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  • Gong Show Rings Up A Draw


    mack

    The Western Sydney Wanderers headed to Wollongong Stadium for the first time ever to take on the Wellington Phoenix and the Nix earned their first point in Wollongong with a flip-flopping 2-2 draw.

    Wellington are based in Wollongong for the A-League season due to the border situation with New Zealand, giving the Wanderers a short bus trip down the coast instead of a long flight. Jordan Mutch and Mitchell Duke have a chance to make their season debuts off the bench having finished their quarantine time in recent days. A win for the Wanderers would catapult them into outright 2nd on the A-League ladder while the Nix were looking to escape their dismal position at the foot of the table. Wellington's biggest personell change was a goalkeeper swap to put Oliver Sail in the net.

    Ziggy Gordon had an early chance from a corner 2 minutes in, the Nix defended it well and turned it away for a corner on the other side and another minutes later that flashed wide of goal. Wellington went up the other end and Rene Piscopo turned Illawarra junior Tate Russell inside out before firing into the 6 yard box to win a corner.

    Wellington took the lead in the 8th minute, they carved the Wanderers open in the middle, leaving a hole in the centre of midfield for Ulises Davila who turned and put Mirza Muratovic in on goal. The striker split the defense, shot into a save from Daniel Margush only to easily pick up the rebound and pass it around the unfortunate keeper for a 1-0 lead.

    The 15th minute saw a flurry of Wellington activity, first Clayon Lewis fired a long range speculative effort from a free kick then Piscopo hammered a curling strike into the crossbar with Margush beaten. Nicolai Muller had the visitor's first shot in a long time with his 21st minute shot over the bar.

    In the last minutes before half-time Muller and Yeboah combined, with Yeboah taking a touch to turn on the ball and shoot hard to force Sail into a diving save. The Wanderers went into the break down a goal, having had a lot of possession but very little to show for it as they failed to break down a full 11 man defensive block.

    The Wanderers had a good chance early in the 2nd half, Ibini reacted first after a loose ball, and with the ball on a tight angle he knocked the ball hard and fast past the keeper but Muller was just out of position for what would have been a tap-in. Oliver Sail had a moment of madness that nearly cost his team the lead with an atrocious throw-out that he released backward in the direction of his own goal but without the power required to cause an own goal. He redeemed himself with a good reaching save from a Muller long shot. Yeboah then turned the ball into the keepers hands from a wide free kick. Davila went into the book for a reckless tackle from behind on Muller.

    20 minutes to play was enough for Carl Robinson to finally make some subs. He bought on Simon Cox & Bruce Kamau with Muller & Ibini coming off. Kamau didn't take long to get into the game, a nice shot from distance that Sail cleaned up neatly. Wellington were quickly attacking the other end and Davilla added to his shot tally with one that went wide.

    Western Sydney finally had a reward for their possession dominance. A planned set piece routine was O'Doherty with a chip to the far post, Baccus volleyed across the face of goal and found Yeboah who had a tap-in of a header that he couldn't miss. Wellington thought they were back on top shortly after with Cameron Waine only for the linesman's flag to deny him with an obvious offside call. Margush was beaten at the near post but rescued by the flag.

    Robinson 3rd & 4th subs, Duke & Mutch were a clear marker of intent to take all 3 points and they took the lead straight away. Simon Cox played it out wide for Wilmering and the fullback launched it into the box and found Kamau at the back stick.

    The topsy turvey game took another twist in the 77th minute as Wellington made the most from a central free kick. A weak cross was nodded back into the mixer and Loius Fenton got enough contact to knock the ball into the goal to make it 2-2. In the 87th both sides emptied their sub windows, the Nix bringing on Ridenton and the Wanderers replacing Wilmering with Aquilina. The Wanderers threw everything at Wellington but couldn't make a final cross or pass stick and the Nix escaped a game they were largely on the back foot for with a point. When the final whistle blew both sets of players went down on the turf to catch their breath after a hectic game.

    The Wanderers next match is against Adelaide United at Parramatta on Saturday February 27th with kick-off at 5:05pm.


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    I am still waiting for us to put in our second half effort for the whole 90.....not 45. Done that a few times this season. Do that and we win more than lose.Dorrans, Troisi to come back, Duke to start ( hopefully ) .

    More to be positive about than negative though.  

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    Feels like 2 points lost there but still positives to take out of it.

    Jordon Mutch looks like a quality player, once he gets up to full fitness he will be ace I reckon.

    Baccus - O'Doherty pairing doesn't work well. Dorrans was missed today. O'Doherty better off the bench, he has been good coming off it.

    Wilmering is ace, that cross was well shaped and inch perfect.

    Ibini was crap today.

    Yeboah was actually alright, his shooting could be better but he did test the keeper a fair bit.

    Margush didn't look comfortable at all today.

    Defence overall wasn't great today, Davila was all over them.

    Great to see Duke back, shame he couldn't get his head onto one of the many crosses in the last 10 minutes.

    Muller was surprisingly poor, although I don't reckon he should have started, he looked tired after 20 minutes.

