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Douglas Villa 2

Wellington Marist 2

A late comeback from Tumu Douglas Villa clinched a draw just before full-time against Capital Division Two league leaders Wellington Marist AFC.

Saturday’s game at Park Sports Ground in Masterton was a hard-fought top-of-the-table clash that coach Mark Taylor said was
Douglas Villa’s most challenging encounter of the
season so far.

A defensively strong Marist kept the home side from scoring in the first half.

Even though Douglas Villa had most of the possession, the only goal came from Marist’s Lathim Greig after the home side failed to convert chances from Tremaine Rimene-Albrett.

Douglas Villa struggled to break through Marist’s defence, which copped two yellow cards before halftime.

Shortly into the second half, Marist pushed a strong counterattack, and Peter Moger made it 2-0 to the visitors.

The home side kept possession, but Marist’s strong defence – which caught two more yellow cards in the second half – kept Douglas Villa fighting for goals.

Marist was just about ready to go home with a victory when Douglas Villa’s Rimene-Albrett scored with eight minutes left, and then a few minutes later, he scored the equaliser from a header to make it a 2-2 draw at full time.

Coach Mark Taylor said Marist were tough opposition with a tight defence, so he was happy to get the draw.

“[Rimene-Albrett ] was a threat; he was causing them problems throughout, and when he came alive, he was really effective.”

Taylor said Marist’s four yellow cards indicated a strong and well-competed match.

“There was a bit of physicality, but the teams were on their best behaviour, and the discipline was pretty good; it was a really good close encounter,” he said.

“These next couple of games are going to be really important so that we keep pushing for the top.

“We’ve played every team in the league now, so we’ve got nothing to fear with being outplayed.”

The draw means Douglas Villa hold second place in the league, two points behind Marist. Due to a double-booking, this Saturday’s game against Miramar is rescheduled for the end of the season. Their next match will be away to Tawa on June 10. Greytown 5

North Wellington 1

Even with several key players injured, Greyfriars Motel Greytown AFC stomped home with another victory, beating North Wellington Thirds 5-1 in last Saturday’s Capital Division Three fixture.

Bouts of heavy rain flooded the Johnsonville pitch, but the fast-moving artificial surface allowed a dominant Greytown to show their skill and squad depth, suppressing any hopes of a North Wellington Victory.

A tightly contested first half saw only one goal from North Wellington’s Baobao Wang take the lead after 41 minutes.

Down 1-0 at halftime, Greytown coach Phil Keinzley said the squad had “a real good talk” about attitude, composure, individual roles, and reducing the amount of space the opposition could work in.

The visitors burst into the second half and never took their foot off the accelerator until the full-time whistle, with Greytown’s Jarrod MacDonald scoring two quick goals to take the lead.

Greytown’s Bill Reynold’s made it 3-1 shortly after MacDonald, and another two from teammates Andy Traill and William Newton closed out the match 5-1 to Greytown.

MacDonald’s two goals made him the second-highest scorer in the league with nine season goals, only trailing behind superstar teammate Josh Stevenson who boasts 19.

Keinzley said North Wellington’s strategy focussed on shutting down Stevenson, who, despite not scoring in the game, has so far in the season scored more than triple the number of goals of any other non-Greytown player in the league.

“They thought by keeping him out we wouldn’t do well, but it didn’t work, and it did show we’re not a one-man squad, which is pleasing.”

Keinzley said the referee disallowed a few goals, so the 5-1 margin “could have been greater on another day.”

The victory secured Greytown’s spot at the top of the table, three points above second-placed Upper Hutt.

This Saturday’s fixture is a Soldier’s Memorial Park home game against Stop Out Sports Club Thirds.

Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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