Soccer: Hosts live up to billing

By Anendra Singh


No arguments from coach Dion Adams here.

Wairarapa United were always expected to win Saturday's Central League soccer encounter against his last-placed Cru Bar Maycenvale United side in Carterton.

"We were always behind," Adams said after striker Joachim Rande put some respectability into Maycenvale's defeat to second-placed Wairarapa with two goals.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Solomon Islander scored from a penalty kick and followed that up with what Adams described as a "screamer".

Lanky centreback Waisake Sabatu scored twice from headers for the hosts with fellow former Fijian international Pita Rabo and Kinectic Electrical Hawke's Bay United midfielder Adam Cowan claiming one each as Wairarapa regained the top rung of the league ladder.

What Adams dreaded before the game was the condition of Howard Booth Park and, no doubt, his fears were vindicated.

"It's a terrible park. It was simply a mud bath," he said, adding the shocking state of the ground and the substandard facilities contributed to the scrappy affair.

"For one of the best teams in the country it's pretty poor," he said of the Phil Keinzley-coached Wairarapa who have lodged an entry with New Zealand Football to compete in the ASB Premiership (national summer league).

"They have a fairly long way to get into the NZFC."

Adams started with seven under-20 players in his starting line-up on Saturday, reinforcing the Hastings club's philosophy of one day fielding home-grown talent at an elite level.

Caught in an impasse with Hawke's Bay Today after their 1-0 defeat to Bluewater Napier City Rovers in round four of their Chatham Cup match here, Wairarapa coach Phil Keinzley has demanded an apology from HB Today for criticising their lack of commitment to the media while coming to terms with the loss as defending champions soon after the June 24 game.

However, Wairarapa Times reporter Gary Caffell reported Wairarapa's celebrations were somewhat muted after skipper/centre-mid Nathan Cooksley picked up his fifth yellow card and possibly an injured James Oxtoby would miss this weekend's game against defending league champions and Miramar Rangers who were out of the cup campaign with a 5-0 drubbing to Central United yesterday.

Wairarapa found more traction in the second spell.

"We probably could have scored four or five more goals had we put even half our decent chances away," Keinzley said.

"We played a lot of the game in their territory but we struggled to get the ball in the back of the net and that meant they were never out of it.

"It wasn't a comfortable win by any means."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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