Petone 0 Waterside Karori 1
Men's Capital Premier Division
Saturday 1 July, 2017
Attendance : 100ish
Petone and Waterside Karori are two clubs with long histories in Wellington football. Petone was founded in 1898 and is the oldest club in Wellington. There are other clubs that can trace their origins back further than Petone's, but these clubs have merged with others along the way. One example of this are Petone's opponents in this game, Waterside Karori.
Waterside Karori were formed in 1987 by a merger of Waterside and Karori Swifts. Waterside were the team of the dock workers and had been formed in 1921. Swifts had been formed in 1894 and were originally based in central Wellington, before settling in the suburb of Karori, although it wasn't until 1968 that they changed their name to Karori Swifts to reflect this.
Petone had a season to forget last year, losing several older players and being left with a team whose average age was only 17. Managing only a solitary win and getting relegated back to Capital Premier for the first time since 2008.
In cliched terms Waterside Karori could be described as a "sleeping giant", although given that in 13 of the last 19 seasons they have finished in the top three places of their division, and when they finally won it last year they failed to overcome Team Taranaki in the playoff for Central League, "always a bridesmaid" may be more appropriate!
Despite Petone's only loss in the league this season coming off the field when they played an ineligible player against North Wellington, they only led Waterside Karori by a point. History was on their side though as they had only lost once to Waterside Karori in their last 16 meetings.
Earlier in the season I had been planning to go to the reverse of this fixture as Waterside Karori are one of the clubs I have yet to visit (bad memories of always getting thumped in junior football by them never helps!), but I never made it due to work or something like that, and of course that was a cracking game that ended 4-3 to Petone. So I was hoping for something similar for this game - I know, I know, by now I should have learnt not to hope for things like this!
Maybe it was because that game was earlier in the season and there was less riding on it than now that it was more open and had lots of goals. This game was two similar teams not wanting to lose, which made for a cagey game played in the middle of the park and just as I thought it was Petone starting to look the more likely to get anything out of the game, up popped Waterside Karori's Jack Haggerty to make it 1-0
|Jack Haggerty (#10) makes it 1-0 to Waterside Karori The JourneyFan|
The second half was more of the same, rather scrappy football. Things threatened to get interesting with about 20 minutes to go when Waterside Karori's Caleb Hilbron picked up a second yellow card and was sent off, although Petone were unable to exploit the numerical advantage. In this sort of game you get a few tasty challenges going in, but there was nothing too serious and referee Mark Hewitt was doing a good job of controlling both teams. Waterside Karori's coach Martin Garcia didn't agree and despite being warned to stay quite he kept on about it and was eventually sent off as well, as he left muttering about playing against 12 men, he decided to stand behind the dugout, which was technically off the field of play, however he continued to coach from there so was told to go to the stand which he did.
This had no real effect on the game, but it did give the spectators some entertainment which was good as the football just wasn't doing it. In the end Waterside Karori held on for a 1-0 win and go top of the table with five games left.