Determined Wakefield build confidence

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 13:00 18/06/2013

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A week after defeating Nelson Suburbs, a plucky Wakefield FC continue to trouble the top four teams in their inaugural first division season.

Wakefield halted FC Nelson Sprig & Fern's Nelson Pine Industries division one momentum with a 2-2 draw at Wakefield Domain on Saturday, a week after Sprig had defeated table-topping Richmond.

The home side took the defending champions "by surprise", pushing men forward with immediate pressure being applied to the FC Nelson goal and a free kick was given up 35 metres out on the right.

The ball in was well delivered, hard and flat by Marco Doblanovic towards the back post. A deft touch with his head saw Jamie Matthews slip the ball into the goal low on the far side leaving the FC keeper stranded in the mud.

The goal was just reward for the pressure being applied and it was nearly followed up only a few minutes later when Johnny Kawala found himself in front of goal but sent the shot over the bar.

The centre of the field was well controlled by Wakefield, with Sprig looking to direct most of their attacking play down the flanks.

Sprig fired a couple of shots late in the half, but were denied by the post and the crossbar.

The second half saw Sprig sparked into life with only some stellar keeping by Hayden Ingham keeping the 1-0 halftime margin intact early. That didn't last as FC Nelson's goal-scoring duo of Ants Sonneman and Nigel Hale got on the board once again, putting the visitors ahead.

For long periods FC Nelson looked as if they would collect the three points, but Wakefield finished as they started and again their dogged determination paid off.

After a number of attacking moves a Sprig defender handled the ball in their penalty area with two minutes to go. Cory Schroder stepped up to take the penalty and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way to finish to his left.

Robbie Hansen, coach of FC Nelson Sprig & Fern said a draw was "possibly" a fair result.

"To Wakefield's credit they fought hard and were rewarded with a penalty which was nicely converted in trying conditions," said Hansen.

Wakefield FC manager Richard Malcolm said the close results that didn't go their way in the first round were now being secured. "The lads now have real belief in their ability after another great result against last year's champion side. Our home pitch now feels like our fortress once again," said Malcolm.

In Saturday's other match, Nelson Suburbs First XI beat FC Nelson NBS Colts 5-1.

Ryan Yates scored twice for Suburbs with the other goals going to Nathan Jeffries, Sam Maxwell and Dan Grimshaw.

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The top-of the table clash between Nelson College and Richmond Athletic was scheduled for tonight, at Jubilee Park, from 7pm.

- The Nelson Mail

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