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Win, loss, draw, and Athletic’s coach quits

 

Will Syben scored Douglas Villa’s third goal in the win over Island Bay. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL
CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Island Bay United Seagulls 0
Douglas Villa Magpies 3

Douglas Villa Magpies grabbed a vital three points with a dominant 3-0 away win over Island Bay United Seagulls at Wakefield Park on Saturday.

An own goal, deflected from a Josh McMenamin header after 40 minutes put the Magpies 1-0 up at halftime. McMenamin doubled the lead two minutes into the second stanza, and Willy Syben was rewarded for a busy game when he sealed the three points with the third goal after 78 minutes.

Magpies’ manager Nathan Cottle said it was an outstanding result given that the side were hit with injury and illness, leaving them with only a squad of 13 players.

“We wanted it, and we dominated in most aspects, and it was really pleasing,” Cottle said.

“It was a real team performance, and the boys were buzzing afterwards.”

Cottle said that Mark Sprowson, McMenamin, and Chris Cox had excellent games.

The win moved Magpies to sixth in the Capital division two standings on 16 points. With only five points covering fifth to 10th on the congested points table, and with the bottom two to be relegated and the potential for another two to face the drop, the Masterton-based are still not safe.

“It’s not job done, and we’re four points off the bottom two — but those teams play each other, so who knows what will happen,” said Cottle

Magpies face a daunting challenge on Saturday at home to second-paced Wellington Marist, who are only four points off the lead with two games in hand.

Western Suburbs 2
Masterton Athletic 1

A player revolt has led to Progressive Engineering Masterton Athletic coach Stu McLean relinquishing the role after his side’s 1-2 away loss to Western Suburbs on Saturday.

McLean intended to stand down at the end of the season after six years coaching the side, a stint which culminated in the team winning promotion to Capital division four last year. He was approached on Sunday by some senior players, who asked him to step aside for the team’s benefit.

McLean said the players gave various reasons for wanting him to stand down, including some players not getting enough game time, players not liking his preferred 5-3-2 formation, and wanting to play 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, as well as claiming he was dictatorial.

Under McLean’s coaching, Athletic had recovered from losing their first four games of the season to winning seven games and sitting comfortably in mid-table on 21 points.

He is uncertain what the team will do for the remaining four games but understands an interim coach, possibly a senior player, will take over the role.

A Masterton AFC life member, McLean will now focus on earning his goalkeeping coaching qualification.

Athletic had their opportunity to take a point from Saturday’s game. Wests had taken the lead after 20 minutes, and Athletic equalised with 10 minutes to play, but a lack of concentration from the kick-off ended with the home side scoring and taking the three points.

Athletic are home to Wellington Marist Reserves on Saturday.

The Greytown Fresh Choice match with Upper Hutt City was deferred because of covid-19 in the Upper Hutt camp. Second-placed Greytown have a vital home game against third-placed Petone Stonecutters on Saturday.

Wairarapa United 0
Tawa 0

Tumu Wairarapa United slipped to third in the Wellington women’s division one championship after a disappointing scoreless draw with Tawa at Trust House Memorial Park.

Coach Radha McGlashan said United dominated possession but couldn’t score.

“In the first half, we weren’t playing our game and we were a bit flustered, and we just didn’t seem to on track, and we picked it up in the second half and got our rhythm back and it was way better, but we just couldn’t put one in the back of the net.”

United share the lead on 10 points with Wellington United Opals and Petone, who both have a better goal difference and have a game in hand. United are away to Lower Hutt City on Sunday.

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