side position. The MAGS protests were waved away and
Papatoetoe were comfortably ahead 3-0.
Kevin Fallon was disappointed, but chiefly with the way the goals were given away, by poor defending and not being able to convert the half dozen chances that MAGS worked hard to create. He said, "Some players grew today, others lacked that belief needed to beat senior opposition. What they have to do as young players is to be more self critical and realise how they could have done better."
Final result: MAGS 0 Papatoetoe 3.
Referee Mr I Lawrence
MAGS: George, Elder(c), Fitzpatrick, Rowlands, Porter, Boxall, Te Anau, Boss, Poi, Hamilton, Kiddell.
Tahau for Kiddell 46 minute, Lynch for Tahau 85th minute, Atherton not used, Lowrie not used and Levesque not used.
Man of the Match Thomas Boss