Green Ma­chine takes win

North Waikato News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SANDY MAC­DON­ALD

As­tute spec­ta­tors no­ticed the frus­tra­tion on the face of Ngaru­awahia se­nior coach Ray Poo­ley as he pa­trolled around the perime­ter of the ground on Satur­day, watch­ing his foot­ball charges try­ing to get the best of bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble North­land.

Ngaru­awahia are in the fi­nal few games of their North­ern League Di­vi­sion 2 foot­ball cam­paign and still have a math­e­mat­i­cal chance of get­ting near enough to the top to chal­lenge for pro­mo­tion.

Ngaru­awahia’s field had been closed to foot­ball due to its de­te­ri­o­rated con­di­tion caused through in­ces­sant rain and some faulty drainage.

The matches against the visi­tors from the north were trans­ferred to the St Paul’s Col­le­giate school grounds in Hamil­ton.

Even with the greater bulk of pos­ses­sion Ngaru­awahia found it dif­fi­cult to find the net as shots went awry.

Poor fin­ish­ing was ev­i­dent and a de­ter­mined North­land de­fense con­trib­uted to adding wrin­kle lines to Poo­ley’s brow.

Time and again the Green Ma­chine dis­pos­sessed their op­po­nents and sliced their way into at­tack­ing po­si­tions, only to squan­der the op­por­tu­ni­ties they had cre­ated for them­selves.

It was late in the match be­fore a hard-work­ing Salah Bahiss headed home from close range for the only goal of the match af­ter the ball was pre­sented aeri­ally into the box.

This served to cre­ate greater com­mit­ment in the North­land team and there were sev­eral scram­bles that had the Ngaru­awahia goal­keeper Isaac Tet­teh at his best.

The visi­tors had their op­por­tu­ni­ties but some way­ward shoot­ing and dogged de­fense kept the host club with a clean sheet.

A hat-trick to Matthew Milner with two each from Dono­van Latham and Ab­dul Suleiman was enough to sat­isfy a ram­pant Ngaru­awahia Re­serves side in their 7-1 win over coun­ter­parts North­land.

With the tally at 3-0 come half­time, it was North­land who pulled one back with a 40-me­ter lob over goal­keeper Harry Por­ritt.

The 3-1 score­line was quickly added to by Suleiman be­fore Milner got his hat-trick.

Ngaru­awahia used all five sub­sti­tutes early game to en­able the swapped play­ers to rest be­fore bench­ing for the Se­niors.

SANDY MAC­DON­ALD

Salah Bahiss heads home for Ngaru­awahia from close range.

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