A flooded Christchurch saw MPL’s two giants lock horns on Saturday 22nd July. 1st place Cashmere Technical hosted 2nd place Ferrymead Bays at English park in a must win match for both sides. Cashmere Technical won key battles and ultimately ran away with a 5-2 lead, with one individual stealing the show.
Cashmere Technical lined up in a fluid 433 with an interchangeable front 3 and dynamic midfield. This front 3 of Thoms, White and Matthysen were all capable of taking defenders on, moving into channels and breaking the lines which caused Ferrymead Bay’s back 4 problems all night. Their dynamic midfield consisted of Halligan playing as the sole deep lying midfielder with Mitchell playing more of a box-to-box role and Ogilvie playing slightly more advanced which saw him moving into the channels between Wilson and Ford. Cashmere’s back 5 consisted of the ever-present Schwarz brothers and Knight in goal, along with Haworth and Boys as fullbacks who rarely pushed on above the wingers, leaving it very much an attacking 5 and defending 5.
Ferrymead Bays lined up in a more structured 4231 with less rotation amongst players and again saw full backs who rarely wanted to overlap until later in the game. Veteran goal keeper Highfield started between the sticks with a back 4 of Wilson, Ford, Astley and Mathieson. Two holding midfielders were Murphy and Bell, with the former getting forward and helping the attacks while the latter primarily stayed back. Forshaw played as a traditional ‘10’ ahead of them and was hoping to be the link from defence to attack. Macintyre and O’Brien started on the right and left wing respectively, with O’Brien up against his former club. This left Anderson up front as the sole forward, who looked to hold up play and bring his teammates into the game.
Cashmere Start Strong
Wet and windy conditions were never going to make it an easy game for either side, with parts of the pitch in puddles. However, Cashmere Technical started very strongly, applying heavy pressure on the Bay’s midfield and back line while taking some early chances. Bays did get one promising break away which saw Anderson through on goal but only to have his touch hampered by the wet condition of the field.
This game was always going to be a battle of the midfield, with both sides packing players the midfield and favouring a possession based style. But it was Cashmere who did a great job of controlling this part of the pitch, where some key individual battles between Murphy and Ogilvie took place, which left the referee very busy. Tech’s midfield frustrated Forshaw and starved him of the ball which made attacks very hard to come by for Bays. Cashmere won majority of the 50-50’s and kept the ball well, which left Bays’ midfield angered as they turned on the referee’s every decision. Mitchell brought energy, while he and Ogilvie added great attacking threat with both finding the score sheet before the halftime whistle.
Bays Wingers Uninfluential
With their own midfielders finding it hard to gather control, it had a flow on effect to their wingers who did not get into the game. Macintyre did try to drop deep and help out but as soon as took one touch, he would be shut down immediately and found it hard to get past Boys. He would get taken off at half time for ex Canterbury United winger, Mark Peers. On the left, O’Brien did not have any more luck, struggling to take on the Cashmere back line. Neither helped press Cashmere’s defence either, with Anderson running solo between the Schwarz brothers.
Cashmere finish the half even stronger.
All half Cashmere looked the stronger team and it had the feeling they would get their goal sooner rather than later, and they did. Within the last 10 minutes of the first half Cashmere scored 3 goals with a Matthysen opener followed by one each from Mitchell and Ogilvie. The 3rd came from a great back heel from Mitchell into the path of the on running Ogilvie in the channel from where he blasted the ball past Highfield. Going into halftime, Bays had lost the midfield, the referee and 3 goals.
Just this week, Stuff.co.nz released an article explaining this boy’s form and that he is in contention to play for Canterbury United in the NZ National League. Once again, Matthysen showed up and put on a display that is sure to catch the on looking Canterbury United coach, Willy Gerdsen, in the stands. Matthysen opened the scoring by picking up the ball from 25 yards out, turning and shooting a curling shot over Highfield into the top right corner. He would go on and blast another one past Highfield in the 2nd half which was just as impressive. Here Matthysen won the ball inside his own half before dribbling with incredible pace and guile into Bay’s penalty box and unleashing a shot into the top left. Throughout the match he was a constant problem for Bays with his dribbling and ability to get involved in play from deep. At the age of 18, he certainly has a bright future.
Ferrymead Bays definitely came out in the second half looking more promising than the first half but on the hour mark a defensive error from centre back Sam Ford gifted White a goal and a 4th for his team. This was then followed by Matthysen’s second goal as explained above. Some smart substitutions from Bays saw deep-lying ball playing midfielder, Jacob Allen, come on for Bell, which allowed Murphy to push up more. Also, fullback Angus came on for O’Brien, which allowed Mathieson to push up to left wing and Frazer left back. In the final 10 minutes Bays pulled 2 goals back, both from set pieces which saw Anderson and Angus both head home a goal from a Peers free kick. This was to be too little too late though, as the final score was 5-2 Cashmere Technical. This result puts Cashmere Technical in pole position to retain their MPL title.
Player of the Match: Lyle Matthysen