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TJ bags four in United’s big win

Samoan international TJ Lyne-Lewis [right] scored four goals in Wairarapa United’s big win. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

FOOTBALL

Wairarapa United 6
Victoria University 2

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Samoan international TJ Lyne-Lewis was the toast of Tumu ITM Wairarapa United with a four-goal haul in their W-League triumph over Victoria University at Trust House Memorial Park on Saturday.

United were hot favourites to beat newly-promoted Victoria. It didn’t take long for them to open the scoring with Lyne-Lewis running on to a through ball and easily beat goalkeeper Laurel Smith in the ninth minute.

Darby Lambert added the second goal in a goal-line scramble, and Sydnie Williams chipped Smith to give the home side a 3-0 lead at the break.

The second half belonged to Lyne-Lewis, and the 25-year-old took full advantage of the space created by the hardworking midfield of Kennedy Bryant and Kelsi Rutene, with goals in the 50th and 69th minute to complete her hat-trick. She then added a fourth from the penalty spot.

Lyne-Lewis was thrilled with the four goals but was quick to deflect focus to her team-mates.

“I think the majority of them were team goals, so I’m pretty happy, considering we haven’t been together very long,” she said.

“We’ve been working really hard at training, getting our combinations right, and we’ve got some new players and I’ve just transferred to this club, so getting those combinations and building that cohesion, it’s pretty exciting to show it on the field.”

United coach Paul Ifill was happy to get the points on the board and liked what he saw from his new recruit.

“TJ has fitted in straight away and the players are starting to understand the movements she makes and the space you get because of that for Darby and Sydnie, and Sam Whyte when she’s playing, and we’re getting players in the box like Kelsi and Kennedy, who are always hungry for a goal,” Ifill said.

However, he warned the team would need to improve further to be a league contender.

“I think we’re fine going forward, but we need to work a little bit defensively but not just the back four, the whole team, and I think we get caught a little too easily in transition, and that’s something we’ve been working on the last few weeks and it is getting better,” he said.

“Communication is the big one, and most of the time it’s coming from me on the sideline, but it needs to come from the players, and that has stepped up but needs to step up again.”

Victoria did have their moments scoring two goals, to Georgia Moore and Megan Watkins.

Player of the day was midfielder Bryant, who was a constant threat with ball, while captain Tui Dugan impressed playing in the accustomed fullback role.

“Ken ran the game from midfield, she was everywhere, and I know Tui hates playing in the back four, but I had to put her in there, and I thought she was brilliant,” Ifill said.

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