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Douglas Villa kicks off in style

NORTH WELLINGTON 0
DOUGLAS VILLA 3

Tumu Douglas Villa could not have wished for a better start to their Capital Football Division One campaign with a 3–0 defeat of North Wellington Reserves at Alex Moore Park, Johnsonville, on Good Friday.

The step up in division proved no hurdle for last season’s Division Two runners-up with two goals in the first half, followed by a third midway through the second spell to complete a comprehensive first-up performance.

Josh Logan opened the scoring after 10 minutes when he broke forward down the left and fed to Brodie Dick, who made a run inside to create space. Dick then played the ball into space for Logan, who beat the North Wellington defence and smashed the ball in on the angle and left goalkeeper Ryan Bain no chance for what coach Mark Taylor described as an excellent goal, featuring really good movement, aggression and purpose.

Captain Chris Cox used his aerial strength in the box to double the lead in the 20th minute with a header from a pinpoint Ed de Lara-Bell corner.

Lara-Bell then capped off the convincing display with the third goal after 62 minutes when he ran on to a pass from Chris Cox and fired the ball across Bain and into the goal at the far post.

Taylor was rapt with the first-up effort, saying after a bright start by North Wellington, his players dominated once they got into the game.

“We controlled the game and obviously scored two goals early on, and that gave us – not comfort – but players grew in confidence as the game went on,” Taylor said.

“We’ve been emphasising possession and the way that we want to play with our structures. We created chances with the possession that we had, and we had a few saved and missed numerous chances, but 3–0 was a clearcut scoreline, so away from home, we were happy with that.”

Taylor felt that it was difficult to pick out any individuals, with everybody playing a part.

“It was one of those games where nobody had a bad game, and everybody worked hard,” he said.

“There was a lot of good inventiveness from the front three, with Brodie Dick, Kurtis Payne, and Simon Mazey all creating chances for themselves; the midfield worked really hard and stopped them [North Wellington] from playing out and stopped attacks in the midfield rather than having to defend the length of the pitch; and the two fullbacks were excellent and got forward well and caused a lot of problems for North Wellington out wide.

“But the centrebacks Alex [Cox] and Max [Mitchell] started it for us – they were our playmakers, and their distribution was excellent, and our goalkeeper [Jayden Watt] didn’t have a lot to do, but what he did to, he was comfortable.

“Yep, we scored three goals, but the other pleasing part is that we didn’t concede any, so the clean sheet showed that defensively, we we strong

“There’s some stuff we need to work on, and we need to keep pressure on teams, but it was our first 90-minute game for a while, so it was pleasing.”

Douglas Villa host Brooklyn Northern United in their second round on Saturday.

Taylor said he knows little about BNU other than they lost 3–1 to Wellington Olympic in the opening round.

With Douglas Villa’s traditional home venue of Park Sports Ground not ready for football, the game will be played on the artificial turf at Trust House Memorial Park, kicking off at 5.30 pm.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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