Jonty Roubos was in brilliant form against Olympic. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

WAIRARAPA UNITED 3

WELLINGTON OLYMPIC 5

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Jaycar Wairarapa United turned in one of their better performances of the Central League despite going down 3-5 to Wellington Olympic at Wakefield Park on Wednesday night.

Olympic opened the scoring through Tom Jackson after 15 minutes, before midfielder Jonty Roubos, playing his first game since recovering from concussion, rifled home a beautiful left-foot volley to level the scores.

The home side soon regained the lead with goals to Samuel Mitrakis and Ben Mata to make the score 3-1 at halftime.

Jackson extended the lead to 4-1 early in the second half and another blowout score looked likely.

However, United bounced back with two goals in 10 minutes to veteran striker Seule Soromon.

The visitors had their chances to equalise but just couldn’t find the final touch.

Jackson put the game out of reach with five minutes to go when he completed his hat-trick.

United striker Paul Ifill said the team played really well

“We had enough chances and we’re probably a bit disappointed not to have got something out of the game.”

“Jonty [Roubos] was outstanding. He scored a goal and set up Seule [Soromon] for his goal and then Seule had two one-on-ones only for the goalkeeper to save,” Ifill said.

“We could’ve defended better with two of their goals coming from set pieces as well as a penalty.”

United are on the quick back-up today against Miramar Rangers.

The first-round clash ended in an embarrassing 9-0 loss for United.

However, if the young side continue their late season improvement in form, Ifill is confident they can cause an upset in their final two games, against either Miramar today or Lower Hutt City next Saturday.

United women need a win

Meanwhile, the early focus for Ifill today will be as coach of the Tumu ITM Wairarapa United Women’s team for their vital W-League game against Western Suburbs in Whitby.

With two games to play, United are equal with Wellington United Diamonds at the head of the league, but with an inferior goal difference. Palmerston North Marist are two points behind.

To add more intrigue to the closely fought league, Marist and Diamonds will also meet in Palmerston North.

Wests won their first-round league encounter and United reversed that result in the Kate Sheppard Cup knockout competition.

Ifill said a win was imperative for United.

“We have to win, and we have to win well, and hope that Marist can take points off Wellington.

“Wests have lost a few players back to [American] universities, so they won’t be as strong as the first round, but we’ve also lost Ana [McPhie] and Dani [Turton] to university, and Olivia Browne is away for this game.”

Ifill was confident his side should pick up the vital three points if they played to their potential.

That would set up a blockbuster final round of league games next Saturday which will feature a home game for United against Waterside-Karori.