Football's back and it's been a great start to the 2021 campaign for Te Puke United.
The Litt Park-based side couldn't have had a much better first game, beating Ngāruawāhia 5-2 at home on Saturday.
Playing in the WaiBOP Championship, Te Puke created the ideal platform when Jindrich Hahn gave the home side the lead with the game just five minutes old.
Te Puke's good start continued with pressure paying off as Viktor Nielsen headed in from an Ethan Ramsey free kick in the 21st minute.
After controlling the first quarter of the game and with a 2-0 lead, the hosts relaxed a little and let Ngāruawāhia back into it, keeper Ben Day being beaten to his right by a well-placed shot with 10 minutes of the half remaining.
Any thoughts of playing out the half holding on to a one-goal lead were dispelled as Te Puke went back on the attack. The dangerous-looking Hahn grabbed his second to restore the two-goal advantage as the first half ended.
Ngāruawāhia came out firing in the second half, with Te Puke doing well to hold on for 15 minutes before the pressure told and the visitors converted a corner with a well-placed header.
Tiring players and injuries saw the introduction of coach Santiago Curi and assistant Marc Duffy. The move brought a swift result with Duffy scored within two minutes, using his strength to break through and managing to get a shot in despite being on his way to the ground.
The two-goal lead restored, Te Puke's confidence returned and the last 20 minutes of pressure was rewarded with just one minute to go when Duffy got his second after some good teamwork in the lead-up.
The three points and winning margin put Te Puke second on the early-season table, behind Ōtumoetai.
Hahn was named player of the day for his two goals in his first game for the club.
The second game of the season sees Te Puke make the short trip to Waipuna Park in Tauranga to take on Tauranga Old Blues in a match that kicks off at 2.45pm.