Wan­der­ers share points

Hamilton News - - SPORT - Tom Row­land

After two sea­sons of rel­e­ga­tion bat­tles, Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers came back in the 2018 sea­son with re­newed en­ergy un­der the eyes of coach Kale Her­bert.

Her­bert, son of for­mer All Whites coach Riki Her­bert, was ap­pointed after pre­vi­ous coaches Michael Built and Juan Ro­man de­parted for dif­fer­ent ven­tures in the off sea­son.

Kale set about im­ple­ment­ing his own style of foot­ball at the club, and on Satur­day, he wrapped up his first sea­son in charge with a 2-2 draw against the 2018 cham­pi­ons O¯ ne­hunga Sports FC.

It was once again Tommy Semmy at the end of every­thing good for Wan­der­ers. The striker has been in strong form for the club since join­ing in the sum­mer of 2017, and caused O¯ ne­hunga’s de­fence some early prob­lems.

In the 18th minute, O¯ ne­hunga found the open­ing goal. Calvin Op­per­man from the right wing whipped in a dan­ger­ous cross, and pres­sure from Ross Hav­i­land forced Wan­der­ers de­fender Joseph Not­tage to head the ball back into his own net.

The game con­tin­ued to be played at blis­ter­ing pace as a cross from Boyd Curry missed the head of An­drew Milne by inches.

In the 37th minute Sean Love­more dou­bled O¯ ne­hunga’s lead with a shot that curled past the out­stretched hands of Wan­der­ers keeper Matt Oliver.

In the sec­ond half Wan­der­ers be­gan to push O¯ ne­hunga back in search of a goal, and in the 54th minute their hard work paid off.

Semmy was played through on goal and with del­i­cate ball con­trol, beat keeper Lewis Caunter and found the back of the net.

Caunter had to be on his toes again com­ing out of his box to stop Semmy from lev­el­ling the game.

A free kick from Milne in the 78th minute caused prob­lems for the Wan­der­ers back­line, as Max Mata con­nected with the ball but couldn’t find the tar­get.

As the min­utes ticked down both teams were search­ing for a goal to set­tle the game, and it was Wan­der­ers who had the last say.

In the 87th minute, Semmy used his pace to beat the One­hunga ¯ de­fence be­fore pow­er­ing a shot into the bot­tom left corner lev­el­ling the game at 2-2.

The re­sult of the game had no im­pact on the ta­ble, as O¯ ne­hunga had been crowned cham­pi­ons in a mid­week fix­ture against East Coast Bays, but Wan­der­ers can take heart from the im­proved away re­sult.

Wan­der­ers fo­cus will now shift to pre­par­ing their sum­mer league squad, with the ISPS Handa Premier League to kick off in mid Oc­to­ber.

Photo / Grant Stan­tiall

Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers head coach Kale Her­bert.

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