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United leave it late

Annie Jones scored Wairarapa United’s winner with time almost up. PHOTOS/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

WOMEN

Wairarapa United 2
Seatoun 1

Annie Jones was the hero for Tumu Wairarapa United, scoring a 91st minute goal to earn her team a valuable 2-1 win over Seatoun Sea Shanties on Sunday.

Vanessa Taylor scored Wairarapa United’s opening goal.

Vanessa Taylor gave United the lead midway through the first half at Trust House Memorial Park, before Seatoun drew level early in the second stanza.

The match looked headed to a draw, until Jones pounced and scored the winner to give United their second victory of the Wellington Women’s First Division Second Round Championship.

United coach Radha McGlashan said it was a good result, given the sickness that has gone through the team, and severely impacted trainings.

“There’s still so much sickness going around and over half the team are still sick,” McGlashan said.

“Considering all the sickness I think we did pretty good, because we had girls pull out on the morning because they were too sick to play.”

McGlashan felt Seatoun, who were promoted from division two for the second half the season, were worthy opponents.

“Seatoun took us a little bit by surprise because they were a young team, but they were strong on the ball and also played with the ball and not just kicked it from one end of the field to the other. But it was good to see our young girls standing their ground.”

United remain at the top the championship standings, but face one of the sternest challenges this Sunday, away to Wellington United Opals.

Petone Reserves 9
Douglas Villa Magpies 0

Douglas Villa Magpies dropped to the bottom of Capital Division Two after being outclassed 9-0 by a polished Petone Reserves at Petone Memorial Park on Saturday.

Magpies were never in the hunt, conceding six first-half goals, and although they started the second half better, Petone’s dominance of possession told with three late goals severely damaging Magpies’ goal difference.

Manager Nathan Cottle felt that Petone were up there with the best teams that the Magpies have played in recent years, saying they were just too good, well-coached, and too fast.

“They were a very different side than last time when we lost 3-1 at home, and they weren’t as young and there were a couple of older guys who really gelled them,” said Cottle.

“It was pretty clear in the first half that we were going to be under the pump the whole game, and it was 6-0 at halftime and we were in damage control.”

Cottle said the team must wear the loss on the chin and focus on the remaining games starting with this Saturday’s home game against Stokes Valley, who thumped Magpies 7-2 in the first round.

“The mood is still good in the camp. We are light on numbers, but we’ve had that all year so we’re just dealing with it, and we’ve just got to move on.

“If we can get a couple of wins, we could jump right up to fifth. We are rooted at the bottom of the table, but we are only a win or two from getting out of danger, and we do have four or five of our last six games against teams around us, so that’s a positive.”

Only three points separate fifth placed Seatoun on 13 points and Magpies on 10 points, with four other teams on 11 or 12 points.

However, Magpies’ woeful goal difference of minus 20 – equal worst with Island Bay Seagulls – could come back to haunt them if they are locked together with another team in the relegation zone at the end of the season.

Greytown 3
Western Suburbs 0

Isaac Higgins was one of the young Greytown players to stand out against Western Suburbs.

Confidence is high in the Greytown Fresh Choice squad after the team’s 3-0 defeat of Western Suburbs at Soldiers Memorial Park on Saturday.

Goals to Waisake Sabutu, with a header at the back post after 15 minutes, player of the day Jarrod MacDonald – a late in first half from the edge of box, and a second to MacDonald in the final quarter after a superb passing movement through the field, sealed their seventh victory, and kept them firmly in second place and on target for promotion from Capital Division Four.

However, most pleasing for coach Gary Hewson was the defensive effort, keeping a clean sheet for the second consecutive game.

“That kind of mental toughness is starting to shine through now,” said Hewson.

“The spirit in the team is really coming through now and you can see that. The one thing I really like is the composure on the ball in all the positions, which is what we’ve been striving for.

“We want to play football all over the pitch not just the midfield and up front, and that has shone through in the last couple of weeks.”

Hewson said a lot of confidence has come from the hard work done on the team structure, and the players having more clarity on their roles, as well as the increasingly stronger contributions of the team’s young players such as Ryan Butler, Max Mitchell, and Isaac Higgins.

Greytown face a crucial clash on Saturday, their last trip to Wellington for the season, against third-placed Island Bay JJ’s, who sit three points behind Greytown.

Wellington United Reserves 4 
Masterton Athletic 1

Progressive Engineering Masterton Athletic coach Stu McLean was proud of his team’s effort in going down 4-1 to runaway Capital Division Four leaders Wellington United at Newtown Park.

McLean said Athletic started strongly and had two or three good opportunities to take an early lead, only to be denied by the outstanding Wellington goalkeeper.

The home side did break the deadlock midway through the first half and doubled the lead close to halftime.

A third goal from the penalty spot early in the second half gave Wellington a handy cushion, but Athletic showed their fighting qualities to come back and score through Brodie Palmer, which McLean said rattled their unbeaten opponents.

“We had them running ragged, they were arguing among themselves, and the coach was losing it. I was proud of the effort we put in and we pushed them hard,” McLean said.

“We created plenty of chances and their man of the match was their goalkeeper, which says it all.”

Athletic’s man of the match was Landon Palmer, who McLean said had an outstanding game in midfield.

Athletic next host Victoria University Raiders in a must-win game at Hullena Park on Saturday.

“We owe them big time for the loss [2-1] we had down there, so it’s all hands to the pump this weekend. We’re sitting mid-table and I think we can go up a couple of spots over the next couple of weeks, if we keep playing how we’ve been playing,” said McLean.

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