WaiBOP United have taken another step towards the 2015/16 ASB Premiership with their second pre-season friendly.
Up against defending champs, and reigning FIFA Club World Cup bronze medal winners, Auckland City, Peter Smith’s squad knew they would be in for a stern test. That’s exactly what they got at Papakura City’s McLennan Park.
The goal scoring action got going early, with the hosts opening the scoring on seven minutes through Micah Lea’afala, before Dylan Stansfield grabbed an equaliser a minute later. Emiliano Tade restored City’s lead just after the half hour when his free kick was deflected past Louie Caunter.
Wade Molony, Federico Marquez and Stansfield all had excellent opportunities to add to WaiBOP’s goal tally, while Caunter was also called on to make a couple of good saves, and would also have been relieved to see Adam Mitchell clear a goal bound shot off the line.
The match lost a little shape after the break as both sides made more than a few changes. Auckland extended their lead with 14 minutes remaining when Cam Lindsay shot home following good work from Ryan De Vries.
WaiBOP coach, Peter Smith, was pleased with the work out but was realistic about the result. “We’re still a way out from the season and it’s going to take a few more games before we’re ready to start putting in consistent performances,” he said after the match. “I was pleased with some of our work tonight though, particularly during the first half when we should have had another goal or two. That’s a positive. We’ve got our camp this weekend and a couple more pre-season matches so I think we’ll be ready come the big kick-off against Team Wellington.”
WaiBOP United team sheet: Caunter; Hillier, Mitchell, Luque, Viera; Molony, Varela, Tinsley; Evans, Stansfield, Marquez. Subs: Speedy, Cochran, Hoyle, Illich, Whitley, Pratt.
Goal scorer: Dylan Stansfield 8′.