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Canterbury United

Team Wellington


ASB Premiership - Week 4,
ASB Football Park, Christchurch,
Sunday 27 November 2011


Aaron CLAPHAM pen 22'




Halftime: 1-0                      Referee: Campbell- Kirk Waugh                                Crowd: 300

Dragons edge ten-man Wellington

by John Donnachie at ASB Football Park

CHRISTCHURCH - Canterbury United got their season back on track with narrow 1-0 victory over a gutsy Team Wellington at Christchurch today.

The Dragons appeared well in control of proceedings at the interval, after a rush of blood to the head from James Musa, had the visitors reduced to ten men- following an Aaron Clapham penalty.

However, after the break Team Wellington regrouped, and there was a tense finale when  Dragons striker Russell Kamo, suffered concussion and was unable to continue after Canterbury had used all three substitutes.

Aaron Clapham gave the Dragons a deserved lead on 21 minutes after scoring from the spot with his trademark poise- wrong-footing Phil Imray.

Wellington full-back James Musa had been yellow carded -after he was adjudged to have handled inside the box after tangling with Slefendorfas.

Clearly, the young Phoenix prospect was still riled by events, when he dramatically ploughed into the Dragons' winger Darren White just minutes later, leaving referee Campbell-Kirk Waugh no other option but to send him off.

Canterbury then wasted several opportunities to finish the contest off. Striker George Slefendorfas and winger Matt Thomas unable to convert from score-able positions.

Dragons coach, Keith Braithwaite, said the result was “pleasing” in the circumstances.

“ It's three points. First half we dominated, had lots of chances. But then they went down to ten men, we lost our shape and discipline in the second [half].

“Obviously, we are pleased with the points, but we are disappointed with our second half performance. Full credit to them, they came and had a go at us.”

Braithwaite was also happy with goalkeeper Adam Highfield's performance.

The big keeper, signed from Otago United in the close season, had two outstanding saves in the second half, denying the lively Louis Fenton and then later Dakota Lucas.

While the home fans nerves were tested with four minutes of injury time, it was Canterbury who finished stronger. Substitute Andrew Barton lashed a shot from ten yards out which crashed off the underside of the bar with Imray well beaten.

 Team Wellington coach, Matt Calcott, did not want to dwell on the James Musa sending off, which he described as “youthful exuberance”.

Instead Calcott was looking towards building on a sterling second half effort.

“ Our boys are dead on their feet. You can't ask for more than that. We made some substitutions that gave us momentum in the second half. There was that spell where we need to start better- we were too slow out the blocks.
'When we are in the right frame of mind we can do well in this league.”

Ironically, both sides are due to meet again next week in a new cup competition.

From the evidence of today's match that should be an intriguing encounter.

Canterbury goalkeeper Adam Highfield was presented with the Justin Lucas memorial trophy after the match.


Team Sheet

Canterbury United


Team Wellington

1. Adam Highfield (GK)

1 Phil Imray (GK)

5. Tom Schwarz

2. Tim Schaeffers

7. Darren White (Barton 74')

4. Michael Eagar

8. Aaron Clapham

5. Nick Branch (Duncan 46')

9. George Slefendorfas

6. Darren Cheriton

10. Russell Kamo

8. Michael White (Fleming 66')

11. Matt Thomas (Opperman 56')

10. Dakota Lucas

15. Julyan Collett

11. Tyson Holmes

16. Joe Murray

12. Ethan Galbraith (Fenton 38')

17. Cole Peverley (Johnson 66')

19. James Musa

24. Jeremy Wild

20. Luke Rowe



1. Tom Batty (RGK)

3. Jamie Duncan (in 45')

3. Mark Johnson (in 66')

9. Patrick Fleming (in 66')

12. Andrew Barton (in 74')

15. Sam Mason-Smith

19. Calvin Opperman (in 56')

23. Louis Fenton (in 38')

20. Ken Yamamoto

Scott Basalalaj (RGK)


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play

Welcome to ASB Football Park, conditions are perfect, gentle breeze and temperature around 21 degrees. Early team news - Aaron Clapham continues at full-back for the hosts. Defender Luke Rowe is a surprise selection for the visitors-he was not expected to play. Almost underway, there is a minute silence for Jade Bayliss- daughter of Canty Goalkeeper coach Gary Bayliss.

