A rollicking four-goal first half got Loaded WaiBOP United off the mark in the 2015-16 ASB Premiership on Thursday with a 5-1 victory over Waitakere United at North Harbour’s QBE Stadium.
We made a flying start to the first match of the second round, holding a 3-0 lead before the 20 minute mark via a Wade Molony double and a Mark Jones penalty and went further ahead in the 43rd minute as Waitakere United goalkeeper Simon Williams fumbled Marc Evans’ free kick into his own net.
Sean Lovemore pulled a goal back for the hosts on the stroke of halftime but it was as close as Waitakere United got despite a much-improved second half. Molony rubbed salt into Waitakere wounds late on, heading in from close range to complete his hat-trick.
Molony’s opener came in the 13th minute as the WaiBOP wide man cut back inside and rifled home beyond Williams from outside the area.
Just two minutes later Williams gifted Molony his second with an errant pass which the WaiBOP striker collected before rounding the Waitakere ‘keeper and slotting in well from the angle.
Jones made it 3-0 from the penalty spot just before the 20 minute mark after Ross Haviland took down the WaiBOP winger after a heavy touch.
Williams’ evening got worse in the 43rd minute as he spilled in Evans’ free kick before Lovemore gave the hosts hope for the second half with his first goal of the season.
Despite enjoying much of the possession in the second spell, Waitakere couldn’t find a way back into the game, with goalkeeper Zac Speedy sharp when required. The post also came to our rescue midway through the period when a Nikolai Berry shot deflected off Adam Luque.
Molony completed his hat-trick in the 86th minute, heading home at the second attempt after his first shot rebounded back off the post following an earlier save from Williams on Jones. We also had several great opportunities on the counter, but Williams denied Federico Marquez and Maksim Manko, while Jones fired narrowly wide.
Head coach, Peter Smith, was delighted with his team’s result. “It was a great performance from the word go. We came out of the traps, and there was a real determination with the lads tonight,” said Smith after the match. “There was a deep seated frustration with the lads after Sunday and unfortunately for Waitakere they bore the brunt of that frustration. Some of the stuff we were playing was absolutely top class.
“The work ethic was top class and in amongst it we played some real good football.
Smith recognised the importance of his team’s start. “To get ourselves three goals in front in 20 minutes was top class,” he said. “I’m very happy with the way we played and applied ourselves to the game. We’ve got a good group and they worked hard for that result.”
Smith is careful not to get too carried away with the result. “We’ve got a bit of confidence now, but we don’t want to get complacent either,” he said. “We’ll celebrate the win but tomorrow we’ll be back in working again. You’re only as good as your last result… but the preparation for Hawke’s Bay in Taupo starts tomorrow morning.
Waitakere United 1-5 Loaded WaiBOP United
WU: Lovemore 45′.
WB: Molony 13′, 15′, 87′ Jones 19′, Marc Evans 43′.
Waitakere United: Williams; Scott, Haviland, Shelley, Wylie; Shaw (Gwyther 46′), Barnes (Cunningham 63′), Coombes, Butler, Berry; Lovemore (Bowen 63′). Subs: O’Regan, Franchini Pasten.
Loaded WaiBOP United: Speedy; Hilliar, A. Mitchell, Luque, Cochran; Ilich (S. Hoyle 85′), Varela; Molony, Marquez (Manko 81′), Jones; Evans (Stansfield 61′). Subs: Caunter, Probert.