Wests lose to league leaders
Western Suburbs were punished early, but nearly stole a win from Napier City Rovers in the top-ofthe-table Central League clash on Saturday.
In front of a good crowd at Endeavour Park, Rovers showed why they are the defending cham- pions with an imperious football display in the first half.
With the wind behind them, they pushed the younger Wests team high, bossed the midfield and took advantage of lapses in the home side’s defence to take a deserved 2-0 lead into the break.
However, the second half was a different story, as Wests gained control. Goals from Noah Billingsley took the score to 2-1, and then again closed the gap to 3-2, but Napier held on for the three points.
Wests coach Declan Edge said his side did not handle the pressure from Rovers in the first spell, but were the much better side in the second.
‘‘Once we settled, we dominated the match,’’ he said. ‘‘We got back into it and entertained the spectators with some good football, doing what we do. Napier are top for a reason. We’ve been improving as the season goes on, so I’m happy.’’
The result drops Wests to fourth in the table, five points behind Rovers, and with a trip to second-placed Miramar to come this Saturday.
Nando Pijnaker looks to hold off a Napier City Rovers player on Saturday at Endeavour Park.