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Magpies pay for defensive lapses

Oskar James challenges the North Wellington goalkeeper for the ball. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV


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Douglas Villa Magpies 3
North Wellington Thirds 6

Poor defence and individual mistakes led to Douglas Villa Magpies falling to their first home loss of the season in Capital division three.

Caleb Anstis scored two of the Magpies’ goals.

Saturday’s match at Park Sportsground started promisingly for the Magpies as they took an early two-goal lead through Caleb Anstis – the first was an outstanding strike from outside the box that curled into the top right-hand corner.

However, that was as good as it got, with coach Malcolm Cox rueing the overall decision-making of the home side.

“It was like going from one spectrum to another, thinking we’re on a good thing and then on Saturday we just lost everything,” he said.

“Simple mistakes cost us and missed chances. There were probably eight chances in the second half that should have been put away that weren’t, and defensively we were poor. It was embarrassing.”

North Wellington made Magpies pay and took a 4-2 lead. A penalty to Oskar James narrowed the gap to one goal, but further mistakes gifted the visitors two more goals – the last of which was the ultimate “coach-killer”, when the defensive wall at a freekick jumped up, and the ball rolled under the players and into the net.

Cox said that defence wasn’t just about four guys and a goalkeeper but the entire team’s responsibility.

“We will address the silly mistakes and poor decision-making.

“Our season is at a junction now that we need to get over quite quickly and sort it out by the weekend, against Upper Hutt, because the following week we have [league leaders] Petone.

“Hopefully, we can do something positive and hop back on the train.”

Magpies have slipped to fifth on 11 points, but they are only two points off North Wellington in second place.

Costly errors

Greytown 2

An own goal and two penalty decisions were the key factors in Saturday’s Capital division four game between Greytown Fresh Choice and their hosts Wainuiomata Reserves at Richard Prouse Park.

After dominating early, the visitors couldn’t find the right pass or finish, and it proved costly when Wainui took the lead through a penalty kick.

With the return of playmaker Angus Preston and two new signings – Harvey Parker and Jarrod MacDonald from Wairarapa United – Greytown looked a lot sharper than they had in previous weeks, and a MacDonald through ball found Preston, who levelled the score.

Another defensive lapse before halftime had Wainui take the lead into the break, but the visitors struck back early in the second stanza when MacDonald saw his long-range lob nestle in the back of the net.

But that momentum was lost minutes later when defender Kelvin Brown didn’t realise his keeper was coming out for a ball and put it in his own net to give the hosts a 3-2 lead which they never relinquished.

Greytown had a confident appeal for a penalty waved away when centreback Bill Reynolds was brought down in the box, then MacDonald spurned a late one-on-one chance to equalise.

For Greytown, Preston and MacDonald stood out, and his and Parker’s influence after coming back to the club will certainly benefit the team as the season progresses.

Greytown host Kapiti Coast United reserves at Soldiers Memorial Park this weekend.

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