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Olympic v Miramar Match Report

Its not often that the Wellington Olympic coaching staff are happy about a 3-0 loss or any loss for that matter, but the final pool game against Miramar was an exception. After three minutes Barry Lewis was red carded for a professional foul, on a Miramar attacker, the referee initially pointed to a free kick as he indicated the offence took place outside the box and a yellow card would be given as Lewis was not the last defender. But after a discussion with his assistant Lewis was "now" deemed to be the last man and inside the penalty area, so Wellington Olympic were down to ten men and one goal down thanks to the converted penalty. Five minutes later our other central defender Rowan Gwilliam was substituted due to a shoulder damage. The backline now had a very much "patched up" look about it, with two 18 year old Brett Stevens and Sam Higgins playing. Given Miramar experience and the lack of defensive organisation due to the enforced changes Miramar converted their pressure into a goal with ten minutes remaining in the first half, however during the half Wellington Olympic created a number of changes that tested Miramar's defence. The second half saw a re-organisation of the team to a 3-5-1 formation closing down Miramar dangerous midfield, the team competed well in defence and attack, putting Miramar under pressure, outstanding contribution came from Darren Cheriton, Brett Stevens, Sam Higgins and Karl Whalen. Miramar completed the scoring with ten minutes to go, but clearly were made to fight for their victory. Another pleasing aspect of the game was that we competed for 87 minutes with 10 men and still play football and importantly created chances. This display is a bonus when taken into consideration that currently eight 1st team members are unavailable or injured, and importantly the energy and enthusiasm lacking last week was back. Team: Dave Finley / Rowan Gwilliam / Barry Lewis / Sam Higgins / Steve Romijn / Benn Dawson / Darren Cheriton (c) / Karl Whalen / Jimmy Haidakis / Scott James / Joe Lupi Sub: Alex Smith for Jimmy Haidakis / Brett Stevens for Rowan Gwilliam / Jamie Soulis - Not used

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