South­ern draws with Auckland

The Timaru Herald - - CATALYST -

PHILLIP ROLLO AND AN­DREW VOERMAN Tas­man United coach Da­vor Tavich is re­fus­ing to wave the white flag de­spite his team con­ced­ing an 89th minute equaliser in a 4-4 draw with Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers that shone the spot­light on their wor­ry­ingly high penalty count.

Although they did not dip to the lows of last week­end’s 6-0 thrash­ing at the hands of ri­vals Can­ter­bury United, Tas­man left their tem­po­rary home at Sax­ton Field ru­ing an­other dis­ap­point­ing re­sult in the ISPS Handa Premier­ship as Hamil­ton’s Alexis Varela scored di­rectly from a free­kick with just one minute left to play.

‘‘It is a knock,’’ Tavich said. ‘‘But there’s still seven games left and we al­ways thought we’d need five wins to be there or there­abouts, so un­til we have no math­e­mat­i­cal chance of mak­ing the top four then we’ll keep play­ing and then if we’re good enough we’ll win those five games.’’

Tas­man’s Paul Ifill and Hamil­ton’s Armin Pasagic con­verted two penal­ties each in a match that saw four penal­ties awarded, with Ifill end­ing the game with a hat-trick.

Tavich said it was not ac­cept­able to be con­ced­ing so many penal­ties, now av­er­ag­ing one ev­ery 1.2 games. How­ever, with both penal­ties com­ing courtesy of hand balls on Sun­day, he said there was no easy so­lu­tion.

‘‘It has been a worry for the whole sea­son. I guess a lit­tle bit of com­po­sure in our box when we’re de­fend­ing would go a long way. But it’s eas­ier said than done,’’ he said.

‘‘You com­mit [to the tackle] and some­times it goes for you and some­times it goes against you. The prob­lem is when it’s in the box it’s a penalty and we’ve con­ceded quite a few.’’

Although they are now win­less in 21 games, Hamil­ton coach Ricki Her­bert said the draw was an­other ‘‘tick in the box’’ for the com­pe­ti­tion strug­glers.

‘‘We’ve worked hard,’’ Her­bert said, hav­ing now reg­is­tered back-to-back draws.

‘‘This is a side that we’re try­ing to build for the fu­ture. A lot of the play­ers are lo­cal, we have some young play­ers com­ing into the team, and we showed good char­ac­ter to come back into the game.’’ Strangely, Tas­man were forced to change into their al­ter­nate strip at half­time, with the ref­er­ees only re­al­is­ing af­ter 45 min­utes of play that blue and white clashed with blue and white.

Mean­while, Can­ter­bury United were un­able to close the gap on Auckland City af­ter they drew 1-1 with Waita¯kere United at Trusts Arena on Sun­day.

Waita¯kere fell be­hind in the 31st minute af­ter con­ced­ing an own goal. They then equalised in the 58th minute, when God­win Darkwa got on the end of a ball in from the left from Kee­gan Lin­der­boom.

Both keep­ers – Coey Turipa for Can­ter­bury and Liam An­der­son for Waitakere – were busy, and Can­ter­bury were lucky not to go down to 10 men late on, when James Pen­drigh com­mit­ted a cyn­i­cal foul to stop a counter attack, but wasn’t shown a sec­ond yel­low card.

Eastern Sub­urbs were the big win­ners of the week­end, beat­ing Team Welling­ton 2-1 on Satur­day to move into a share of the lead.

Auckland City drew 1-1 with South­ern United with Ben Wade equal­is­ing for South­ern af­ter Auckland went ahead just af­ter half­time and Hawke’s Bay United beat the Welling­ton Phoenix re­serves 3-2 on the road.

PHOTO: PHOTOSPORT

Paul Ifill (right) net­ted threee goals for Tas­man United against Hamil­ton in Nel­son yes­ter­day.

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