Team Taranaki hand out a 7-1 hiding

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Coach Ian McGrath called it a "pig of a pitch" but Team Taranaki still came home with plenty of bacon after thrashing Red Sox 7-1 in Palmerston North on Saturday.

The thrashing came despite McGrath continuing to rest front-line players Brad Hickling and Tomas Mosquera, and sent a clear message out to the rest of the Federation League teams that Team Taranaki will be hard to beat in 2015.

The margin of victory was still surprising, especially after they were slow to start the match.

"If there was a wrong option to take or a poor pass to make, it seemed for the first half hour that we would inevitably do it with great consistency," McGrath said.

"We looked ponderous in possession and were unable to create anything from the wealth of possession that we enjoyed for a long period during the first half."

On the flip side, Red Sox looked bright in possession and enterprising in counter-attack, and threatened on a couple of occasions - forcing two good saves from Energyworks Team Taranaki goalkeeper Nick Hayward.

As the teams' frustrations threatened to take over the performance, a 15-minute spell just before the halftime whistle turned the game on its head as Taranaki scored four well-executed goals.

Vincent Sharp continued his good form in front of goal with two well-taken goals to break the game wide open. Good work from Matt Kelbrick created the chance with quick combination play on the edge of the box and a deft chip to the far post, which Leigh Rumbold headed back into the path of Sharp for him to steer home from close range.

Sharp's second was a well-executed one-on-one with the goalkeeper and the striker made no mistake as he rounded the oncoming player and slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Jack Roberts, playing in an unaccustomed attacking role, got in on the action for the third, nodding the ball home at the second attempt after Sharp was denied a hat-trick when the ball was cleared off the line. Dommie Squatriti grabbed the fourth, turning in the penalty area to curl the ball with precision into the corner of the net.

 

The second half started with another quick goal from Jack Roberts, who swept home the perfect volley from close range.

Squatriti got in on the act to steer home his second goal of the game midway through the half to extend the score to 6-0 and substitute Karl Wright soon converted after entering the play to make it seven.

 - Taranaki Daily News