Suburbs take revenge on Coastal Spirit
Suburbs' Mainland Premier League second round is seeing some scores being settled and Coastal Spirit suffered a 4-2 defeat at Saxton Field yesterday.
AMI Nelson Suburbs collected their fourth win in succession with a rampant attack hounding the Coastal keeper for much of the match. Davitt Walsh provided the solitary first-half goal before five were added in the second.
Goals to Alex Ridsdale, Ryan Stewart and Ben Wright made sure Suburbs held third equal on the table, while Gareth Turnbull scored twice for the visitors.
With the keeper coming out and Stewart and Wright pouring forward, the keeper was always looking at the taller target man in sky blue, and it was Wright who got the touch on the attacking bomb, putting it past the keeper into the empty net.
Two red cards in the first round saw Suburbs lose after leading by two, and Coastal coach Xavier Morin felt his team paid for the manner of that victory.
"I think that [performance yesterday] was revenge compared with the first game," he said. "We made mistakes and we were punished for that."
Suburbs co-coach Paul Brydon said it was all about making incremental improvements. He also pointed to the performance of Erik Panzer, the former Garin College student back on university break from the States.
The home side went ahead when Wright was found on the edge of the box. Holding until his striking partner came back onside, Wright sent the low, hard cross across the face of goal and Walsh's diving header was clinical.
One-nil ahead after 15 minutes, Walsh then gave Wright a chance from the opposite side. Using his right foot Wright turned the cross towards goal, but Coastal keeper Eddie Ashton produced a good save.
Panzer was providing ample time on the ball in the defensive midfield position. This allowed for considered movement all the way through to busy striker Walsh, with Maciel and Wright heavily involved on the left.
Sam Ayers and Walsh combined to give captain Stewart a chance but Ashton was able to advance to the line of the ball and pick up the shot.
Suburbs' attacking momentum was stymied through the back third of the first half as the last pass was too often too wistful.
Coastal applied pressure coming forward. Three or four consecutive corners were kept out by Suburbs keeper Cameron Thomas, who clocks more comfortable in his gloves with every week.
Early in the second half Suburbs began to take their chances.
A flowing move down the right advanced the ball, falling on the left to Ayers, his pace outflanked the defence and only another strong save kept out his shot.
The loose ball was saved again by the foot of the floored keeper but Stewart was able to drag the ball back, scoring with his back to goal to double Suburbs' lead.
Following the goal, Ridsdale, Suburbs' second student back from the US, was put in to the game 10 minutes into the second half for Walsh and had one in the back of the net seven minutes later. Wright made a run from a Josh Moffat pass, the offside flag stayed down but Wright's late shot was kept out by the foot of the falling keeper.
On hand to pick up the rebound, Ridsdale kept his volley down to thread it through defenders and score at the near post for a 3-0 lead.
Coastal pulled one back which seemed to surprise all at Saxton Field when a cross from the right was turned in by Turnbull among a myriad of Suburbs defenders, the ball beating Thomas at the near post.
Suburbs restored the lead when Maciel raised a speculative ball into the sky.
With the keeper coming out and Stewart and Wright pouring forward, the keeper was always looking at the taller target man in sky blue, but it was the Suburbs captain who got the touch on the attacking bomb, putting it past the keeper and into the empty net.
Ridsdale missed his chance for a second after a Stewart cross forced the goalkeeper and defenders to leave their feet, Ridsdale putting the rebound shot to the right.
The chances were coming thick and fast for Suburbs with Ridsdale running like a thief, and with fullback Josh Moffat and young sub Max Winterton playing some nice touches but, as the clock wound down, there was still time for Turnbull to show his class again.
Advancing from about halfway, Turnbull's pace and ability with the ball on the deck allowed him to round defenders and finish past Thomas.
MPL ladder: Cashmere Technical 27, Western 22, Ferrymead Bays 15, Nelson Suburbs 15, Halswell United, 7 Coastal Spirit 7, Universities 5, Nomads United 5.
The Nelson Mail