For the second weekend in a row, conceding a late goal has cost Te Puke United points.

The previous week West Hamilton salvaged a draw with a goal at the death, and on Saturday, Tauranga Blue Rovers snatched a last-gasp winner, consigning Te Puke to a 3-2 defeat.

Safer Team Te Puke United had travelled to Pemberton Park to take on Blue Rovers, with both teams coming off disappointing results the previous weekend, Rovers having suffered a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Taupō.

The first 45 minutes were quite a dour affair. Both teams couldn't settle, United playing into the breeze were slightly on top but it was Rovers who somehow found the opening goal, scoring in the 34th minute through Alex Elliott, putting United under pressure to equalise.


Elliott, however, had other ideas, scoring his second from a corner before the break.

Not defending corners well has been one of the causes of United's downfall this season.

At the start of the second 45 minutes United pushed forward with a bit more purpose and found a goal 12 minutes in from a well timed right-foot volley by Matthew Morison.

This spurred the away side into action and they got the goal they wanted in the 38th minute through hard-working forward Santiago, who just beat the 'keeper to a through ball and lobbed it over his outstretched arms and into an empty goal.

A draw wasn't what coach Shaun McIlwaine really wanted, but it would have done.

However, it wasn't to be and Te Puke's failings at the back end of games came home to haunt them again, with the Black and Whites failing to clear from a throw-in to allow Olly Tilley to score the winner.

Indian Roots player of the day was Santiago for his tireless work up front.

The task of avoiding last place in the division is now even harder, with just five games to go - two of which are against to-four sides.


This Saturday, Te Puke are at home to the equally struggling Te Awamutu and winning is a must. Kick-off is 2.45pm.

Shining lights

Te Puke United Ladies have been the shining light for the football club this season, playing some enterprising football week-in week-out and the side sit firmly in second place in the league standings.

On Sunday they were at home to Edgecumbe's Plains Rangers, who sat second-to-bottom in the Bay of Plenty Women's League.

United started where they left of the previous week - full of attacking play, moving the visitors all around the park - and they nearly took the lead after two minutes.

It wasn't long tbefore they did find the opening goal, and just on 15 minutes Sammie Parish fired home the first of what was to be a four-goal haul.

She soon made it 2-0 and had a hat trick before the break.

Plains Rangers had opportunities early in the second half but the combination of solid defence and good goalkeeping kept them scoreless.

The central midfield pairing of Ashley Weld and Kelly Phipps were in total control and it wasn't long before more goals came the Black and Whites' way. Parish got her fourth after a real team goal, then Phipps got her third in as many weeks.

Two more goals were added by youngsters Boh Harris, who was Anann player of the day, and Ellie Hansen.

This weekend the team travel to Taupō to take on the out-of-reach league leaders, kick-off 12.30pm Sunday.