Green Machine takes win
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.
Salah Bahiss heads home for Ngaruawahia from close range.