Wairarapa slip off top spot
Going in at halftime 3-1 down to Miramar Rangers on their home ground is something quite a few teams would have experienced over the years.
Not many would have produced second half fightback that snatched a share of the points and again showed that Wairarapa United this season are made of sterner stuff than most.
Wairarapa’s Paul Ifill said they were surprised at how good Miramar were in the first half of Saturday’s league game and had an open team discussion at halftime which led to a few adjustments that made a big difference.
‘‘Cory Chettleburgh had been on the bench and saw that we had been giving their wing backs a bit too much room which had meant we were being put under pressure in the wide areas.
‘‘We managed to get a handle on that and also brought on Cory and new signing Ermal Hajdari off the bench early in the second half which really helped us.
‘‘I scored the equaliser via a deflection and realistically if we had had another ten minutes we would have won, their keeper had a blinder and kept them in the game.’’
On Monday Wairarapa played Island Bay United in the Chatham Cup at Wakefield Park.
Island Bay have been a surprise package in the cup over the years beating four time winners Miramar to make the quarter finals as recently as 2014.
Ifill said his team looked tired during the warm-up and went down a goal early before Daniel Allan was able to get an equaliser that boosted them before the break.
‘‘We went in level at 1-1 at halftime and all knew that we had not been playing that well. We spoke and knew that if we upped the tempo a bit in the second half we would have enough to beat them.
‘‘The only player who really had a good game on Monday was young Callan Elliot. He has been consistently performing and juggles his commitments well considering he is still at school.
‘‘We were happy with the weekend in the end as we got back from 3-1 down at Miramar and should have won and made it through to the next round of the cup.’’
Western Suburbs beat Wellington Olympic 2-1 with an injury time penalty on Saturday to edge one point ahead of Wairarapa in the league.
Callan Elliot has been in good form recently and kept up momentum on the weekend gone.