    NIx could have scored 3-4 goals today so you could even consider it a point gained but considering we went ahead it feels like points dropped.

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    Yet again WSW go into a game against an easier opponent and botch it :rolleyes:

    Our last game was 11 days ago, so I don't see why a squad of players can't put in effort for both halves of a game 

    In terms of finals, destiny is out of our hands. From here on out WSW will need to get points while us fans cross our fingers and toes for other results to go our way

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    17 minutes ago, sonar said:

    I am still waiting for us to put in our second half effort for the whole 90.....not 45. Done that a few times this season. Do that and we win more than lose.Dorrans, Troisi to come back, Duke to start ( hopefully ) .

    More to be positive about than negative though.  

    I have to agree. 

    For the last couple of seasons we petered out at about 70 minutes.

    At least we are finishing strong this season. Passing needs to have more intent especially in the first half 

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    Just now, pseudonym said:

    Yet again WSW go into a game against an easier opponent and botch it :rolleyes:

    Our last game was 11 days ago, so I don't see why a squad of players can't put in effort for both halves of a game 

    In terms of finals, destiny is out of our hands. From here on out WSW will need to get points while us fans cross our fingers and toes for other results to go our way

    Nah, we still control our destiny. The comp is so close.  Win four or five on the trot and it's game on. CR has said we would be slow out of the blocks and he is right so far. We have lost only 1 game. We'll be ok.

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    I also wonder if Muller was always thinking twice about going near Fenton who took him out last season.  I understand he's had some serious effects from being knocked out - especially eyesight. There was a moment Fenton hit him and there was an interaction?? Just wondering.

    Edited by BoyFromTheWest
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    1 minute ago, LeeMarvin said:

    Has our squad ever had as much depth as it does now?  Surely better than any team in the league right now.

    Would argue it's our strongest bench ever......

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    6 minutes ago, BoyFromTheWest said:

    I also wonder if Muller was always thinking twice about going near Fenton who took him out last season.  I understand he's had some serious effects from being knocked out - especially eyesight. There was a moment Fenton hit him and there was an interaction?? Just wondering.

    It was a Nix player who knocked him last season. They target him.

    Devlin should have got a second yellow for his tackle on Keanu when the Nix win the free kick

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    Squad rotation coming

    v Adelaide (H) on Saturday (27 Feb)

    v Heartle$$ (H) on Tuesday (02 Mar)

    v Fraudsters (A) on Saturday (07Mar)

    v Phoenix (H) on Monday (15 Mar)

    v Perth (H) on Friday (19 Mar)

    v Heartle$$ (A) on Friday (26 Mar)

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    Back at accommodation...

    How great was Wilmering's dink pass for the goal, great stuff. 

    That other goal was worked straight off the training pitch, always looks amazing when they work in a game.

    Shyte defending for their second, need to do better.

    Ibini looked a lost soul, didnt look happy with the world.

    Disappointing not to take the full 3, but had a great weekend.

    Edited by Smoggy
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    Top game, very entertaining. Just unfortunate about the result.

    Their plan was to put so much pressure on Natta throughout the whole game and Davila was doing that. Despite the fact that everyone loves Duke and he does provide a great impact towards the team, adding him to the squad seems like a last minute decision. I personally feel Cancar should of had an opportunity to play and maybe replaced Natta around the 70th/80th minute.

    Ibini was woeful today and isn't living up to the expectations that the fans are expecting from him. He should be on the bench next week but because him and Robbo are good buddies, he'll probably be on the starting XI next game. 

    Yeboah and Kamau played well. I wouldn't mind if Robbo had them as the starting XI or if you had Duke and Cox as the starting XI with Yeboah and Kamau on the bench. I feel if Yeboah and Kamau come on around the 60th minute to replace either Cox or Duke, they'll be dangerous against the opponents defence. 

    The duo of Baccus and O'Doherty showed we were missing Dorrans. Personally, I thought Robbo would of used Baccus and Mutch. 

    It's really disappointing that this is the second game the squad has let the full 3 points slipped away with the first being against Jets and that was Ziegler's fault for giving up those points. Speaking of Ziegler, I say with McGowan back, Natta providing he can play in the senior squad and Mourdoukoutas eventually returning to the squad after his injury, I say Ziegler is done will be shown the door at the end of the season. 

    Playing against Adelaide will be interesting.

    Edited by MathyouWSW
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    11 minutes ago, WHACKO said:

    Just had Ziggy pop into the hotel where we are staying.  Thanked us for our support. As good off the field as he is on it.

    Honestly, he should be our Captain.

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    4 minutes ago, MathyouWSW said:

    Honestly, he should be our Captain.

    Never stops, bet he still had his full kit and boots on and was looking for someone to tackle right?

