Grimshaw grabs five goals as Falcons fly

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 13:05 21/01/2013

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The Nelson Falcons graduated from national-league newbies into title contenders, after an 8-0 annihilation of YoungHeart Manawatu at Trafalgar Park yesterday sent them to the top of the southern conference table.

The damage was dealt by striker Daniel Grimshaw who scored five goals, including four in the first-half, before he was subbed in the 57th minute. The Waimea College old boy recorded cricket-like figures of five for 57 in the ASB Youth League, as Manawatu collapsed under pressure.

Head coach Davor Tavich had asked his team to start with purpose, and the Nelson Falcons attacked from the outset, swooping on errors and exposing Manawatu's multiplicity of defensive frailties.

Grimshaw, 18, opened his account in the seventh minute. Manawatu keeper Matt Clarke came out to collect a through ball, but was beaten by Grimshaw. The Nelson Suburbs player knocked the ball on, calmly collected it on the byline, and finished on an acute angle.

The creative Omar Guardiola set up Grimshaw's second, when he won the ball down the left-flank, ran it into the box and laid it on for Grimshaw to finish with a sedate side-foot. Less than a minute later Grimshaw had his hat-trick inside 26 minutes, dispatching a wayward back-pass with aplomb.

Grimshaw grabbed a fantastic fourth when a shot was parried onto the crossbar and fell for the No 7, who swept it in with his left foot.

For all of Manawatu's floundering at the back, they were able to force Falcons' goalkeeper Coey Turipa into a couple of saves in the first half, but at 4-nil down, the game was over as a contest before the teams turned.

Six minutes into the second spell, Marlborough's Tore Waechter signalled the Falcons' continued intent. Pouring forward to apply pressure on the Manawatu keeper, Waechter jammed Clarke's clearance and casually helped the rebound into the net.

In the 57th minute, Grimshaw secured his first five-bagger, again courtesy of the dynamic Guardiola. The Marlborough man dispossessed a defender on halfway, and travelled towards the area before dropping a pinpoint cross onto Grimshaw's golden left boot. Guardiola was in the action again, picking up another loose ball and beating a challenge before playing a pass forward into the path of a fast-moving Waechter, who ran at the keeper and beat him at the near post, scoring his second in the 62nd minute.

The last period of play summed up the fixture. Manawatu's best on the day, Souleymane Cissoko, was denied scoring from the penalty spot by a stunning save from Turipa. At the other end, a Sam Maxwell strike hit both posts, and still the first person there was a Falcon, Niall Young, slotting the eighth goal before the final whistle ended Manawatu's torment.

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With eight in the net, to say it could have been more is fairly trifling, and golden boot leader Grimshaw could be forgiven for fluffing a couple of chances.

"Yeah, I tried to chip the keeper and it didn't quite work out," said Grimshaw.

"I learnt my lesson, but getting five is not a bad day's work."

For all the action at the other end of the park, it is easy to look past the clean sheet that was well-earned by Turipa, captain Mark Johnston and their cohorts, but that aspect was just as striking.

"Having a clean sheet and scoring eight goals, I am very impressed," said Tavich.

"We were very effective at penetrating their defensive line. We applied a lot of pressure and were able to feed off their mistakes.

"Daniel scoring five goals would be a standout in any game. I thought we were strong at the back with Fox [Slotemaker] in the centreback position together with Mark.

"Omar is very hard work for the opposition players to contain, and he created goals through pace and vision."

Tavich said this result would give the team confidence, but there was still work to do. "We have to keep on working. We will enjoy today, but then we will move on. We have to keep on improving to get the positive results."

Stand-in Manawatu coach Lloyd O'Keefe said the YoungHeart side were inexperienced and depleted. Talent has been siphoned into the top side recently and suspensions from last week exposed a lack of depth.

"We just made a lot of individual errors and they punished us," O'Keefe said.

With four points, Nelson lead Otago United (3) who had the bye and Team Wellington (3) who beat Canterbury United (1) 4-2.

The Nelson Falcons have their first away game, against Wellington in round three, on Sunday.

- The Nelson Mail

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