Our youth team has fallen to a heart-breaking, last minute defeat, that pushed visitors, Canterbury United, into pole position in this season’s ASB Youth League, while dimming our own chances of taking the title.
Robert Parekowhai-Gudex’s added time equaliser seemed to have snatched a point which would have kept us right in the thick of the title race, but Aaron Spain’s even late winner for Canterbury moved them to the top of the table, a point ahead of second placed Waitakere United and four points ahead of us. There are two games remaining.
Early on, however, even a point looked a long way off as Canterbury moved into a two goal lead inside the first half an hour of the game. We struggled to gain a foothold until the match neared half time. After being awarded a penalty it looked like our chance had arrived, but Dylan Bull had his spot kick well saved.
Thankfully Bailey Webster was on hand to grab the goal, moments before the break, that set us up with a real chance of taking something from the match.
The second half had its moments but it was a tightly contested affair, which was understandable in such a crucial encounter.
Then Parekowhai-Gudex struck the equaliser that seemed certain to add another twist to this exciting ASB Youth League race. But it wasn’t to be for WaiBOP, as Canterbury conjured up the winner for an ASB Youth League title race that is now theirs to lose.
WaiBOP line-up: Neil Achary; Luke Searle, Nate Kinney, Jackson Houlihan (Robert Parekowhai-Gudex 37′), Jacob Brown; Bailey Webster, Liam Hayes, Blair Bates (Paul Clout 71′); Dylan Bull (Jamie Woodlock 66′), Marc Evans (Raheem Hunter-Ali 82′), Jacob Robb (Quinton Kipara 62′).
Goals: Bailey Webster 43′, Robert Parekowhai-Gudex 90+4′.