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Big pre-season wins for local football teams

Jonty Roubos impressed in Wairarapa United’s 6-1 win. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Wairarapa United 6
Seatoun 1

Wairarapa United are through to the quarterfinals of the Hilton Petone Cup after a comfortable 6-1 victory over Seatoun on Saturday.

The scores were locked 1-1 after the first 30-minute period, but United pulled away in the second period by scoring two goals. Three goals in the final period put the icing on the cake for the Central League side.

Jonty Roubos, Jared Cuniff, and Cameron Lindsay scored two goals each in the dominant display against their Capital Premier opponents.

Coach Phil Keinzley felt that the team took a big step forward from their previous performances in the preseason tournament – a 2-1 win over Stop Out, and a 0-3 loss to Lower Hutt City.

“I was pleased with the intent of the players to play attacking football,” he said.

“I felt we had just been treading water to date, and fitness is still a major issue. I’m not happy where a number of players are with their fitness, but that’s a personal thing.

“I think all the players are realising too that there is somebody waiting on the bench and there’s competition for positions, and that’s a good thing.”

Keinzley was impressed with Roubos, who he said had a blinder in an attacking midfield role, as well as Matt Tod-Smith and Riley Grover as holding midfielders.

Fullbacks Stephen Sprowson, Mark Hemi and Scott Adams also stood out and provided assists that led to goals.

United’s opponents in the quarterfinal are still not confirmed. But having topped group three on goal difference, it is likely to be group one runners-up Wainuiomata, who won promotion to the Central League after winning last year’s Capital premier division.

United will kick off their Central League campaign on March 28 with a home game against Petone.

Coach happy with Villa’s big win

Douglas Villa 7
Seatoun 1

New Douglas Villa coach Malcolm Cox was happy with what he saw in the team’s first pre-season hit out against Naenae at Maidstone Park, Upper Hutt, on Saturday.

The match was Villa’s first since they won promotion to Capital division three, and they looked comfortable against their division three counterparts, taking a 3-0 lead into half-time, and adding four goals in the second 45 minutes.

Goals were scored by Josh McMenamin [2], Tremaine Rimene-Albrett, Dylan Cottle, Curtis Paine, Willy Syben, and Tom Sexton.

Cox was unsure of the strength of the Naenae team and expected a stronger showing when the two sides meet in the opening round of the league next month. However, he said seven goals was an impressive tally.

“There are periods of the game we played very well, and with good pressure, and we let the ball do the work,” he said.

Cox was pleased that the early start to preseason training had paid off, and there were good signs with six players getting on the scoresheet.

“They’ve been hard at it for over a month training, and we’re playing a four-three-three formation this year and that’s completely new to the boys, so it was good to start with a good win.

“We can lay out the trainings for them, but at the end of the day it’s up to the players, and they are keen as, and that’s very pleasing.”

Man-of-the-match Kenneth Sprowson impressed in the centre of defence, while 16-year-old Lachie Burling was another to catch the coach’s eye.

Villa have further pre-season games away to Upper Hutt City this weekend, and Red Sox [Manawatu] and they’re awaiting confirmation of one more fixture before the season starts on April 10.

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