Kennedy Bryant sends a freekick goalwards for Wairarapa United’s second goal. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Wairarapa United 0
Miramar Rangers 5

“To be completely honest they were just too good for us.”

That’s the frank assessment from player-interim coach Paul Ifill on Trust House Wairarapa’s loss to Miramar Rangers at Trust House Memorial Park on Saturday.

The Central League leaders controlled much of the game against the understrength United, scoring three goals in the first half and another two in the second stanza.

Ifill set a plan to defend and try and catch Miramar on the counterattack but said they couldn’t finish off their moves.

“We’d counterattack and made six or seven excellent passes and then the last pass would be a cross into the keeper’s hands, or the first defender would cut it out. We had to be more clinical than that and they were,” he said.

United were missing experienced midfielders Cameron and Josh Cremen, forcing Ifill to use some of the promising talent from his academy.

“At the end we had a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old up front, and two 17-year-olds in midfield, and it was really good for them in terms of their development to see what sort of level they have to get to.”

Although the result has dropped United to fifth in the Central League, and three points behind Western Suburbs in the race for fourth and a place in the new national championship, Ifill is not giving up on achieving that goal.

“We’ve got four games coming up we can win, and I’m hopeful we’ll have a full squad till the end of the season.

“Let’s go and win those four games and if that’s not enough there’s nothing, we can do about it.”

WOMEN

Wairarapa United 2
Wellington United Diamonds 5

Tumu ITM Wairarapa United coach Paul Ifill is standing by goalkeeper Grace Minniss after she had a day she would rather forget on Saturday.

The loss at Trust House Memorial Park ended any remaining hopes of United pushing for W-League glory.

Unfortunately for Minniss, four of Diamonds’ goals could be attributed to goalkeeper error.

Samoan international TJ Lyne-Lewis gave the home side the lead midway through the first half, only for Jemma Robertson to equalise with a soft goal at the near post.

Kennedy Bryant restored United’s lead from a freekick after Darby Lambert was taken in a heavy tackle and had to leave the field with a tailbone injury.

Lyne-Lewis missed a sitter to extend the lead, and then Sarah Alder drew the scores level shortly before the break with her shot going through Minniss’ hands.

Diamonds finally took the lead 10 minutes into the second half with the goal of the game, a beautiful finish by Dani Ohlsson after she ran on to a superb through ball.

Robertson then robbed the ball from Minniss, who hesitated while playing the ball out from the back, and Asha Strom finished the scoring with a long-range goal Minniss got her hands to and should’ve saved.

Although disappointed with the outcome Ifill was pleased with the application shown by the team.

“The girls never gave up and I thought we tried really hard to play some good stuff in the second half against the really strong wind,” he said.

“We felt that we had to be two or three up at halftime, but that’s how strong the wind was.”



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