    Edited by Smoggy
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    Wellington is the team you dont want to go down early to, they stifled us and went 11 behind the ball and we struggled to break them up with no penetration from Ibini (he is lazy and offers little I would prefer his sister playing) and Yeboah who was ok tonight but he's not going to score you 15 a season.  Think we may have went to the well one too many times with the kids, cant help it with our central defence injured but they targeted Natta and with Tate and Wilmering also there I would of preferred Georgevski for 30mins or so on one of those flanks some of the crossing from the young ones late in he game was ordinary.  Cant be too critical though we missed Dorrans winning the dirty balls and saw what we have to look forward to as soon as Duke got on the pitch.  Take that and move on.

    Great place to go watch football as well, good manoosh at the local, nice swim before and after, great stadium, nice trip.

    Oh and finally Talay is a flog, if he spent as much time talking to his players as he did the 4th official he might be better off.

    Edited by scarcev
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    20 minutes ago, Keithie said:

    Natta was taught a lesson by Davila sadly

     

     

    It was going to happen eventually.

    So the best back 3, when fit, are McGowan, Tass and Gordon

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    6 minutes ago, scarcev said:

    Oh and finally Talay is a flog, if he spent as much time talking to his players

    He is a smurf through and through 

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    With duke returning is always assumed it would be an Ibini/Duke pairing at the front. However right now I can’t imagine there’s anyone less deserving of a starting spot than Ibini.

    Good to see Natta continuing to grow. Very handy player. 

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    44 minutes ago, Keithie said:

    Natta was taught a lesson by Davila sadly

    Yeah he got skinned a couple of times. All part of the learning experience. Devilla is one of those crafty latin number 10s, moves off the ball well, puts defenders in difficult situations by drifting into space and making them feel uncomfortable about where and how to shut him down. And he’s got the skill to turn them. Natta wouldn’t have faced much of that before and I thought he equipped himself ok in the end.

    22 minutes ago, Paul01 said:

    It was going to happen eventually.

    So the best back 3, when fit, are McGowan, Tass and Gordon

    I’d stick with Natta. His composure and decision making are quality. 
     

    I’d like to say keep him in at the expense of McGowan as I am a big Tass fan but that leaves two young blokes in the back three, and four of the back five. So not sure. But, like everywhere, we have depth. 

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    Just returned from the game. Great fun despite the result.

    I think some are being a bit harsh on Natta. Sure, he was targeted today but on the most part, he did his job. He covered most of what was thrown at him and almost always forced the ball back inside rather than let his opponent get away from him. Some people forget he is only 18 and has played only 4 A-League games. He has been rock solid in every game. He is cool on the ball whenever he has it at his feet, and is either quick to feed it off to his DM's or spread it wide to his winger, or if he is further forward, to the AM. His ball control at his feet is superb and his passing accuracy is excellent for someone so young. When Tass is fit, I don't know where Natta fits in, but tbh, I wouldn't be unhappy with Natta starting ahead of Tass. As long as that Aussie imposter from Germany with so much Bundesliga experience doesn't start before him. That would be a travesty.

    On the game in general, I agree with most on here that Ibini is just a passenger. I said as much last week. A giraffe would have better ball control and probably be more committed to attacking the ball. Bench for him from now on, otherwise, ship him off. I was excited to have him on board when we signed him, but he is just lazy and clumsy these days. Cox and Duke should start every week and Ibini only given a chance if there are injuries or suspensions.

    Yeboah is just hanging in there, but at least puts some effort in. 

    As for the game day experience, it just reinforced how out of touch that ****wit Gallop and the old FFA board and Foxtel were in rejecting Wollongong's bid and deciding on awarding a plastic franchise to Macarthur. It's a great stadium for football, and there is no doubt the local "Gong" community would have got behind their club like the Mariners did. 

    That north terrace support today (wherever it came from?) went hard from start to finish. Sure, most of their chants were lame, but geez, they never stopped, from start to finish, and even continued after we took the lead. They were good. Paid supporters from Wollongong Uni perhaps? Anyway, kudos to them. They were audible all match. 

    I also have to pay homage to the ground staff. After hearing about and reading the reports from Mariners fans from last week, and the shite they put up with, I was expecting the worst today for our bunch of louts. On the contrary, the local staff were excellent. 

    We, (my son and I) arrived about 10 mins before kick off. When we arrived at our seats, other people were sitting there. We said to them "No worries, there's plenty of other empty seats so we'll just grab 2 of them. Anyway, just before kick off, an usher comes up to us with about 6 other Wanderers fans and says "Are these your seats?" I explained that some other people were sitting in ours, so we just grabbed these seats. We are happy to move so those 6 people can sit in their bought seats. She actually said to me (and I couldn't believe it) "Don't worry, you and your son stay there. There is a private box in the next bay that I know will stay empty today, so these 6 people can sit in there. You two stay where you are. That will be fine". WTF, how good is that type of fan engagement??

    It is teams like Wollongong that should be in the A-League, not plastic shite that Fox insists on. It's so sad.

    Finally, if we ever play down there again, I can highly recommend a pre-match feed at the following place, just up the road from the stadium. We had 35 minutes to be fed and get to the game, and did it with 10 mins to spare. A sensational sushi feed, fed quickly and reasonably cheap. 

    All in all, a great day. Such a shame we came back 2 points short.

     

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    Edited by Wanderboy
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