Tasman United welcomed Canterbury United to Trafalgar Park, in what was the Mainland Derby. It was 5th versus 6th on the table with Canterbury looking to get a win to break into the top 4. It was Canterbury who looked a much revitalised side after the festive break and managed to outplay Tasman 6-0.
Tasman set themselves up in a 4231 where they tried to build play through the middle before releasing it wide. Wilson was in goal with Johnston and Allan partnering in centerback, while the latter had the licence to distribute. Ayers and Perico were right and left back respectively who tended to not venture up the park too much. Tireless ball winner Kaltak and Chettleburgh played holding midfield together who both shared the licence of when to go forward and not. In front of them in the midfield was captain Lindsay who had Elliot of the right and Smith to the left. Kowal spearheaded the attack up front.
Canterbury United were in a 433. In front of goalkeeper, Turipa, were two ball playing center backs Schwarz and de Vries who were both comfortable of bringing the ball out and spraying passes over the field. They were flanked by very attack minded fullbacks with Liddicoat on the right and Spain the left, who particularly liked to get forward. Pendrigh anchored the midfield with Mitchell and Ogilvie both more advanced. Up top saw Nakamura play left wing and stayed very wide until the final third before playing as almost another striker while King on the right wing also naturally liked cutting inside onto his favoured left foot. Hoyle played center forward and could hold play or moved about running into channels endlessly.
New Year, New System for Canterbury United
433 had only been sparingly used prior to this match where they used it for the full 90 to devastating effect. There idea of controlling game with a high defence line worked well with both the defenders and midfield all of whom were comfortable on the ball. Stretching the play through the fullbacks who positioned themselves high up as Pendrigh sat deep. This gave space for Ogilvie to play a very dominate performance yet again in Canterbury colours as he ran the midfield show while two inside forwards Nakamura and King could cut inside.
Tasman United Struggle
It wasn’t a good day at the office for Tasman as they struggled to find their feet and a general way forward on towards goal. Allan had the duty to get the ball to midfield which worked well however, midfield struggled to retain the ball, notably Chettleburgh on many occasions. Lindsay was uninfluential as a 10 and failed to be the link player which was needed and came much more involved once he went deeper in midfield in the 2nd half, where he is more suited. Kaltak was a warrior trying to hunt down and win the ball and often sparked dangerous counter attacks from his successful tackles and Kowal looked lively however, never had enough support needed to create anything from Tasman’s attacks. Once they were 4-0 goals and a player down their heads dropped completely.
Canterbury United’s Attack
Canterbury United’s attack were very impressive from get go. King would cut inside with Hoyle drifting to the right flank on multiple occasions, where Nakamura came alive in the final 3rd resulting in his first ever hat trick. The front 3 however, were much supported by the flying fullbacks as both Spain and Liddicoat plus two midfielders were often seen in the final third showing 6 sometimes 7 players attacking. This was shown with their 2nd goal where King was central, cross came from the right from Hoyle and left back Spain was in the goal box to score. It was an interesting side to watch as they are clearly pushing forward with the hope of making the top 4.
Tasman’s 2nd Half Changes
Early 2nd half changes brought on Ifil and Mathysen with the former operating as left wing and the latter, left back. These changes also meant Lindsay would drop into holding midfield where he is much better suited. These changes worked great immediately pushing pressure on Canterbury with dangerous switch balls from lindsay out to that left flank where Mathysen was keen to overlap Ifil. For a period of 10 minutes Tasman had Canterbury pinned and it looked like there were going to get themselves back into the game before Canterbury’s 4th goal, plus a red card, which really sealed Tasman’s fate. Kaltak was moved to right back and suddenly the midfield was lost, no energy and no structure as Canterbury started added to their score with relative ease.
A great performance coming back from the break for Hoyle. Was a nuisance for both Johnston and Allan to deal with as he was much more physical than the Tasman center back duo, regularly outmuscling and getting shots away. He was involved with all of Canterbury’s attacks as he drifted about the front line moving into channels and running with the ball well. Needs to work on his decision making but Canterbury United have a top player at this level to lead their line. Very deservedly finally got his goal in the 75th minute to make it 7 goals this season.