A stunning start but a fizzled finish in Chatham Cup

Wanaka hosted University of Otago in round two of the 2019 ISPS Handa Chatham Cup at the Wanaka Rec Centre on Saturday.

On a slippery surface Steve Pleskun opened the game with his left foot. A jubilant Wanaka were delighted to start the game in such a positive manner.

Just four minutes later Wanaka struck again when Alex Plimmer who hit a delightful shot with his left foot into the far corner of the University net to put the home side 2-0 up after 18 minutes.

The small local crowd were thrilled as were the Wanaka players. The game continued for the remainder of the half with half chances at both ends.

Second half starts with a southerly blowing into the faces of the Wanaka team which brought some hail and a drop in temperature. A free kick created by Grimsdale on half way is delivered by midfielder Barry Grehan and an on-form Pleskun peels off his marker and finds time and space in the opposing penalty area and hits a first time volley low into the opponent’s net. 3-0 after 60 minutes.

As the southerly faded and the sun came out University woke up and proceeded to lift their intensity in an effort to get back in the game.

It was Wanaka who gifted University a lifeline back into the game as the score moved to 3-1 with 29 mins to play. Three minutes later, Wanaka had plenty of numbers to defend the corner but firstly failed to clear their header and then failed to close down the space of Durkin and University now eyes a chance of a comeback. 3-2.

University score a deserved equaliser on 74 mins when Ben Ofarrell receives the ball 25 yards out and fires into the roof of the Wanaka goal. 3-3

Wanaka fail to value the ball and give possession away. Dominic Scahiil, the University skipper turns and fires a shot from 18 yards to give University a 4-3 lead after 78 minutes. A delighted University have scored four goals in a spell of just 17 mins to rattle a shell-shocked Wanaka.

A corner in the 90th minute is played short when the unthinkable happens as Wanaka scores an own goal. 5-3 win to University.

Man of the match was Steve Pleskun who worked tirelessly up front and scored two goals and set up the other.


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