Hamish Watson taking on an Olympic player the last time the two teams clashed. On Saturday he scored one of five goals in Wairarapa United’s big victory. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

JAKE BELESKI
jake.beleski@age.co.nz

Wairarapa United men’s coach Phil Keinzley may be tempted to never take off his lucky white jacket.

On the eve of Saturday’s crucial third round Chatham Cup knockout clash with Wellington Olympic, Keinzley’s wife reminded him of the role the jacket had played in their Chatham Cup victory in 2011.

He decided to bring the jacket out once again on Saturday, and it seemed to work wonders for his side as they cruised to a remarkable 5-0 victory.

Olympic had beaten United twice already this season in Central League action, but the form book was flipped on its head at Wakefield Park in Wellington.

First-half goals to Azariah Soromon and Paul Ifill ensured they went to the break with a decent buffer, but there was always a chance Olympic would hit back strongly in the second spell.

It wasn’t the case, however, as Ifill and Soromon both added one more each, and Hamish Watson also found the back of the net.

Keinzley said it was their best performance this season by quite some margin.

“They didn’t play badly, we just stepped up to the mark.

“The team shape and different positions worked well, and it was one of those games where you couldn’t pick a player of the match because everyone played well.”

Keinzley said it was only the second time in two years they had kept a clean sheet, and they couldn’t have picked a better time to do it.

Phil Keinzley and his lucky white jacket.

The white jacket may not have won them the match, but it’s likely Keinzley will wear it again for their next match.

“My wife reminded me that the year we won it I was wearing a white jacket all the time.

“The next two years, we won 14 games on the trot with it, and she reminded me it was sitting in the wardrobe so I told the guys I was bringing it along [on Saturday].

“It’s obviously a good omen.”

It remains a mystery as to why United don’t seem to be able to transfer their stellar Chatham Cup form into their Central League matches, but if they can win the knockout competition that will soon be forgotten.

“Everybody’s really disappointed in the way we’ve performed in the league.

“We know we haven’t done ourselves a service but I’m not too worried – our focus is now definitely on the Chatham Cup, and making sure we don’t put ourselves at risk of relegation in the Central League.”

Meanwhile, the United women’s team made it a double success for the club on Saturday, as they beat Upper Hutt City Football 2-0 to advance to the next round of Kate Sheppard Cup knockout matches.

Both United’s goals came in the first half courtesy of Meisha Boone.