Wests lose to league lead­ers

Kapi-Mana News - - CLASSIFIEDS - KRIS DANDO

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.

PHOTO: SHANE BILDERBECK

Nando Pi­j­naker looks to hold off a Napier City Rovers player on Satur­day at En­deav­our Park.

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