Paul Ifill . . . overcomes perforated eardrum to guide Wairarapa United to victory. PHOTO/FILE
Ifill leads Wai United to big win

FOOTBALL

ELISA VORSTER
elisa.vorster@age.co.nz

Wairarapa United blitzed three goals past Wellington United in the last 10 minutes to come out 6-3 winners in a second round Chatham Cup match in Newtown, Wellington, on Monday.

The win saw Wairarapa United break a three-game losing streak, the most recent coming in a 2-4 Central League loss to Wellington Olympic on Saturday.

Wairarapa United led 2-1 at halftime but saw themselves tied 3-3 in the second half with only 10 minutes to spare.

What followed was an outstanding display from Paul Ifill, Callan Elliott and Hamish Watson who each scored to drive the team home to a much-needed win.

Coach Phil Keinzley said it was just what the team needed to get their confidence back for the games ahead.

“We knew the season was depending on winning today,” he said.

“We had some quite stern words before the game to really look at ourselves and know we had to really dig deeper and give more to the Wairarapa than what has been given to date, and I think that came out on the field.”

Cam Lindsay stepped up as captain, with Keinzley saying both he and goalkeeper Scott Morris played standout games.

The team started strong, with Watson putting Wairarapa United ahead 1-0 within the first 10 minutes.

Striker Ifill was in doubt for the match after suffering a perforated eardrum, but came back with a vengeance, boosting his side’s score to 2-0.

Liam Wood hit back for Wellington United, bringing the score to 2-1 before half time.

Willem Ebbinge got Wellington United level with a goal early into the second half.

Ifill then claimed his second goal only for Wellington United to equalise 3-3 through Ben Waine.

It was Elliott who came to Wairarapa United’s rescue, scoring in the 80th minute.

Ifill added to the goal-scoring frenzy with a header off a freekick to seal his hat-trick.

Watson had the last say, running halfway across the pitch to knock home his side’s sixth goal.

Keinzley said the players’ passion really shone through.

The defence was a lot more compact than it had been despite the side conceding three goals, and their overall experience allowed them to overcome the opposition, he said.

Last year, Wairarapa United were one of two teams from the Capital region to make the Cup quarterfinals before suffering a 0-2 loss to Central United at Kiwitea Park in Auckland.

The team’s next Central League match will be against Western Suburbs next weekend. The draw for the next round of the Chatham Cup was to be made today.

Meanwhile, the Wairarapa United women’s team also won on Monday, notching a 3-0 win over Marist in a Kate Sheppard Cup match at Memorial Park.

Kelsi Rutene scored off a cross from Meisha Boone to give her team a 1-0 lead at halftime.

Boone pounced to score after a strike from Anna McPhie was fumbled by the Marist keeper in the second half before Florence McIntyre scored in the final minutes of the game.

Club president Gill Flower said the team had battled through atrocious weather conditions, as heavy rain pelted down from the opening minutes of the match.

“It was a pretty wet game, the weather was terrible, but the girls did well,” she said.