Wanaka Premiers were under pressure early on at Dunedin’s Ellis Park last Saturday, but debutant goalkeeper Victor Meija produced two crucial saves in the opening minutes to keep Roslyn Wakari at bay.
Wanaka responded in 10 minutes when striker Steve Pleskun’s header from a corner grazed the crossbar. It was Wanaka and Pleskun who would open the scoring when a well-worked move starting in their own half resulted in Toa Roode finding space wide on the left wing. Roode then delivered a perfect left foot cross to the far post and Pleskun headed home to give Wanaka the lead with 20 minutes played.
Roslyn looked to get back on level terms, but it was Pleskun who struck again five minutes later.
Weston Bell won possession and played a delightful pass to which Pleskun could run on and, after wrong footing his opposing defender, he produced a trademark finish with his left foot and rifled the ball past a helpless Stevens in Roslyn’s goal.
Wanaka led at half-time 2-0.
Roslyn, on their home turf and with a slim chance of still winning the league, had everything to play for and produced a better second half. They dominated possession and territory but too often looked to play long, aerial balls which played into the hands of Wanaka’s centre back pairing of Thomas Van Hees and Blair Scoullar who were dominant throughout.
Roslyn scored their opening goal from a deflected Govan shot in the 75th minute to set up a hectic end to the game where Roslyn went close to equalising, hitting Wanaka’s cross bar, but the rebound was well cleared by Wanaka’s defence.
The score finished 2-1.
Seventeen-year-old Michael Gealogo was Wanaka’s ‘Man of the Match’ as he showed courage and skill in a game where there was no quarter given.
This Saturday is the last game of the season and Wanaka is at home against local rivals Queenstown Rovers. If Wanaka wins their game and Dunedin Tech does not get four of their remaining possible six points, the Premiers will keep their second spot. Saturday’s kick off is at 2:45pm at Wanaka Recreation Centre.