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Magpies fall to first loss in division three

Josh McMenamin, right, scored the first two Douglas Villa goals. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Waterside-Karori 4
Douglas Villa Magpies 3

Douglas Villa lost the battle of the ‘Magpies’ going down 3-4 in a controversial clash with Waterside-Karori on Saturday for their first loss in Capital division three.

Villa were behind early at Karori Park after a couple of contentious decisions.

The first was having an apparent legitimate goal by striker Josh McMenamin ruled out for offside after the ball had deflected off a defender’s hand.

Shortly afterwards a goal was awarded to Waterside when the ball appeared to have been cleared off the line, followed by a controversial penalty call to give the home side a handy lead.

McMenamin did find the back of the net twice before the break to narrow the score to 2-3.

Willy Syben levelled the scores early in the second spell, but a miscommunication between the midfield and defence with five minutes to play led to Waterside scoring the winning goal.

Villa remain in third place in the championship on 11 points, five behind leaders Petone Thirds, and two behind Victoria University Accies.

Despite the loss, coach Malcom Cox said Villa, who were missing five players through suspension, injury, and illness, didn’t get fair reward for their endeavours.

“We should have beaten them, and we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and carry on, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and we were on the wrong side of it this weekend,” he said.

“We probably played our best football of the whole year, but in the final third, we made decisions that weren’t correct, we hit the woodwork, beat the keeper, you name it, but football is a funny game, and sometimes the better team does not win.

“The guys played their hearts out, and it’s just unfortunate because we were playing some really nice football, and that was really pleasing. We just have to take it on the chin and move on.”

Cox said he couldn’t pick a man of the match because everyone played their hearts out, but he singled out teenager Sam Dale, who had an outstanding game after being called up from the club’s Local League division one team.

Villa next play fourth-placed North Wellington at home on Saturday in what Cox said will be the start of a vital period for their promotion prospects.

“We missed a chance to make a break from the group, so the next three weeks are really important for us because we play North Wellington this weekend, then Upper Hutt City away, and then league leaders Petone.

“It will be a telling three weeks, but I think we’ve still got a good chance of making promotion for finishing in the top two.”

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