Nomads welcomed Cashmere Technical to Tullet Park on Sunday, which saw last year Champions, Nomads, play against this years’ MPL winners Cashmere Technical. Tech were hoping to get their South Island Football League journey back on track after a 1-0 loss to Nelson last week. It was the perfect reply as Cashmere Technical came out 6-1 winners on the day.
Nomads United lined up in a433 and looked to play possession football. Collingwood was in goal with, Caswell and Jones in central defence. Clark and Richards played traditional fullbacks unlike their inverted forms that they have done often this year. Stearn was at the base of midfield with Anderson and Cottom in front of him, the latter with license to make runs into the box. Thompson and Rabuka played left and right wingers respectively and kept their width. Whilst, Hickford played as the centre forward who liked to link up play.
Cashmere Technicalwere also in a 433 and focusses their attacks out wide. Knight was in goal, shielded by the Schwarz brothers in the heart of defence. Wingbacks were Spain on the right and Matthysen on the left, both of which playing very high. Field sat in front of the defence with Tongue and Mitchell both ahead of him with Tongue playing in the half spaces. Clark and Gallaway were the wide forwards and regularly swapped flanks whilst Coughlan lead the line showing his prowess as he dropped deep to link play as well as get in behind.
A common feature throughout were how high Cashmere’s wing backs played. Just before the half hour mark Coughlan dropped deep to play through Holloway who ran down the left flank before getting his head up and seeing right wing back Spain the highest player on the field – the only one in the box to cross too. This occurred through the match and in the 92’ Clark held up the ball well before playing in Spain down the right flank who then ‘crossed’ the ball to see it float into the goal at the far post. However, it only took 6 minutes before these deep runs from the wingbacks completely cought out the Nomads back line as Matthysen made a darting run behind the Nomads high line as he latched onto a lofted through ball. Matthysen found himself with all the time in the world before slotting home to make it 1-0. Both wingbacks on the score sheet.
Both teams like to play possession football, although it was Cashmere that adapted quicker and more effectively to the conditions. Tullet Park was not in great condition after the rain during the week and it was clear from the start that both teams were missing passes and slipping. Cashmere started playing it long through the Schwarz brothers, able to get it straight to Coughlan or switch flank to the wingbacks who were high and wide. Nomads did not do this at and kept to their short style of play which got easy to stop. From every goal kick the ball would be played to the left centre back, Jones, who then would then look to play out. Cashmere latched onto this and looked to prevent them from playing out from the back with a high press from kick off. This involved getting their wingbacks high, pushing the wide forwards inside to congest the midfield. From here Jones, and the rest of Nomads, struggled to find their way through the middle of the park with the combination of a bumpy surface and a high press. However, no plan B was made by Nomads.
Nomads fail to put chances away
Despite the score line, Nomads could have at least drawn. When Nomads did manage to get it out of the middle third press they linked up very nicely, with some great movement. Hickford had a busy day which saw him drop deep linking up attacks. He got himself a goal after a great pass and move play inside the box that saw Cottom cross the ball for Hickford to head home, making it 1-1 at the time. Ribuka was on the end of a great counter attack which he shot with Knight leaping at him, no penalty given despite obvious appeals. In the second half Hickford had multiple chances to get Nomads back in the game. One being a great shot from outside of the box after dancing between two players, second a close-range header which he just could not quite connect with.
This boy had his own section in an early piece of mine two years ago and he has only gotten better. Fresh from winning gold at the pacific games, Clark ran the show. His link up with the wingbacks and Coughlan allowed him to fashion chances for the team. His dribbling was second to none as he showed his intend to run at the defence resulting in multiple fouls on him. One of which Tongue smashed in the resulting free kick from 25 yards out. At 41 minutes, some neat dribbling by Clark on the by-line was able to cut it back to Gallaway who forced a great save from Collingwood but only into the path of Mitchell to take the lead 2-1. Then on the 50’ mark Clark showed some magic down the by-line again, beating two players before pulling it back to Tongue for his brace. Also of note is the ball through to Coughlan who was then brought down for the penalty, was also played in by Clark. When he clicked, the team clicked. A Man of the Match performance.
The win moves Tech into 2ndplaces after Coastal slipped up to Western, 3 points behind leaders Nelson.