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No panic over Wai Utd losses

Daniell Allan [green] missed the pre-season loss to Nelson Suburbs. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Coach Phil Keinzley is not pushing the panic button after Wairarapa United stumbled to their second consecutive pre-season loss on Wednesday night.

United went down 3-0 to Lower Hutt City in the second round of the Hilton Petone Cup at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt. That followed a 3-1 loss to Nelson Suburbs last Saturday.

Keinzley felt that silly mistakes cost United in both games.

“They’re all fixable things, and the games are doing what we want – exposing issues that need to be worked on,” he said.

“I haven’t been able to put the same team out, and I haven’t been able to do a training since we went away to Nelson last weekend, and we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.”

United dominated the first half against Nelson Suburbs and took a 1-0 lead into halftime, courtesy of a Paul Ifill goal from the penalty spot.

In the second half, Keinzley said that the home side’s more advanced pre-season training gave them the advantage.

“In the first 45 minutes, we were the better team, and in the second-half, a few injuries crept in and we lost our shape a bit.

“I’m trying players in different positions, trying different things out, whereas Nelson start their competition in a week’s time, and they were probably firing on all cylinders.”

Again, on Wednesday night, United started brightly and dominated the first of the three 30-minute periods before niggling injuries and some positional changes saw them lose shape.

United have been without their two National League players – French midfielder Hugo Delhommelle and goalkeeper Scott Morris – for all three pre-season games played so far, while Ifill and defender Daniel Allan missed the Lower Hutt game.

United can progress to the Hilton Petone Cup’s knockout phase with victory in their third round-robin game today against Capital Premier Division team Seatoun at Petone Memorial Park.

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