Jarrod MacDonald, with ball, scored his 16th goal of the season in Greytown’s win over Athletic. PHOTOS/FILE
Douglas Villa Magpies 0
Douglas Villa Magpies manager Nathan Cottle is questioning why Saturday’s Capital division two game against Seatoun was played, given the diabolical state of the ground at Crawford Green, Miramar.
Cottle said the teams discussed calling off the game, but the referee didn’t turn up until about 10 minutes before kick-off, and by that time, the teams had warmed up.
Any postponement would have also meant another expensive away trip for the Magpies, so the match went ahead.
The only goal in a forgettable game came midway through the second half when a freekick floated over to an unmarked player who headed the ball down into the bog where it stopped, and he tapped it into the net.
“It was just an ugly goal, and we always knew it was going to be a one-goal game,” Cottle said.
“There was no footy played by either side it was just a mess, and the frustrating thing is that we feel we would have done a lot better on a good pitch and being put on that sort of field is a bit rough.”
The loss dropped Magpies to seventh with two home games to complete their season. A win over relegation-threatened Waikanae on Saturday would almost ensure their safety in division two, although the possibility of relegation still looms, with as many as four teams facing the drop because of the introduction of Wellington Phoenix teams in the Capital premier and division one leagues from 2023.
Masterton Athletic 0
Greytown Fresh Choice are guaranteed of finishing runners-up in Capital division four after a hard-fought 3-0 win over Progressive Engineering Masterton Athletic at Hullena Park on Saturday.
In true local derby spirit, the game started at a great pace. Athletic were camped in Greytown’s half for the first 20 minutes, before the visitors slowly took control.
Once the game settled midway through the first half, Greytown showed why they are a top-two team playing some nice one- and two-touch football with slick passing moves, one of which led to a perfect through ball from Ryan Butler to Jarrod MacDonald who supplied the finishing touch to give Greytown a 1-0 halftime lead.
As the second half began, Athletic looked lost for answers, with Greytown pressing higher up the pitch with their attacking play and were lucky not to concede more goals.
A speculative cross from left winger Kaspar Szikszai floated over the Masterton goalkeeper and into the back of the net to double the lead before MacDonald’s jinking run set up Szikszai for his second to complete the scoring.
Ryan Butler and Szikszai shared man-of-the match honours, and MacDonald was tireless up front, picking up his 16th goal of the season.
Greytown had a short turnaround with a catch-up game against Upper Hutt at Trust House Memorial Park last night before hosting Victoria University at Greytown on Saturday.
Wellington United Emeralds 0
Wairarapa United 2
A below-strength Tumu Wairarapa United kept their Wellington Division One championship hopes alive with a gutsy 2-0 away win over Wellington United Emeralds on the St Patrick’s Wellington artificial turf on Sunday.
United started the crucial fixture with only 12 players and lost another to illness midway through the first spell, leaving the team with no substitutes.
United controlled possession but struggled with territory playing into a stiff breeze.
They did take the lead in one of their few attacking forays, when Amy Ford finished a good move 30 seconds before halftime.
Any advantage of playing with the wind dissipated at halftime with the breeze dropping away completely.
United continued to dominate and Annie Jones doubled the lead with a goal direct from a corner with about 20 minutes to play.
Second-placed United can take the lead in the championship race with victory over leaders Petone in a crucial clash at Trust House Memorial Park on Sunday.