Soccer: No belting second time round

By Ben Guild

Tauranga City United's second team battled to a well-earned draw against the fast-finishing Old Blues in a Federation One showdown at Wharapei Domain on Saturday.

Old Blues thumped their cross-town rivals the last time the sides met, but that was not going to happen this time.

The visitors opened the scoring in just the second minute courtesy of an uncontested header from Luke Wately, before going on to dominate the rest of the half.

City seemed to have more players around the ball at both ends of the field, and could easily have been as many as three goals up at the half had it not been for some sloppy finishing and, at times, a wicked bounce.

By comparison, Old Blues looked sluggish. But with a new half came a change in fortune, and the momentum was suddenly with Old Blues.

Mike Barton levelled the match in the second minute with a double header from a free kick, and with Reuben Wood skinning his opposite at will down the right-hand flank, Old Blues looked to have the better of the game. However, they could not force home the advantage, so had to settle for the draw despite a number of corners, balls hitting the wood-work, and goal-line scrambles.

City largely have top team regular, Simeon Clarke, to thank for the 1-1 result, after the young goalkeeper pulled off a number of fantastic saves in the closing stages.

Old Blues 1st XI 1 (Mike Barton) Tauranga City United 2nd XI 1 (Luke Wately).

- Bay of Plenty Times

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