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Greytown snatch a late victory

Greytown 4

North Wellington 3

A late pair of goals to Greyfriars Motel Greytown leading scorer Josh Stevenson held off a strong challenge from North Wellington, keeping alive their hopes of promotion from Capital Division Three, reports Ian McDonald.

Greytown hit the ground full of running, and early goals to skipper Jarrod MacDonald and Gareth Gwyther had the home side on course for a win, but two defensive errors let the visitors back into the game and a 2-2 halftime score.

North Wellington lost their goalkeeper to a first-half injury and had an outfield player take over. However, Greytown weren’t able to test him on a regular enough basis and with both sides pressing forward, searching for the win, something had to break.

Up stepped Stevenson, who found the back of the net in the 78th and 86th minute, which seemed to seal the game for the home team, but a free kick in the final minutes to the visitors found its way into the net off MacDonald’s head to set up a grandstand finish.

With a vocal home crowd spurring them on, Greytown held on for the win on a soggy and bumpy Soldiers Memorial Park to stay ahead of the chasing pack in second place behind Upper Hutt City.

Outside of the goalscorers, Greytown midfielders Harvey Parker and Nik Finlay were outstanding, along with forward Landon Palmer, while Max Mitchell and fullback Alex Penman provided much-needed solidarity at the back.

With four games to go, including a home fixture against leaders Upper Hutt City, Greytown are in a prime spot to secure back-to-back promotions and will look to consolidate their position with a visit to Victoria University Reserves on Saturday.

Wellington Marist 3

Douglas Villa 2

Tumu Douglas Villa struggled to contain the aerial threat and the physical approach of the unbeaten Marist as they stumbled to their second loss in Capital Division Two.

The early running on the artificial turf at St Patrick’s College Town favoured Douglas Villa, and they took the lead through captain Chris Cox after 35 minutes. Just when the visitors looked like they would take a deserved advantage into halftime, the competition’s leading goalscorer Lathim Greig equalised with a scrambled goal from a rebound off the crossbar.

The momentum was well and truly with Marist, and a second goal to Greig with a header from a corner and another to Beau Lyttle three minutes later gave the home side a 3-1 lead after 57 minutes.

Josh McMenamin gave Douglas Villa some late hope of snatching a draw with three minutes left on the clock. Their chances were then given a further boost when Tom Sexton was sent off for a second yellow card, reducing the home side to 10 men, and although Douglas Villa pushed hard for the equaliser, they couldn’t break the stubborn Marist defence.

“It was just one of those games. They put us under [pressure], and we had to try and match their physicality, which we did for much of it, but there were little moments when we didn’t, and they capitalised and scored from it,” said Douglas Villa coach Mark Taylor, who admitted Marist’s strong start to the second half knocked the wind out of their sails.

“It took a wee bit to compose ourselves and get back into the game, and they continued to press and put us under pressure, and it was just a real ding-dong battle.

“It was just one of those things, you’re playing away from home, and you’ve got to adjust to the conditions and the way other teams play, and we kind of haven’t had that pressure for a long time, so it was good to have a game like that to really test you and to show you where you need to improve.”

Douglas Villa remain second in the league, two points ahead, and with two games in hand from Waterside-Karori Thirds, who they host at Park Sports Ground on Saturday.

Anna O’Connor scored Wai United’s second goal. PHOTO/GRAEME BOWDEN

Wairarapa United 2

Wellington United Emeralds 0

A goal in each half gave Wairarapa United a deserved 2-0 win over a tough Wellington United Emeralds in the Hullena Park mud on Sunday afternoon.

Meisha Pyke found the back of the net in the first half, and Anna O’Connor got on the scoresheet in the second half in what skipper Holly Rausch said was a good confidence boost for the side, who reversed the 5-1 loss they suffered to Emeralds in the first round.

United are one of two unbeaten teams, along with Wellington United Opals. They are away to first-round winners Miramar Rangers on Sunday.

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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