Paul Ifill, right, missed a penalty in the draw with Wainuiomata. PHOTO/FILE
WAIRARAPA UNITED 1
Trust House Wairarapa United’s prospects of playing in the new-look national championship took a hit with a disappointing draw against cellar-dwellers Wainuiomata.
United need to finish in the top four in the Central League to make the national series, and a win would’ve drawn them level with Western Suburbs with two rounds to play.
Player-coach Paul Ifill was disappointed to give Wainui their first point of the season but said the conditions helped neither team.
“It felt like a Sunday league social game. It was horrible,” he said.
“The pitch was absolutely atrocious, not just for us but for both sides, and it was hard to play on.”
Wainui started the better and took the lead through Ashlen Stroud after 30 minutes.
Ifill had the chance to equalise from the penalty just on halftime but lost his footing as he was about to strike the ball, which then hit the bar and went over.
A change of shape to a 4-3-3 worked in the second half, and United dominated.
Ifill again hit the bar; Cory Chettleburgh had a shot saved off the line before Jonty Roubos scored in the 63rd minute.
United had further chances to score but couldn’t find the winner.
WAIRARAPA UNITED 1
Tumu ITM Wairarapa United finished a disappointing fourth in the W-League after a shock away loss to Petone.
United had the better of a scoreless first half but couldn’t capitalise on their opportunities.
The home team took the lead midway through the second spell when United captain Tui Dugan was off the pitch for several minutes getting treatment.
Kennedy Bryant responded four minutes later, but a second Petone goal 12 minutes from time killed the game.
“We were really good for the first half an hour and then we lost our way,” said coach Paul Ifill.
“It was a difficult game and Petone played well. We had enough chances to win it and on another day we probably do.”
Ifill said United were a better team than fourth place and said at times they played some of the best football in his tenure as coach.