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United alone at the top

Darby Lambert [right] starred with a hat-trick. PHOTO/FILE


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Victoria University 2
Wairarapa United 7

Tumu ITM Wairarapa United are in the box seat in the W-League after their win over Victoria University and other results going their way.

United were always expected to beat Victoria, who are sixth in the seven-team league, but previous joint leaders Wellington United Diamonds and Palmerston North Marist were surprisingly

Diamonds went down 1-3 to the improving Waterside-Karori, and Marist conceded a goal in added time to lose 2-3 to Petone. The leaves United alone at the top, three points clear of Diamonds and Marist, and with their destiny in their own hands.

Hat-trick hero striker Darby Lambert gave United the lead after 17 minutes at Boyd Wilson Park, only for Victoria to equalise a minute later.

Further goals to Samoan international striker TJ Lyne-Lewis, midfielder Kennedy Bryant, and a second to Lambert gave United a 4-2 halftime lead, but coach Paul Ifill wasn’t happy with the

“We weren’t great up until halftime, and then we heard that the scores are going our way, so I said to the girls this is a massive opportunity for us to open up a gap, and we were really good in the second half,” he said.

“We had been playing too long on their small pitch, so I told the team to keep the ball, and we played some really good stuff, and the girls were playing with smiles on their faces and put their chances away.”

Lambert completed her hat-trick, Bryant added a second goal, and Emma Megchelse found the back of the net. Molly Woodhead was again outstanding and controlled the play from the centre of defence.

United will have a break from the W-League next weekend to play Victoria again, this time in the Kate Sheppard knockout cup.


Petone 0
Wairarapa United 1

“Good result, but we played as bad as we have all season.”

That was the view of Trust House Wairarapa United coach Phil Keinzley after the side’s scrappy away win over Petone in the Central League.

United went into the game having conceded 17 goals in the past four games, but the defence stepped up to the plate and denied the home side all but one goal-scoring opportunity.

United had few chances themselves but did break the deadlock with the only goal of the game in the 66th minute through Golden Boot leader Jared Cunniff, his 14th goal in the league.

Keinzley said: “The only positive is that it was the first time that our defence has won the game for us. We had about four clear cut chances, and they had one, so our defence did a real good job.”

United suffered a blow in the first half when midfielder Matt Tod-Smith dislocated his knee and had to leave the field, however, Keinzley said it is not a serious injury.

The win lifted United to fourth in the league. They have next weekend off with the next round of Chatham Cup before meeting Western Suburbs in what could be a season-defining match on Sunday, June 26.

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