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Early goal stings Wai-Utd

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

Stung by an early goal, Wairarapa United got their game together to sail into the third round of the Chatham Cup knockout competition on the back of a 4-2 away win over Island Bay United yesterday.

Player-coach Paul Ifill, who scored a second-half penalty, said: “We started pretty poorly to be honest. We probably went into it with a bit of a relaxed mindset and it didn’t really pay off.”

Wairarapa United conceded a penalty in the fifth minute.

Ifill felt the team were pretty sloppy in the opening stanza. Once the game started, it was clear they were behind the pace. And Island Bay capitalised.

But Daniel Allan came up with the equaliser — a volley that found the back of the net from a cornerkick — that gave the team leverage to make a comeback in the second half.

While Island Bay sit in the lower-graded division, Ifill said they were good value, and on another day “we would have got ourselves into a bit of trouble”.

The team showed some resolve in the second-half to create some goal scoring chances that were converted by captain Sam Mason-Smith and Brian Kaltak.

Young forward Callan Elliot was excellent from start to finish, Ifill said.

Halfway through the second half, Elliot won the penalty that Ifill converted to secure the win.

When asked if coach Phil Keinzley would be happy with the result, Ifill said he would just be happy that the team is through to the next round.

The forwards were not making good runs and the midfielders weren’t releasing the ball quick enough.

“But at the end of the day, a win is a win, and it is just important to stay ahead in the Chatham Cup,” he said.

After the Capital League draw with Miramar Rangers last week, this weekend’s game against Wellington Olympic in Masterton should see a win on home ground.

The team would need to start with the confidence to carry on their good run in the league as they chase Western Suburbs.

“They Western Suburbs) are a point ahead of us so we have to match their points until we play them . . . I think it’s a game we should be winning at home.”

With only a few knocks and minor injuries going into Saturday’s game, Ifill added that he would need to make a decision about his groin injury by Thursday, but will have cover by in the likes of recent signing Ermal Hajdari.

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