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United given football lesson

Wairarapa United captain Daniel Allan outjumps the Olympic defence. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

10-goal rout a harsh lesson

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

If Wairarapa United started Saturday’s opening round of the Central League with any high expectations, they were given a brutal reality check in a 10-0 loss to Olympic.

United went into the match at Memorial Park with a new look and new philosophy, based around promising youth players from the Paul Ifill Academy, along with a core group of experienced players.

Olympic had strengthened their squad with prominent signings in the off-season but went into the game understrength, with several players in the Team Wellington side for Sunday’s National League final against Eastern Suburbs.

Both teams started brightly and showed early intent to attack, but it didn’t take long for Olympic to exert their dominance.

Former National League golden boot winner Tom Jackson took advantage of some slack marking from a free kick, opening the scoring with an easy header in the 10th minute.

Paul Ifill was unlucky not to equalise two minutes later when his shot from a very narrow angle just brushed the cross bar.

Possibly the highlight of the match for United came at the 20-minute mark after a penalty was awarded when United defender Connor Turton brought down the speedy Seth Ward with a clumsy challenge in the box.

Wairarapa United goalkeeper Brad Clarke brilliantly saves a penalty.

United goalkeeper, 16-year-old Brad Clarke did brilliantly, diving to his left to superbly save Birhanu Taye’s spot kick.

Unfortunately for United, Olympic doubled their lead from the second of two ensuing corners, from another looping header.

United continued to play positively with Ifill, Mark Hemi, who made some useful runs on the right flank, and Josh Rudland causing the Olympic defence some problems, and forcing a few corners.

But the further the game went, the more Olympic took control. They were rewarded with a third goal just before halftime, when for the third time United were caught out defending a set piece. Again the goal came from a simple header.

Olympic made it 4-0 five minutes into the second half when a poor clearance from Clarke went straight to George Barbarouses. He made a surging run into the box before crossing to Jackson for an easy tap-in goal.

Ward made it 5-0, after 65 minutes, with a superbly angled finish into the back corner of the net from the edge of the box.

United then probably had their best opportunities to get on the scoresheet. Ifill had a shot from 20m easily saved by former Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Keegan Smith. Rudland forced Keegan to make another good save after he beat the defensive line and had a one-on-one opportunity.

The last 18 minutes was all Olympic and the floodgates opened. They scored five goals, including a lobbed shot from 45m, when Clarke was caught off his line.

United showed plenty of endeavour and attempted to play an attractive attacking style of play but they were caught out with a lack of defensive organisation against set pieces.

Their their lack of experience told in the final quarter when Olympic upped the ante.

Meanwhile, the Wairarapa United women’s team are through to the final of the plate in the pre-season Kelly Cup.

Goals to 14-year-old Michelle Bgoni and Sydnie Williams gave United a 2-1 victory over Wellington United Sapphires.

United will play North Wellington in next weekend’s final.

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