Today the Over 35s took on Fencibles in atrocious conditions at Bledisloe Park. Being the second game on the No2 pitch and with all the rain, this was going to be nothing more than mud fest and that it was.
The game started with Puke trying to get the ball out wide and use the flanks as much as possible, the only green areas. This we did after some good neat football from Robbie Leonard and Marty Mercer, created a chance for Andy Davey but unfortunately just slotting it wide.
It was a game of equal chances early on as Fencibles went close and the a great save from stand in keeper Tony Davison, kept the score at 0 -0.
Ten minutes into it, and commitment was extreme from both sides, some excellent physical challenges in the middle of the park from Roy Cook and Russell Evans gave Puke that edge with the extra needed possession. As we edged towards the Fencibles penalty area anything could happen and it did. The ball was swiftly played across the box from Robbie Leonard and Andy Davey was on hand to knock it past the keeper and neatly into the bottom left hand corner, 1 0 Puke.
Back into it and Puke regaining possession the ball knocked forward from Marty Mercer to find Russell Evans just inside the Fencibles Penalty area, hit a shot on the turn and the best the keeper could do in the present conditions was parry it and Andy Davey on hand to finish it off, 2 0 Puke.
It wasnt all 1 way traffic and anything Fencibles could muster to throw at us was dealt with by the back line, marshalled by Mark Harvey. Mark Edwards and John Mclaughlan chasing hard down the flanks and instigating some neat football from the back. It was a pleasure to have Mark Harvey back sitting comfortably in the middle of the defence and between him and TD it was an excellent effort.
Puke kept fighting for everything and next an excellent interchange down the right between Robbie Leonard and Marty Mercer and the ball whipped in again found Andy Davey and neatly beat the keeper to his left and 3 0 Puke. This was probably one of the quickest hatricks I have ever witnessed and probably was no more than 7 or 8 minutes between the 1st and 3rd goals. Great effort Andy (and he got the beer in, see its not all true what they say about Scousers!)
After some more Puke pressure and great work in the midfield from Russell Evans, some clattering tackles from Roysa and Marty, a great ball was knocked into the penalty area from John McLaughlan and the ball rebounded to Robbie Leonard and with 2 touches and a great shot slotted the ball to the left of the opposing keeper, 4 0 Puke.
We were determined we werent going to do anything stupid this week and we committed to the cause for the full 45 minutes of the first half and gave them nothing.
The half time team talk was t just keep going, keep the ball down the flanks and out of the mud as much as we could. Phil Taylor and Graham came on to help bolster the troops and give them that much needed energy from fresh legs.
Fencibles are a good side and only 2 points and 1 place behind us in the division, so the win was important as we had only taken 1 point out of the last 6. At half-time they re-grouped and came out a much more formidable opposition in the second half.
This was now becoming a real battle, but hope fully 4 0 up we should hold the upper hand.
Some great defensive work from Mark Edwards, Phil Taylor and Mark Harvey kept the opposing score-line at nil and with Pete Clark making some good runs down the left, on the only green areas now visible.
Then with some neat play by Graham, dribbling past three or four defenders, cutting back inside to lay a very unselfish pass in to the hands of Andy Davey and with a bit of a goalmouth scramble going on, the ball rebounded to Graham and it looked like he may score but theball stopped dead in the mud in-front of an open goal but there was no-one on hand to knock it in and that was how it finished Pukekohe 4 Fencibles 0.
Everyone stood out today, it was 100% effort and 110% commitment, Tony Davisons talking at the back kept the defence on an even keel along with some great saves. Eveyone stood out today, but as far as Player of the Day goes, its got to be Andy Davey 3 superb goals and a great hatrick, brilliant performance (took your time to catch your centre-half for leading scorer, well done mate!)
POD: Andy Davey
Goals: Andy Davey 3, Robbie Leonard 1
Goal Scorers to date: J Waller 7, Andy Davey 7, Robbie Leonard 4, Pete Clark 2, Graham Spinks 1 , John Mclaughlan 1, Nick Rowe 1, Dave Bernard 1 and Marty Mercer 1.
Training 6.30 Wednesday and next week we are away to take on Eastern Suburbs 2.45 pm kick off