Paul Ifill celebrates Josh Rudland’s goal against Waterside-Karori at Memorial Park on Saturday. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Wai-United coach seeking to improve team’s game management

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Cutting down on individual errors is Wairarapa United’s focus as they reflect on their third straight loss in the Central Football League.

United lost 5-2 to Waterside-Karori at Memorial Park on Saturday after leading 2-0 through goals by Josh Rudland and Paul Ifill in the first 20 minutes.

Wharfies pulled one goal back by half-time, before running away with the game in the second half.

Wairarapa United player-coach Cory Chettleburgh said that once Waterside-Karori equalised early in the second half, United began chasing the game instead of trying to control it.

“We had a deserved lead but tried to be over-aggressive and that left the game open for them. I felt like we had to settle it down and work on managing the game.”

Chettleburgh said two of Wharfies’ five goals came from individual errors.

“Once they scored, they became more compact and began pressing us more, denying us time and space and forcing us into individual mistakes.”

Chettleburgh is well aware of the looming challenges – the unbeaten Napier City Rovers away tomorrow, and Stop Out on Easter Monday at home.

It was always a tough trip to Napier as they played a more direct style than other teams.

“They will try to miss the midfield and play direct from the back to the front.

“We’re focusing on individual roles and responsibilities. We have to cut out the individual errors and manage the game how we want to. Doing that will give us a lot more opportunity to get results.”

Chettleburgh is prepared to play the patience game.

“I knew what I was in for when I took on the [player-coach] role.

“It’s a long process and it’s all about getting our young players experience. It’s a huge learning curve for them.”

The result leaves Wairarapa United languishing at the bottom of the Central League table along with Wellington United.

While Wairarapa United have conceded an average of six goals a game over the three games, Wellington United have picked the ball out of the back 29 times, an average of just under 10 goals a game.

Meanwhile, the Tumu ITM Wairarapa United Women kicked off their Central League campaign with a 2-0 away victory over Petone on Saturday.

Meisha Boone opened the scoring, finishing off a good team goal.

Dani Turton scored the second from about 35 metres out with the ball ricocheting off the crossbar, one post and then the other post before crossing the line.

Coach Paul Ifill was happy the result.

“We weren’t at full strength. We played well in patches. I’m pleased with the combinations and we kept a clean sheet, so it’s a good start.”

United next play defending champions Wellington United Diamonds on April 27.

Central League Scores [home teams first]

Men Rd 3
Wairarapa United 2 Waterside-Karori 5, Miramar Rangers 2 Lower Hutt City 4, Wellington United 2 North Wellington 10, Napier City Rovers 3 Stop Out 2, Western Suburbs 2 Wellington Olympic 1.

Standings
Western Suburbs 9 points, Napier City Rovers 9, Wellington Olympic 6, North Wellington 6, Lower Hutt 6, Stop Out 4, Waterside-Karori 3, Miramar Rangers 1, Wairarapa United 0, Wellington United 0.

Women Rd 1

Petone 0 Tumu ITM Wairarapa United 2, Seatoun 1 Palmerston North Marist 6, Wellington United Diamonds 2 Waterside-Karori 0, Victoria University 0 Western Suburbs 1.