WELLINGTON OLYMPIC 0 LOWER HUTT CITY 4
Sunday 2nd July
It must have been one hell of a party, Wellington Olympic's Championship party last August that is, as even now 10 months on they are still suffering from the hangover and find themselves at the bottom end of the table.
How did they get here? despite the off season rumours there wasn't a large turnover of players. Three regular starters in Juan Chang, Sean Morris and Tapfuma Di Mario departed and they bought back evergreen striker Luis Corrales from Stop Out. Due to Team Wellington's involvement in the Oceania Champions League, they had to wait a little longer than usual to get the likes of Basalaj and Barcia back. This wasn't really an issue as it was during this period that they picked up their two wins (4-3 over Wairarapa & 3-1 over Lower Hutt). They haven't been playing badly, five of their six losses have been by a margin of just one goal and they found themselves on 10 points in 8th place going into this game with bottom place Lower Hutt City.
|The Olympic faithful The JourneyFan|
While there is general surprise at where Olympic are in the table, Lower Hutt City are pretty much around where most, except for themselves, thought they would be at this stage of the season. They have a young team, and despite being able to score goals they have had trouble keeping them out, as shown in results such as 3-3 with Napier, 3-4 v Miramar and an amazing 6-4 win over Wellington United.
This was the 85th meeting between these two clubs, Olympic having the more success with 40 wins to Lower Hutt's 23. Lower Hutt City had only managed one win in their last 19 games against Olympic.
The first half of the game was one of the worst I've seen for a while, truly it was awful, it really was, the game had 0-0 written all over it and I was seriously regretting my decision to see this game rather than the Western Suburbs v Team Taranaki.
Lower Hutt City must have thought the same and decided to do something about it, they came out attacking in the second half and five minutes in Nathaniel Hailermariam converted from the penalty spot, a minute later he hit the crossbar, four minutes later Lower Hutt had the ball in the net again but it was ruled out for offside. Then three goals in six minutes to Jarred Cunliffe, Tim Fenton and a second for Hailermariam made it 4-0 and the game was Lower Hutt's with 20 minutes remaining on the clock. A threadbare Wellington Olympic side, who were missing seven regular starters due to injury or suspension, just had no answers and put in what was probably their worst performance of the season.
|Hailermariam celebrates his 2nd goal The JourneyFan|
The win lifts Lower Hutt City into 8th place, drops Olympic into 9th only one point ahead of bottom placed Palmerston North Marist who they play away on the 22 July in what will be a crunch game if they want to avoid being the first team to be relegated just a season after winning the league!
|The run in for the teams in the bottom 3 of the Central League|