WaiBOP Utd 4-2 Southern Utd – ASB Premiership

WaiBOP United head coach Peter Smith was generally pleased with his side’s showing after their 4-2 victory over Southern United at John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge.

WaiBOP had the best of the match and once the team opened the scoring there really only looked like there would be one winner. “We did a good job today and I’m particularly pleased with what we offered going forward,” said Smith after the match. “It’s great to score four but we probably should have had a couple more, particularly during the second half, so it’s great to be creating opportunities.”

The depth of WaiBOP’s squad was tested in this match with a number of senior players absent through injury. That meant Smith was able to offer debuts to a couple of Ngaruawahia United players in Ben Latham and Reid Drake. “It’s good that Ben was able to come in, deputise well for Aaron [Scott, United’s captain], contribute for 90 minutes and be part of a victory for us,” said Smith. “Reid’s goal was something special. It’s not often you see an 18 year old come off the bench and have the confidence to do something like that five minutes into their debut. I’m pleased for them both.”

Smith also had words of praise for a couple of his senior players. “Milos led the line well and was rewarded with a couple of goals. It’s always great to see your number 10 amongst the goals – he did really well for us today,” said Smith. “I also think Masa [midfielder Masaki Nomoto] showed what a quality player he is today with an assured performance in the middle of the park.”

As is usually the case after any match Smith thinks his team still has things to work on. “We should have had a clean sheet today as the goals we gave up weren’t great,” he said. “Thankfully that didn’t matter and they’ll be good reference points for when we’re preparing to take on the stronger teams.”

Smith is already looking forward to next weekend’s match against defending champions, Waitakere United. “It’s good to get back to winning ways and bank another three points, but if we’re serious about doing well in this league we have to perform against the top teams,” he explained. “Waitakere have started the season well and are a club with a history of success at this level so next week will be an entirely different challenge.”

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