Ermal Hajdari scoring one of his two goals for Wairarapa United against Wellington Olympic. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
By Jake Beleski
Wairarapa United got revenge for their only defeat of the Central League season with a win over defending champions Wellington Olympic on Saturday.
The 3-2 win at Memorial Park in Masterton was a great result for the side, after they were beaten 4-3 by the same opposition earlier in the season.
The win temporarily put United back on top of the CL ladder, although their next opposition, Western Suburbs, moved back into first position with a 3-0 win Napier City Rovers on Sunday afternoon.
Captain Sam Mason-Smith was delighted to get the win and another three points, but said they could have made things easier on themselves.
“At times we played some good stuff, but we definitely could have made life easier.
“They had us a bit worried but most importantly we got the third goal and the win.”
United had gone to the halftime break up 1-0 after Mason-Smith had scored from a penalty.
They extended that lead early in the second spell when Ermal Hajdari scored the first of his two second half goals for the side.
Wellington Olympic managed to tie things up at 2-2 with two goals in quick succession, but United weren’t going to let their chance for revenge slip away.
“We scored right after halftime to go 2-0 up and they got a penalty, a dubious one at that as well, and had a bit of momentum,” Mason-Smith said.
“We probably scored around the 70th minute and hung on from there . . . we lost to them in the first round as well so it was a case of not wanting to lose to them twice.”
Goal scorer Hajdari has only joined the squad recently, but Mason-Smith said he was already making his presence felt.
“He won the penalty in the first half and got the two other goals himself.
“He’s in good form at the moment and has come in and made an impact.”
Next up for United is a trip to Western Suburbs, who’s only defeat of the season came at the hands of United in April.
Mason-Smith said they were happy with how things were tracking at this stage, but couldn’t afford to take the foot off the gas.
“We’re right in the mix to be at the top of the table come the end of the season.
“That’s where we want to be — we want to win the league.”
Meanwhile, the Wairarapa United women’s side came up against a strong Wellington United Diamonds side in their Capital League clash on Saturday night.
Wellington United Diamonds had only lost two matches this season, and came away with a comfortable 6-0 win over United.