Captain Willy Syben led Douglas Villa Magpies to a vital win over Victoria University. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Victoria Uni Accies 1
Douglas Villa Magpies 2

Douglas Villa Magpies strengthened their grip on second place in Capital division three with a valuable away win over third-placed Victoria University Accies in atrocious conditions at Boyd Wilson Park, Kelburn.

“It wasn’t really a footy day and there was talk of calling it off,” said Magpies’ coach Malcolm Cox.

“The referee said he would only call it off if both teams wanted to, but we both wanted to play, so the game went ahead.”

Making conditions even trickier at the tiny university ground is the location of buildings at the side of the pitch, creating a wind tunnel.

Magpies had the use of the strong wind in the first half and took the lead after about 20 minutes when the wind caught the ball from a corner by former Vanuatu international Seule Soromon and beat the stranded goalkeeper at the far post.

The home side drew level on the stroke of halftime, meaning an uphill battle for Magpies into the wind in the second half, with the ball often playing backwards in the winds which approached gale force at times.

Magpies were entrenched in their own half for most of the second spell but did add to their score when Soromon beat the defence and coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Captain Willy Syben had a chance to score a third goal, only for his shot to go narrowly over the top.

Magpies also had their fair share of luck, narrowly avoiding a goal from a Victoria throw-in.

The wind caught the ball as Cayden Cameron went up to head it and clipped the side of his head and went towards the goal. Goalkeeper Jared Watt made a reflex save and the ball landed at the feet of one of their players who put it through Watt’s legs only for Kenneth Sprowson to clear it off the line.

“It was a fight to the end and something that we relished and the boys who have been there most of the time really deserve the rewards,” said Cox.

Magpies remain on track for promotion to Capital Division Two for finishing in the top two and have a four-point gap to Victoria in third place.

Cox said six points from their final four games should be enough for Magpies to secure promotion. However, Magpies could still push for championship honours if they can beat leaders Petone Thirds, who have a four-point lead, and if other results go their way.

Magpies next play fourth-placed Naenae at home on Saturday.

Fresh Choice Greytown’s home fixture against Petone Stonecutters was postponed with all Capital Football games below division three cancelled.



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