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Soft goals costly for Greytown

Naenae 3
Greytown 2

Greyfriars Motel Greytown’s mid-season slump continued with their third consecutive loss, going down to a resurgent Naenae away.

After going unbeaten through the first nine games and leading Capital Division Three, Greytown have lost to Wellington United, Petone Under 20s, and Naenae and have slipped to second in the championship standings.

The Naenae side that took the field on Saturday bore little resemblance to the team beaten 8-0 when the two met in the opening round of the league in April, with the inclusion of some players Greytown coach Phil Keinzley believed are good enough to play Central League.

Greytown started the better, taking the lead with a goal to Andy Traill after five minutes, but two soft goals, one from a goalkeeper error and the other from a corner kick when an attacking was given a free run and chested the ball into the net gave Naenae the lead.

Captain Jarrod MacDonald made it 2-2 at halftime before Naenae snatched the winner midway through the second half.

Although pleased with the way his team played, Keinzley was frustrated with their defensive frailties.

“We did play really well but conceded two really soft goals, and that has been a problem for us all season, but it has been camouflaged by the amount of goals we’ve been scoring, and our defence has been a big problem, and we’ve got youngsters filling in there without experience,” Keinzley said.

“It was a big improvement on the previous two games, but we’re getting really exposed with the lack of depth.”

Greytown’s defensive woes haven’t been helped by an ever-increasing injury list, with Harvey Parker, Josh Thompson, and Will Newton joining former Wairarapa United defender Waisake Sabutu on the sidelines.

Naenae goalkeeper Shaun Gillespie was named player of the match by both teams, with Keinzley saying, “he was the best player on the field, and he saved a hell of a lot of shots that other keepers wouldn’t.”

Greytown will return to Soldiers’ Memorial Park on Saturday for a must-win clash against sixth-placed Victoria University Accies.

Tumu Douglas Villa’s Capital Division Two fixture against Lower Hutt City was postponed because of the closure of the Park Sports Ground.

Wairarapa United finished midtable after the first round of the Wellington Women’s Division One competition.

In their final match of the round, United continued their improvement with a 2-2 with third-placed Seatoun to finish sixth at the halfway stage of the season.

United will play Island Bay Makos away in the first game of the second round 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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