Team need to create opportunities
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.