Westlake frustrated in narrow loss to highly rated opponents
Saint Kentigern College 1st XI vs Westlake Boys 1st XI
Following their thrill a minute 5-5 draw with Mount Albert Grammar School in their opening Premier league match, Westlake travelled to heavily fancied Saint Kentigern College on the weekend. On a perfect playing surface Westlake started confidently and looked in good nick. However, against the run of play, St Kents took the lead when the WBHS defense seemed to go to sleep and allowed a simple passing move to undo them presenting the St Kents striker with an unchallenged route to goal and a simple finish. Westlake did not let this early set back affect them though and soon had a chance themselves, a cross from the left found Callum Diprose in space but his volley sailed over the St Kents bar.
Left back Reuben Fitzgerald then thundered a shot from 20 yards which seemed destined for the back of the net only for the St Kents keeper to make a spectacular one handed save. Westlake were now on top of the home team and were desperately unlucky not to draw level when captain Greg Nimmo’s beautifully shaped free kick crashed against the St Kents bar with the keeper well beaten. View Rungpao again had the opposition’s defense scrambling when his determination saw him round the St Kents keeper only for the ball to be deflected for a corner. The resulting corner saw the ball fizz across the opposition’s six yard box but no Westlake player could provide the vital touch needed. Westlake went to into half time having dominated much of the match but still behind on the score board.
The second half saw a change in the pattern of the game as the home team pressed forward and kept possession better than they had in the first spell. Westlake were forced to play a more counterattacking style. St Kents spurned a golden opportunity to double their lead when the ball fell fortuitously to their striker only six yards from goal but he ballooned his shot over the bar. Westlake’s keeper, Bradley Williams, then produced a fine save to keep his team in the game diving smartly to his right.
Nimmo again had an accurate near post free kick saved by the St Kents keeper as the equalizing goal continued to evade an increasingly frustrated Westlake side. Right back, Keanen Bhagaloo, was creating plenty of problems for the opposition with his tough tackling and overlapping runs and crosses in a man of the match performance.
The next goal would prove decisive and unfortunately it was St Kents who scored it when a far post corner was well met by their tall central defender and his header snuck inside the far post. Westlake battled on bravely and substitute Daniel Mitten had a good chance to halve the deficit from Bhagaloo’s cross but his volleyed shot was wayward.