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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 12. September 20, 1951

Soccer at Tournament

Soccer at Tournament

The team was:—

L. Bateman, G. Ward, D. L. Robinson, B. K. Reddy, E. A. Harris, J. Recce, G. Watson, A. H. Preston, R. W. Gray, C. E. McCann, S. A. Webster.

Reserves: E. Tompson, V. Howell.

v. Otago—Lost 1-0. Otago were lucky to score early in the game. Thereafter they concentrated on defence and managed to play out time in the face of determined onslaughts by the V.U.C. attack. The strong right flank showed fine form but received little support from the left wing who failed to finish off some fine openings made by the brilliant Preston playing as inside right.

v. Massey—Won 7-0. Massey played one man short but even with a full team they would have been no match for the superior combination of Victoria. After running up 5 goals, the team eased up and Preston changed places with the goalie, who had had little to do so far. The Massey boys showed great courage and fought valiantly to the finish but their ball control was appallingly weak.

v. Auckland—Drew 1-1. This was a keenly fought match. Victoria showed good teamwork especially on the right flank but the shooting was weak. Ernie Harris at centre-half played a great game displaying a sound knowledge of positional play. Preston was once again very prominent combining well with Reddy and Watson. Auckland played their usual kick-and-rush game but met with little success against the superior positioning of the V.U.C. backs.

v. Canterbury—Won 1-0. The score flatters Canterbury who never looked dangerous. Their bustling and energetic tackling upset the teamwork of Victoria. Play was almost entirely confined to Canty's half but V.U.C. could only score once. From a fine comer kick by Watson, McCann was on hand to head the ball into the net. It was obvious that the unbalanced forward line was not working well but Matson was responsible for some fine centres.

v. Lincoln—Won 10-1. As the score indicates this was a field day for V.U.C. Lincoln had lost to Auckland by one goal and were confident of beating Victoria. The V.U.C. team was told to get cracking at once and Thompson started the scoring with a tremendous "carpet drive." The virile and solid Lincoln boys found the ball control and positioning of Victoria too difficult to handle but they tore into their opponents with gusto whenever the opportunity offered. At the interval the goalie again played as a forward and he too enjoyed the run. The margin could have been even greater had Victoria tried but the boys were all tired and were not keen to take any risks against the vigorous play of Lincoln.

V.U.C. was placed second, equal with Auckland. Otago had broken A.U.C.'s monopoly of the last three years but it was to the credit of V.U.C. that they were the only team to have displayed any knowledge of positional play and teamwork.

Four members of the team were chosen for the N.Z.U. team. They were Preston, Watson, Harris and Reddy. They all performed well in the N.Z.U. v. Otago game but Preston, was the oustanding player of the tournament and was the only one to be awarded a blue in soccer. He showed great promise and had a good understanding with Roddy and Watson. Harria was unlucky not to get a blue. He was greatly handicapped by a foot injury but worked tirelessly throughout. Of the others Robinson was unfortunate to have missed selection for the N.Z.U. team, but once again he proved his versatility. Bateman was a capable goalie with a safe pair of hands and Ward a solid full back on defence. He has yet to learn the art of passing to a teammate. Reece filled the left-half position creditably and though he lacks in ball control he is always willing to learn. Gray as centre forward did not perform as well as expected while he is speedy enough he has not the fine ball control required in a player in this position, to snap up the ball and move away in a few seconds. He must learn to move around in order to open up the middle for his insides.

McCann was always a trier but was not fit enough to do justice to the inside forward position. He went much, better as a wing, showing great penetration. Webster was disappointing except for a brief period as full back. He is too slow off the mark and his positional play leaves much to be desired. Thompson played two games, in the first he was off form but in the second he gave a slashing display as left wing, scoring three excellent goals. In the only game he played Howell relished the rugged going. He lacks control but is a hard worker and his fine goal against Lincoln was the result of good positional play.