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Two losses and a frustrating draw

Veteran Seule Soromon was one of several key players missing for Douglas Villa Magpies. PHOTO/FILE


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Wellington Marist 3
Douglas Villa Magpies 0

An understrength Douglas Villa Magpies were no match for Wellington Marist at Evan’s Bay Park falling to their second loss in three games in Capital Division Two.

Magpies had several defections, which included former Vanuatu international Seule Soromon, midfielder Marcus Logan, goalkeeper Jared Watt, and suspended captain Kurtis Paine.

That forced coach Malcolm Cox to give some of the team’s promising young players extended game time.

“It was time for the young guns to have their chance, and it gives us a look at them,” said Cox, who said the inexperienced players served the team well.

“It was a chance for them to feel the pressures of being in the midfield and up front, and you’ve got to give these guys a chance; they’re not going to learn things on the bench all the time.

“Marist played well, and they did their job, and we weren’t up to par, but having said that I was impressed with effort many of them put in.”

Among them were Jayden Fennell, and man of the match Andrew Cox, who he commended for his work rate, his top-notch touches on the ball and his tenacity to go into challenges on his much bigger opponent in midfield for Marist.

Marist took early control of the match scoring after three minutes and doubling their lead just before halftime.

Magpies lifted their effort in the second half, but a third goal after 60 minutes wrapped up three points for the home side.

Magpies are at home to Seatoun on Saturday, in what Cox said is a must-win game with both teams on one point near the bottom of the table.

Wellington Marist Res 4
Masterton Athletic 2

Progressive Engineering Masterton Athletic coach Stu McLean was frustrated after the team’s first encounter with a club-based referee in their loss to Marist on Saturday.

McLean felt Athletic should have won Capital Division Four clash at Kilbirnie Park, only to be denied by some infuriating officiating from the Marist player-referee.

Top of the list was an early Athletic goal – an own goal by a Marist player – being ruled out for offside.

The home side then took control, scoring three first-half goals, including a contentious penalty, awarded by the referee from 60m away.

McLean said the controversy of the first 40 minutes fired up his team for the second half.

“We came out and stuck it to them big time, and we won the second half 2-1,” McLean said.

“We were all over them and in another five minutes we would have got another one easy. We had shots cleared off the line by the goalkeeper and we had them under the cosh, and it was a great performance from the boys.”

Striker Travis Booth scored both of Athletic’s goals, including one from the penalty spot.

Athletic face a must-win game at Hullena Park on Saturday against Island Bay United JJ’s, who, like Athletic, have yet to register a competition point.

Petone Stonecutters 2
Greytown 2

“Frustration” was also the predominant thought of Greytown Fresh Choice coach Gary Hewson and his players after being held to a draw by the unbeaten Petone Stonecutters at Petone’s Memorial Park on Saturday.

Greytown got off to a flying start when a cross from rampaging fullback Max Mitchell was deflected into Petone’s goal by one of their defenders after just 60 seconds, the first time the hosts had conceded in the season.

The visitors threatened more goals in the opening half, but were thwarted by a packed Petone defence, who managed to break away midway through the spell to level the score which stood till half time.

Two of Greytown’s halftime changes made an almost immediate impact as 10 minutes into the second spell, great lead-up work by Luke Rodger and Liam Gale set up prolific scorer Jarrod MacDonald to give them the lead.

Greytown then threatened to blow the game open but couldn’t finish off a host of chances after good build-up work and were left frustrated when Petone scored on one of their few breakaways to level the game at 2-2.

Again and again fullbacks Mitchell and man of the match Ryan Butler tormented Petone out wide, but with a defensive set-up that held out into the last quarter of an hour to salvage a point.

Veteran Andy Traill once again proved his worth in the middle of the park with plenty of industry and he was well supported going forward by Isaac Higgins and Alex Penman out wide with

Rodger and Gale showing that even at a young age, they can influence games at this level, while in goal, James Frickleton kept his side in it with two flying saves, one in each half.

With Soldiers Memorial Park nearly ready for games, Greytown have yet another trip into the capital this Saturday to play Victoria University Raiders at Boyd Wilson Turf.

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