MAGS ALL AT SEA
In atrocious playing conditions at Links Avenue, Tauranga City
defeated Mount Albert Grammar School 4 - 1 in the second round of
the Chatham Cup competition.
MAGS did not help themselves by sticking to their short passing
game in what could possibly have been the worst playing
conditions that the youngsters had experienced in their short
Worse was to come when a number of the school eleven started
running with the ball only to see it stop dead in the surface
puddles that must have caused some concern to referee Mark Hester
and his two assistants.
From a game that looked like an interesting duel it turned into a
Tauranga City certainly played to the conditions they went ahead
after only 4 minutes when Tom Livesy took advantage of a Patrick
George mistake when he failed to clear a Sam Redwood back pass.
George paid the penalty when Livesy rolled the blocked ball into
the MAGS net.
Despite having a disastrous start MAGS managed to get their share
of the football with Vale, Boxall and Hand competing favourably
with the senior team in midfield.
The ball dominance did not produce any goalscoring chances and it
took 14 minutes before Hamilton's shot trickled wide of Ben
Devenney in the Tauranga goal.
This pattern continued up to half time with Tauranga finding MAGS
a tough nut to crack, but apart from the odd dangerous corner
that winger Connor Stoton put into the Tauranga goal mouth
the senior team stood firm.
With 28 minutes gone Connor Lynch replaced full back Matt
Aleman and apart from another scare in the MAGS goalmouth when
goalkeeper Patrick George blocked a Tom Livesy one v one
encounter the score remained the same.
Half time Tauranga City 1 MAGS 0
MAGS started the second half strongly trying to pull back the 1-0
Then the storm arrived that had such an influence on the game.
Puddles quickly formed and conditions were very dangerous for
both sets of players as lightning bolts lit up the winter sky.
MAGS never adapted to mother nature and fell behind from a free
kick that saw Livesy head home his second. It was a bad goal to
concede with neither defenders nor goalkeeper dealing with the
cross which was only five yards out MAGS were now 2-0 down on the
Conditions were deteriorating by the minute when a Jordan Vale
cross from the right found the head of Hamilton at the far post
he glanced what was a perfect goalscoring opportunity wide.
Connor Stoton was replaced by Arus Sem in the 68th minute.
Another chance was created for MAGS but Jordan Vale shot straight
at Devenney in the 74th minute.
Any chance of building play had now gone and the last fifteen
minutes was a comedy of errors with Tauranga booting the ball
over the top to put the MAGS defenders under a lot of pressure as
the ball stuck in the puddles. It was a common ploy but
effective.From such a move a free kick was conceded in the 80th
minute by Matt Rowland, on the edge of the area. Sean Richardson
shot and a wicked deflection sped past George in the MAGS goal.
3-0 to Tauranga. Rowland also received a caution from Mark Hester
Then MAGS got on the score sheet it was a simple far post cross
that Hamilton nodded home 3 - 1.
MAGS rallied and two more opportunities came their way via
headers that were missed by Vale and Hamilton. It was Tauranga
who had the last say in injury time again from a free kick that
Jordan Culpepper hammered home past a hapless George.
The harsh reality was MAGS never adapted to the conditions on a
day where referee Mark Hester should have abandoned the game.
Afterwards MAGS coach Kevin Fallon said " Once again a poor start
put us on the back foot.
Then the heavens opened up. For me the game should have been
abandoned. It was very dangerous for both team out there."
Final score: Tauranga City 4 MAGS 1
George, Aleman, Rowland(c), Redwood,
Kiddell, Hand, Boxall, Vale, Stoton, Hamilton, Pavic K.
Lynch for Aleman 28th minute, Sem for Stoton 68th minute ,
Atherton for Kiddell 80th minute.
Man of the Match: Nikko Boxall
Faitalia Hamilton 84 th minute