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United sign off on winning note

Alex Ridsdale, named Supporters Player of the Year. PHOTO/FILE


Three milestones were recorded as Wairarapa United completed their 2017 Central League men’s football programme with a 4-1 win over relegation-bound Palmerston North Marist at Palmerston North on Saturday.

For both Paul Ifill, who left the field with a hamstring injury after just 10 minutes, and Cory Chettleburgh it was their 50th game for Wairarapa United’s premier side while the two goals scored by striker Seule Soromon to give his team a 2-0 advantage at halftime made him the fifth highest goal scorer in the history of this particular competition with 82 in total.

Comfortable as the win was on paper however, this was by no means a convincing Wairarapa United performance with coach Phil Keinzley being typically frank in his assessment of the display.

“Honestly it was one of those games where we played pretty poorly but were still good enough to win by three goals.

“A peak effort and we would probably have won by at least double that.”

Keinzley said the Wairarapa United effort lacked intensity through most of the game and the slow pace allowed for too many passes to be intercepted.

“We gave up possession far too easily far too often, a lot of what we did was ordinary stuff really.

“When we did get things going we looked okay but there wasn’t a lot of that.”

Soromon, who has played of his recent CL games at fullback, was moved back to his former role of striker for this game and his two goals were the only scoring action of the first half.

Palmerston North Marist then got one back early in the second half to give them hopes of an upset win but Wairarapa United added two more to their tally in the last quarter, captain Sam Mason-Smith finishing off some good build-up work by Antony Sprowson and then Liam Heard coming off the bench at left fullback and scoring what was his first goal at CL level.

It was not a game where too many individuals enhanced their reputations but there was a lot to admire about the courageous defence of Wairarapa United goalkeeper Coey Turipa while Alex Ridsdale impressed with his high work rate.

Ridsdale was also one of the big winners at the end-of-season awards function held by Wairarapa United in Masterton on Saturday night.

He was named Supporters’ Player of the Year while Sam Mason-Smith was Players’ Player of the Year and Daniel Allan Coaches’ Player of the Year.

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