Western Suburbs 1 – Bay Olympic 2
Niklas Ordenewitz 32
Owen Parker-Price 41 (pen)
Julyan Collett 56
Wests Formation (4-3-3) Bay Olympic Formation (4-2-3-1)
Alex Clayton, Kyle Adams, Nando Pijnaker, Dalton Wilkins
Dominic Wooldridge, Harry Edge, Owen Parker-Price
Callum McCowatt, Elijah Just, Xavier Green
Noah Billingsley for Dominic Wooldridge (67 mins) – Elijah Just moved back to midfield
Daniel Harford-Silas for Dalton Wilkins (75 mins) – Straight swap
Ben Sippola for Alex Clayton (75 mins) – Straight swap
There was a bumper attendance of about 800 at Endeavour Park for the Chatham Cup quarter-final between Wests and Bay Olympic.
Like many visitors this year, Bay set out to frustrate Wests with a counter-attacking game based on a 4-2-3-1 formation. Wests adopted their usual 4-3-3 structure, with just one change, Nando Pijnaker coming in for Mikey Faber.
Befitting a game of such importance, the early stages were extremely cagey with Wests dominating possession but struggling to break down a well-organised Bay defence. The best opportunities were created by Wests’ full-backs. First, a raking diagonal from Nando Pijnaker to Alex Clayton led to a half-chance for Elijah Just, but he was crowded out. Then, a sensational piece of trickery from Dalton Wilkins left three Bay players in his wake, but his chipped pull-back didn’t quite sit up for Owen Parker-Price.
Possibly the most contentious moment of the entire game occurred on 24 minutes – neat passing between Elijah Just, Xavier Green and Callum McCowatt freed up Dominic Wooldridge to slot home, but a debatable linesman’s flag chalked off the goal. With Bay sitting deep and hoping to simply sneak a counter-attack goal, it was always likely the first goal would be crucial. If Wests could get ahead, Bay would be forced to change tactics, and this would likely play into Wests’ hands.
On the half-hour, Wests had a wake-up call when a sloppy defensive pass was intercepted by Jared Colligan, but his effort was comfortably saved by the well-positioned, Andrew Withers. Bay struck almost immediately afterwards though – There seemed little danger as Niklas Ordenewitz chased a hopeful ball down the left, but he suddenly unleashed a thunderbolt shot which flashed past Andrew Withers for the opener.
Bay then had a short spell of dominance, but this ended just before half-time when Wests’ front-three combined nicely and Elijah Just was upended in the box. Owen Parker-Price was, as usual, calmness personified in sending the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
Wests started the second half as the brighter team with one particularly sharp set of passing involving Owen Parker-Price, Elijah Just and Callum McCowatt, resulting in an opportunity for Xavier Green, but his effort was just over.
Out of the blue, Bay regained the lead on 56 minutes. They sent their tall timber forward for a free-kick, and although the ball was initially cleared, it was looped back in towards the far post. Andrew Withers appeared to be obstructed when trying to punch clear, and in the melee that followed, defender Julyan Collett managed to poke the ball home.
Wests looked for an immediate response, and a superb mazy run from Callum McCowatt almost produced the equalizer, but his shot shaved the bar. From then onwards however, Wests somewhat lost their patience and cohesion, often playing far too hastily in chasing the game. This resulted in regular, uncharacteristic give-aways and misplaced passes, and ultimately meant that they failed to create any worthwhile chances in the final twenty minutes.
Bay remained well-drilled, and their experienced centre-backs and holding midfielders certainly knew how to close-out the win, to the delight of the 50-60 travelling supporters.
So, a disappointing result for Wests, but all great runs have to come to end at some point.
Player of the Day:
3 points – Dalton Wilkins – Constant menace down the left, regularly mesmerising his opponent
2 points – Xavier Green – Dynamic display, involved in most of Wests best moves
1 point – Callum McCowatt – Great teamwork, combining well with Owen, Dominic and his forward partners