MPL – Comfortable Draw vs Cashmere Tech

  • nelson pre game

Awesome to see another impressive turnout of spectators and supporters at our match against Cashmere Tech on Saturday. Frustrating not to put on a show of goals, but a point against Tech at this stage of the season isn’t the worst result.

We knew Tech were going to be fielding a weaker team than usual and if I had any ekow coachregrets it would have been to not coming out much more attacking.

We went into that game with our back 5 intact with a purpose of ensuring we didn’t give them any chances to score, in possession we looked to be a little more direct then usual and win our physical battles. It was a very low risk way of playing but I felt we needed to do that for a number of reasons.  

The stats are out and in the first half we only saw 45% possession and to be fair for about 20 minutes we couldn’t quite get out of our own half. Although we only posted one shot on target in the first 45 minutes, I think we defended quite well and showed we are a tough team to score against when we want to be. 

In the second half we wanted to stretch the arms a bit and start to really come at them. We changed our formation to be more attacking, similar to the Selwyn second half, in search of a goal. I think the second half was a lot more open for both teams but personally I felt we started to get on top of them in a 30 minute period.  

To a certain extent I felt we ran out of time, after Dom hit the crossbar in the 91st minute you knew we could have snatched and grabbed a win on another day.  

Although I felt we were comfortable defensively, I don’t feel as if we created enough. In the second half when we wanted to be more flamboyant we still struggled to play out from the back and switch play when we needed to. I think my instructions for the first half still sat in the players minds too much in the second.  

Adapting to two completely different ways of playing within a course of a game is possible but does pose some teething problems, especially with new faces and a player playing in a position for the first time. 

Debutants were our new #10 Claudio from Chile. Claudio has a brilliant footballing mind, and at 32 it is nice to have someone with that much playing experience on the pitch. Claudio has adapted to life quickly in NZ and the boys already have a lot of respect for him through his training ethics and input. I thought Claudio had a solid game but we didn’t see what we all see in training – that’s for sure. 

James Hickok in goal also had his debut. Not the greatest game from his standards but I was happy with it. Can’t complain much with a clean sheet against Tech and I’m confident James will make a real difference for us this season, both on and off the pitch.  

Alex Williams also made his MPL comeback after being in Australia for 6 years. Alex came on in an intense environment and it would have been hard to express himself in 10 minutes but we will see Alex again soon.

I also think captain Macca was superb and didn’t really do anything wrong however man of the match was Dominic McGarr.  

Due to other results, such as a draw from Bays and Nomads losing, I think a point wasn’t actually a bad result. I do feel we gave them a little too much repsect though and we will be working on some possession stuff and switching play with the ball on the deck throughout the week.  

If we can get 6 points over Easter then we are flying high and where we want to be. Two home games and defending the shield, so I am hoping we can have the same support we have had over the last two games to really kick start this season with a bang.

View all MPL fixtures