Toko­roa men fight hard for vic­tory

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

This week the Toko­roa first XI men’s soc­cer team trav­elled to Waihi, with cap­tain Gareth Wil­liams back from in­jury.

The team were un­der at­tack the mo­ment the whis­tle blew, with Waihi spend­ing the first few min­utes near Toko­roa’s goal try­ing to score.

The de­fence was solid and quickly shut down the Waihi at­tacks.

As the game pro­gressed Toko­roa be­gan to take pos­ses­sion and the ac­tion was played fur­ther up the field, with a few chances to at­tack the Waihi goal.

Waihi were wise to their tac­tics and had a five-man back­line, mak­ing it very tough for Toko­roa’s three strik­ers to get goals.

The game was phys­i­cal for most play­ers with a num­ber of hard tack­les put in. There were sev­eral free kicks given and af­ter 45 solid min­utes, the first half ended with­out a goal scored.

Withe the start of the sec­ond half came the first sub­sti­tute with Michael Fitz­patrick tak­ing his spot as a striker.

Af­ter mak­ing sev­eral runs, Fitz­patrick was fi­nally able to beat the Waihi goal keeper to score the only goal of the game.

The Toko­roa men con­tin­ued to work to­gether and had an­other cou­ple of good runs to­ward goal thanks to the hard work that started in the back­line, moved through the mid­field and put the ball to the strik­ers, with Ro­man Mas­ters and Des Phillips hav­ing a cou­ple of at­tempts at scor­ing, all of which were shut down.

One of the mid field work horses, Dar­ren Po­mare, had a head clash with a Waihi player and re­luc­tantly left the field with a gash to the head.

Af­ter some side-line med­i­cal at­ten­tion and a heap of med­i­cal tape, he re­turned to the field and con­tin­ued to hunt down the ball, make tack­les and pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Toko­roa men to score.

In the last 10 min­utes Waihi made a num­ber at­tacks with two free kicks out­side the 18 yard box, one cor­ner and a cou­ple of one-on-one bat­tles with the Toko­roa cen­tre backs.

Goal keeper Zac Cos­grove made sev­eral great saves, many of which were fol­lowed up closely by Waihi play­ers, who were des­per­ate to score.

But the strength of the de­fence cou­pled with the team­work of Toko­roa held out for a 1-nil win against Waihi, with man of the match go­ing to Dar­ren Po­mare.

Next week the Toko­roa men travel to Hamil­ton to play FOSS.

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