CHATHAM CUP – Round One v Cashmere Technical
Playing with Confidence
On Saturday we went to Garrick to play against Cashmere Technical in a round one Chatham Cup fixture. Every year that I have been here we have drawn Cashmere in the cup, and all of those games have been pretty close.
I don’t think the league table illustrates how good of a team we are this season. The way we have been playing I was actually really confident going in to Garrick we’d come away with the win. Our playing model is starting to really come alive as of late, and we have shown that we play a very positive brand that is good to watch and tough to play against.
The boys started the game really well, not letting Cashmere play out from the back and winning more of their direct passes than they were. This gave us alot of control over the game and it was us who created three superb chances to score in the first 15 minutes. We should have got at least one of them and I’m left baffled that we didn’t. Eventually we did take the lead when a Macca cross found Ash who headed it over the Tech Keeper. 1-0 to Coastal.
After our goal the plan didn’t change. Although we were creating the better chances, Tech started to get into the game and managed to produce six or seven corners that first half. And we all know any of them can become goals… Going into halftime 1-0 I was thinking, why are we not 3-0 up…. We could have killed the game off in that 45 minutes and to be a top team, that’s what we need to be doing.
Closing a game
In the second half we started brightly and created another couple of good chances. But then, after about 60 minutes, the game started to change. Mostly due to us slowly running out of energy and being unable to defend as intense as we were in the first half. Our fatigue, along with Tom Schwarz coming off the bench, gave Tech the opportunity to gain some real control. Tech equalized from some absolute class from Southern’s Talisman Garbhan. Garbhan flies up to Christchurch from Dunedin each week and in my opinion, is too skilled to be playing at this level. What he did to a national league defender to give Tuckey his poach, was some talent.
Our reaction to their goal was very pleasing. All of a sudden we had our energy back and we were back to our old ways. It didn’t take long until we deservedly got another goal. Another Ash header made it 2-1 to us. From here I thought we looked in control and were going to see the game out. After 80 minutes we made a change and went a little too defensive. Tech really started to knock on our door in search of an equalizer, and in the 88th minute they got awarded a penalty. Defending deep and having Seth Clark turn in and around your 18 box isn’t a situation we wanted to be in. If he’s going to nuts a player and beat three men to then be brought down in the box, then big ups to him. Another terrific player and that’s why he’s off to the USA in August. Good luck to him.
The penalty wasn’t well struck and Matt Thomas was fuming that it snuck underneath him, but it’s 2-2. With the game going into extra time, all of a sudden I wasn’t so confident… Only because I knew we lacked the energy to defend how we had planned and we had a couple of players carrying injuries that were already starting to become passengers. This is where Tech really dominated. I think they created enough to have scored in extra time but our boys showed how much this game means to them .We defended with basically 9 men and managed to get the game to go to penalties.
In the penalty shoot-out all the Tech spot takers were cool customers. Schwarz brothers; Lyle, Seth and Garbhan. As cool as you like and our boys matched that. With everyone scoring their pens it was us left with the tenth penalty to keep the game alive, to go to a sudden death shootout. We missed the tenth pen, keeper a metre of his line, great save onto the post but it was still going in before he managed to kick it away with his foot. WOW!!
Positive Despite Result
We lost the game and have been knocked out of the Chatham Cup. But I walked away very proud and happy with how far we have come over the past four years. To go to Garrick for a Chatham Cup game, having deserved to win, is something not even the best teams in New Zealand do. We have beaten Tech at their home playing a lot worse, put it that way.
I was suspended for this fixture so I was in amongst the spectators and was so chuffed to see the majority of people there were Coastal supporters. It’s also pleasing to hear people enjoyed watching that game. Football is an entertainment business and it’s brilliant that people love watching us play. In saying that, more people get down to watch Coastal v Tech games because they know it can be a thrilling game to watch.
Next game is again Cashmere Tech at Garrick Park. Saturday 2.45pm, in the Mainland Premier League this time. We received alot of injuries in the last fixture so our team will be very different, but we will give them a good go and try win our shield back. Hope to see you there.