Team need to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

WaiBop United got a slap in the face from the harsh re­al­ity of topflight foot­ball in Cam­bridge on Satur­day.

De­spite hav­ing the up­per hand in their ASB Premier­ship match against Hawke’s Bay United, the hosts con­ceded two late goals to go down 2-0.

It was the sec­ond de­feat on the trot for coach Peter Smith’s side, and while the new fran­chise has done im­pres­sively in all three out­ings to date against higher- rated op­po­nents, they’ll want to fig­ure out how to turn ku­dos into points.

Tak­ing their chances in front of goal will be one so­lu­tion; stop­ping their ri­vals net­ting when­ever they have a sniff, another.

‘‘ You cre­ate

the chances, you’ve got to stick them away,’’ Smith ac­knowl­edged the 90 min­utes of wor­thy toil un­der the sap­ping sun at John Kerkhof Park went un­re­warded.

‘‘ They had two chances in the sec­ond half, and the sec­ond one was a very frus­trat­ing one where we just went to sleep, very sloppy. At this level you have to take your chances – th­ese things come back and haunt you.’’

The first half was chiefly dom­i­nated by the de­fend­ers on both sides. The clos­est any­one came to a goal was a dip­ping 35m strike from WaiBop mid­fielder Masaki No­moto that only nar­rowly cleared the cross­bar.

WaiBop ramped up the pres­sure early in the sec­ond spell and looked to have pos­si­bly taken the lead af­ter 54 min­utes.

Shay­don Young cre­ated room for a shot that Hawke’s Bay goal­keeper Matt Gould did well to parry but when Young re­turned the ball into the box for striker Mi­los Nikolic, his ef­fort ap­peared to have crossed the goalline be­fore Aaron Jones cleared it, but the of­fi­cials felt oth­er­wise.

Hawke’s Bay brought on sub­sti­tute Nathan Haile­mariam with 22 min­utes left and the un­pre­pos­sess­ing winger turned the match three min­utes later.

He es­caped down the left flank pass­ing Aaron Scott and Tyler Lis­sette to set up tidy mid­fielder Sean Mor­ris to side-foot home.

The visi­tors wrapped up the re­sult against a down­cast home side with five min­utes left when Mor­ris re­ceived a short cor­ner and crossed for To­mas Mos­quera to net with a div­ing header.

‘‘At this level, you’ve got to make your tack­les too,’’ Smith said of the rare lapses at the back.

‘‘As a team we played rel­a­tively well. It’s not through a lack of ef­fort; they worked their butts off and I can’t fault them for their ef­fort.

‘‘ You need a bit of luck but you also cre­ate your own luck.’’

The cen­tral de­fen­sive duo of Lis­sette and Takahiro Yokota were again the pick of the WaiBop play­ers, while Nikolic was also at the hub of most of the hosts’ cre­ative at­tempts as they couldn’t find the cut­ting edge.

‘‘We’re try­ing to walk the ball into the net in­stead of just get­ting a strike away,’’ Smith said, in what for­mer Waikato FC fans would la­bel ‘‘De­clan Edge syn­drome’’.

WaiBop now have a share of fourth place on the eight-team league ta­ble and face the young Wan­der­ers SC side away on Sun­day.

In ac­tion: WaiBOP United striker Mikhail Bre­de­veldt and Hawke’s Bay United’s Danny Wil­son.

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