Wellington United captain, Manny Achol, opens the scoring from the penalty spot
UNITED PICK UP FIRST POINT OF SEASON Saturday 20 April 2019 Words Dave Webster (WUAFC Media) Photo TJF Photo
Wellington United picked up their first point of the Central League season with a hard fought 3-3 draw away to Intergration Works Waterside Karori on Good Friday. It was a welcome relief for the newly built team which has had a torrid start to the season.
Starting the game playing uphill and into the wind, Waterside had more of the early possession and it was some confident goalkeeping from Sasha Drain that kept them scoreless. It was United who opened the scoring after David Silva made a run down the left into the penalty area and his cross was handled by a Waterside Karori defender. Manny Achol made no mistake from the spot for his second penalty in as many weeks. United only held this advantage for one minute when Cory Taylor bought down a Waterside attacker. Tor Davenport-Petersen sent Drain the wrong way and it was 1-1.
Waterside Karori were starting to find United's weaknesses at the back and managing to get in behind the United defence and this resulted in goals to Jarrod Stant and Rogier Kerbus and gave Waterside Karori a 3-1 lead at half time.
A tactical change at half time saw United move to five at the back and some resolute defending kept Waterside Karori at bay. In the 62nd minute the tireless David Silva, sent a ball into the penalty area and Owen Smith was on hand to tap it over the line. Three minutes later it was all square when Cam Burnell burst forward and rounded Waterside's advancing keeper, Zac Dean and slotted it into the back of the net.
The final 20 minutes was somewhat frantic with both teams having chances to win the game, but neither could get the ball over the line. Wellington United assistant coach, Mike Roxburgh said "After the last couple of weeks, it was a great performance from the team and shows they have been listening and are starting to show some semblance of shape". Intergration Works Waterside Karori coach Rupert Crump paid tribute to Wellington United, saying "having seen clips of their previous games on Huddl, I don't think the recent results did you justice" with his own team he was more frustrated with their inability to finish their chances and felt it was two points lost. United saw it more as a point gained, Roxburgh saying "after the start we've had it's very satisfying to get a point on the board and off the bottom of the table"
Things don't get easier for Wellington United though, as they next take on current Central League Champions, Napier City Rovers who are on a 18 game unbeaten streak. The game is on Monday 22d April at Newtown Park, KO 3pm
Match Details Friday 19 April 2019 Karori Park Waterside Karori (3) 3 (Tor Davenport-Petersen (PEN), Jarrod Stant, Rogier Kerbus) Wellington United (1) 3 (Manny Achol (PEN), Owen Smith, Cam Burnell)