Hyundai A-League Season 6

Wellington Survive Late
Controversy In Townsville
By Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 20
7:15pm, Monday 27 December, 2010 - Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

North Queensland Fury FC 1
(Chris Payne 12')
drew with
Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Dylan Macallister 76')

North Queensland Fury were denied an injury time victory over Wellington Phoenix in their Hyundai A-League encounter at Dairy Farmers Stadium on December 27 when the officials were unable to confirm if the whole of the ball had crossed the line.

An uncleared Ufuk Talay corner saw the ball land at the feet of substitute Dyron Daal, whose prodded attempt from four yards out was initially blocked on the line by Tim Brown, with the vast majority of the ball appearing to cross the paint before Manny Muscat could complete the clearance.

Along with the 5,107 fans present, the North Queensland players were convinced that they had snatched a late winner, but generally well-performed referee Jarred Gillett and his colleagues deemed otherwise, meaning a 1-1 draw was the outcome in this rain-soaked affair.

Wellington enjoyed the better of the early exchanges in the teeming rain, with Marco Rojas set-piece deliveries a key component of their armoury. But it’s putting the ball in the net that counts, and North Queensland realised that objective with their first attack.

David Williams gathered the ball on half-way in the twelfth minute and threaded a peach of a pass through a square Wellington defence to send Chris Payne streaking through the inside-right channel. He raced into the penalty area before slotting home past the advancing Danny Vukovic from fifteen yards.

It was a blow Wellington struggled to recover from, initially, and by the time they did, they could have been two goals down. Vukovic kept them in the contest in the eighteenth minute with a fine blocking save to thwart Mark Hughes, whose angled downward header from a well-struck and quickly taken Talay free-kick would have beaten most ’keepers in the challenging conditions.

The visitors’ response was led by Troy Hearfield, whose deflected cross off Talay, seconds later, forced Justin Pasfield to produce some acrobatics in the shadow of his crossbar.

Five minutes later, Hearfield was again causing North Queensland problems, his shot being blocked by Hughes after the home team had managed to scramble the ball to safety following a Rojas cross, which Brown headed down for Dylan MacAllister to attempt to capitalise upon.

Ben Sigmund was having his usual solid game at the heart of Wellington’s rearguard, and blocked a Payne shot to safety in the 33rd minute after Simon Storey and Gareth Edds had combined to good effect on the right. The defender then prevailed in a foot-race with Williams which saw both players body-surfing through the slush in an effort to win the ball.

But when Brad McDonald thundered down the left seven minutes from time, there was no stopping the flank player, who let fly from twenty yards. Vukovic was right behind his effort, however, while in the shadows of the half-time whistle, Pasfield had to be alert to a looping MacAllister header after Hearfield’s cross had picked out the beanpole striker.

A reshaped Wellington combination started the second spell like a house on fire, with only a fine tackle by Ramazan Tavsancioglu denying Chris Greenacre the chance to equalise in the 49th minute, as he latched onto MacAllister’s flick-on of a Hearfield ball forward.

From the resulting Rojas corner, Brown’s near post flick hit the top of the crossbar, while Pasfield had to be sharp in racing off his line to thwart Greenacre as he again breached an offside trap he too often fell foul of in the first half.

After Hughes had blocked a MacAllister shot on the turn, attention turned to the other end of the park on the hour, when Vukovic pulled off a super save to deny Payne a second goal, this time from a McDonald corner.

The resulting corner was played short to McDonald, whose low cross was turned goalwards by Hughes. Vukovic blocked this effort with his legs, then looked on with relief as Panagiotis Nikas’ effort to prod home the rebound crept inches the wrong side of the post.

After Pasfield had grabbed a powerful Jade North header following a whipped Daniel free-kick, North Queensland went close again in the 67th minute. Talay played McDonald in on the left, from where he fired in a low cross which Edds flicked narrowly across the face of goal.

Fourteen minutes from time, Wellington levelled the scores. Substitute Nick Ward made in-roads down the right before fizzing in a wicked cross twixt Pasfield and his defenders. MacAllister, darting in on the far post, timed his run to perfection to ram home the equaliser and set up a grandstand finish to a match which both teams needed to win.

North Queensland set about doing so, with strong penalty claims being turned down by referee Gillett after Williams went down under Muscat’s challenge eleven minutes from time. Two minutes later, the talismanic local set up Daal in a three-on-two situation, but the substitute’s finish was woeful.

Back came Wellington, with MacAllister being denied by Pasfield seconds before the diving figure of Muscat just failed to get on the end of a Daniel cross, Ward volleying the half-cleared ball over the bar soon after.

Cue another North Queensland flurry, with Jade North scrambling to safety the danger posed by a Daal cross, after Andre Kilian and substitute Chris Grossman had teamed up down the right.

From this came the moment of controversy which concluded the match, the draw the outcome neither team wanted in the race for a top-six finish. North Queensland are now eight points off sixth place with eight games remaining, while Wellington are seven points better off in the quest for a play-off placing.

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 20
7:15pm, Monday 27 December, 2010 - Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

North Queensland Fury FC 1
(Chris Payne 12')
drew with
Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Dylan Macallister 76')

    Crowd: 5,107


    North Queensland Fury FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS (10. Dyron DAAL 71’), 13. Andre KILIAN, 15. Chris PAYNE (14. Chris GROSSMAN 87’), 16. Simon STOREY, 24. Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU

    Substitutes not used: 28. Sebastian Usai (rgk), 21. Jason Spagnuolo

    Coach: Frank Straka

    Yellow Cards: Andre KILIAN 13’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 6. Tim BROWN (c), 7. Leo BERTOS (11. DANIEL 60’), 9. Chris GREENACRE, 13. Troy HEARFIELD (22. Andrew DURANTE 67’), 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Marco ROJAS (4. Nick WARD 60’), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER

    Substitutes not used: 20. Reece CROWTHER (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Manny MUSCAT 20’, Vince LIA 75’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Jarred Gillett 7/10
    Assistant referees: Brad Hobson, Daniel Jones; Fourth official: Matt Hodgson

    Pitch rating: 5/10

    Game rating: 6/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Ramazan Tavsancioglu (NQF)
    2. Ben Sigmund (WP)
    1. Danny Vukovic (WP)

    Match Report by Jeremy Ruane

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

Crafted lovingly by hand
By fans, for fans
© Magic Llama 2000 - 2010