Wests back from brink

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Western Sub­urbs’ coach Lloyd O’keefe de­clared him­self ‘‘ rel­a­tively happy’’ af­ter his side’s 1-1 draw with Mi­ra­mar Rangers on Satur­day, a re­sult that leaves them third in the Cen­tral League.

Fol­low­ing a 3- 1 loss to Wairarapa Utd on An­zac Day – where Wests missed a host of chances to kill the game off – it didn’t look like things were get­ting bet­ter in the first half against Rangers at En­deav­our Park.

‘‘ They re­ally came at us, dom­i­nated the first half and to be hon­est, we were dread­ful. But we got back into it and I was pleased to get a draw,’’ O’keefe says.

The Wairarapa loss hurt O’keefe, as the Chatham Cup cham­pi­ons were shorn of their stars and he felt they were there for the tak­ing.

‘‘We should have had that game in the bag, we ex­ploited some of their weak­nesses but didn’t make it count. It was very dis­ap­point­ing and I think there was a hang­over in the first half against Mi­ra­mar.’’

O’keefe says the two wins-one loss-one draw start is good, how­ever, with English im­port Martin Cole­man likely to prove his worth once he re­cov­ers from an in­jury. Two play­ers from the USA and one other sign­ing will fur­ther strengthen their squad in the com­ing weeks.

This Satur­day they travel to Me­mo­rial Park to take on a Pe­tone side that are ‘‘track­ing nicely’’, O’keefe says.

Tawa, mean­while, could not fol­low up their im­pres­sive 3-1 An­zac Day win over Rangers, los­ing 4-0 away to Napier City Rovers on Sun­day.

They host Wairarapa at Red­wood on Satur­day.

De­fen­sive leader: Wests’ cen­tral de­fender Trent Wat­son took some stick from the Wairarapa fans dur­ing their match on An­zac Day, but his coach Lloyd O’keefe says Wat­son is an ‘‘im­mense’’ player for their team.

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