The best player in today's clash will be presented with the Justin Lucas memorial.  trophy. Justin was a former Canterbury and Wellington player who died tragically last year in the United States.

3' Imray gets down and saves a Matt Thomas shot from edge of te box.  

5' Great save from Imray in Wellington goal as he turns a goalbound George Slefendorfas shot over te bar

7' Canty on top. Slenfendorfas giving the visitors problems.

9'Slefendorfas is BOOKED for clumsy tackle in midfield

10'Wellington have won two freekicks round Canty area - but neither has threatened Highfield in Canty goal.

12' Kamo cross just out of the reach of Slenfendorfas-near thing

15'Chance for Wellington.  Tyson Holmes finds place outside box -but shoots wide.

17'Corner for Canty- Schwarz heads just over from far post.

19'End to end Corner Wellington comes to nothing. Canty corner is harmless too- bal goes out ofplay opposite side of field

21'PENALTY Canty- Musa tangles with Slefendorfas- referee consults linesman. Musa BOOKED. Handball was the offence.

22'Clapham scores from the spot with his trademark poise wrong footing Imray.

27'More bad news for Wellington-Musa SENT OFF- late tackle on Darren White

30' Slefendorfas threatens again- threads pass through just cleared.

32'Darren White almost scores with hook shot from edge of box -just over

38' Wellington's Ethan Galbraith almost pounces in the box against the run of play with a shot which Highfield has to hold at the second attempt.

SUB for Wellington Galbraith OFF Fenton ON

40' Canty on top, Wellington reduced to the odd breakaway.

42' Great run by White crosses over and Matt Thomas shot is headed over fo a corner

44'Canty corner - White speculative shot just misses the foot of the predator Slefendorfas

45+2  Free-kick Canty 30 yards out. Great free-kick from Clapham flashes across th box with Slefendorfas almost on h end of it.


46' Underway- Wellington SUB Jamie Duncan on for Nick Branch

47' Joe Murray shot comfortably saved by Phil Imray

50' Freekick Wellington- Cheriton freekick punched clear by Highfield.

51'BOOKING- Julyan Collett - Freekick Wellington 20 yards out- Michael White shot turned round post by Highfield- good effort

55' Canty SUB Calvin Opperman makes his debut for Matt Thomas

58' Cole Peverley almost scores with run and shot inside the box saved by Imray

61'Slefendorfas crosses and Kamo shoots towards goal -blocked by Wellington defender.

62'Sorry folks loss in transmission.

72' Wellington almost score- Louis Fenton one on one with Highfield but denied by goalie's knee.

74'Kamo denied now by Imray at the other end. Good save down to his far post 

75' Wellington hanging in there- despite having ten men.

76' Canty SUB Darren White for Andy Barton

78' Canty looking for a clincher- they have a corner

80' Comes to nothing, Wellington still in this.

Dakota Lucas brings a great save out of Highfield in Canty goal- Big goalie touches over.

83'Tense times for Canty- Kamo down and they have used all 3 subs.

84' Fenton tests Highfield but his shot is weak.

85' Indecision in visitors box - but Duncan clears

86' Both teams playing with ten- Kamo off the field.

87' Visitors will be happy with 2nd half effort

88'Corner Canty-comes to nothing.

90' One last push by both teams

90+4 added time

91'Andrew Barton denied by underside of bar- free shot from 10 yards out

92' Canty's Joe Murray BOOKED for tackle in midfield

93' Canty finishing strong

94' It's all over folks- apologies for loss in match coverage.