Western Suburbs 2nds 6 Waterside-Karori 1
Sunday 31st July 2016
Attendance about 120
Western Suburbs and Waterside-Karori are two of Wellington's oldest clubs. Western Suburbs being formed in 1906 as Mental Hospital, changing their name to Western Suburbs in 1956, then Porirua United in 1973, a merger with Viard Old Boys in 1984 saw them become Porirua Viard United and then a further merger with Mana United in 1992 saw them revert to the Western Suburbs name.
Whilst being called one of Wellington's oldest clubs, Waterside-Karori were actually formed in 1987 by a merger of Waterside (known as Columbus Waterside) and Karori Swifts.
Karori Swifts being formed in 1894 as Swifts and adding the Karori name in 1968 when the settled on Karori as their home base. Waterside had been formed in 1921 as a club for dock workers and had established themselves as one of the top clubs in NZ winning the Chatham Cup 3 times in a row between 1938-40, a feat that has only been matched by Christchurch United in the 70's and Waitakere City in the 90's.
Today's league match was a potential title decider with Waterside-Karori, 7 points ahead of Western Suburbs and needing just a draw to win the Venus Shield, a trophy well known to both clubs having won it 26 times between them and their various incarnations).
|The Venus Shield, first presented in 1895|
This season Waterside-Karori had 13 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss (early season to Tawa), scored 51 and conceded only 11 goals. So even though Western Suburbs were 2nd in the table they were still 7 points behind and it was a reasonable assumption to make that Waterside-Karori would get at least a draw today and maybe I could get some great photos of the team celebrating with Wellington's oldest trophy.
Waterside-Karori started brightly enough almost having 2 goals in the first 5 minutes with just some wayward shooting letting them down, but then Western Suburbs American import, Matt Walker, made what was to become a trade mark break down the right flank and got the ball over to Sasha Snyed who easily made it 1-0.
|Matt Walker about to score|
From then on it was all Western Suburbs, in the 25th minute, Matt Walker made another of his trade mark breaks down the right flank and this time scored himself. A minute later the ball was in the Wharfies net again but this time it was ruled offside, but they didn't have to wait long before an almost identical run and cross from Michael Walker this time found Michael Fraser who made it 3-0 after 30 minutes. They almost made it 4 by half time when they had a free kick that hit the crossbar.
At half time some optimistic Wharfies fans opinionated that they only needed 3 goals as a draw was enough to win the title and this team should have no problem getting that.
However it was Western Suburbs that picked up where they left off with Ahmad Monammedi scoring after just 5 minutes. A minute later Waterside-Karori got some hope when Babero pulled a goal back to make it 4-1. Although this didn't last long when 5 minutes later Western Suburbs were awarded a penalty and Moammedi sent Waterside-Karori's Jack Kemp the wrong way. 20 minutes later Moammedi completed his hat-trick with a volleyed shot from just outside the penalty area which found the roof of the net.
|Ahmad Monammedi send Jack Kemp the wrong way from the penalty spot|
Western Suburbs even spent the last 10 minutes with only 10 men on the pitch after Mikey Faber, took down Waterside-Karori's Leo Villa and received a 2nd yellow card. The resulting free kick was on target until it took a deflection of Western Suburbs Sasha Sneyd and spun up over the bar, which sort of summed up Waterside-Karori's in that they were just not good enough on the day and they spent the last 10 minutes looking for the ref to blow for full time and put them out of their misery.
I turned up with a not unreasonable expectation of possibly seeing Waterside-Kaori lift the Venus Shield. Waterside-Karori didn't turn up, but Western Suburbs did and they punished a hapless Wharfies side and now what looked like being a formality now looks quite interesting.
Waterside-Karori need 3 points from their last 2 games against 3rd place Island Bay United & relegation battling Victoria University. Western Suburbs have a local derby against Tawa and then meet Island Bay United. Its an outside chance but if they play the way they did today and Waterside-Karori falter they could sneak the title. If they did manage it, like today's game it will be well deserved.
|A Wests player Jumps ove Watersides Ethan Cain|
|Leo Villa taking a free kick|