Improved attack key for Marist in Chatham Cup clash

Simon Lees' Palmerston North Marist side will be more attacking in Sunday's Chatham Cup clash than when they were beaten by Napier City Rovers when the teams met three weeks ago.

Marist were comfortably beaten 2-1 at Memorial Park in that game and the only two Central Region sides in the Central League meet at Napier's Park Island on Sunday.

Marist failed to impress in the earlier game, much the same as last week in their 1-0 home loss to Tawa when they were again sucked into playing exactly as their opponents wanted them to play.

Lees admitted Marist needed to play the game the way he wanted.

"We won't be the same team we were when we lost to them here," Lees said. "We'll be going out with a more attacking formation and look to play the game at our pace.

"They kept us under pressure last time and when we did get the ball we didn't see the attacking options quick enough."

Against Napier and Tawa, striker Jerram Tuck was left on his own up front, lacking support getting to him quickly and promising attacks ended with nothing to show.

"We're going to come out with an attacking formation and try to put them under pressure right from the start and for the full 90 minutes," Lees said. "Last time we gave them the momentum; this time we want more pace in the game."

With left back Jeremy Wild eligible for this round of the Chatham Cup, it will give Lees the opportunity to move Jordan Martens up front alongside Tuck. When given the opportunity to play up front, Martens has looked the goods.

Marist will still be without striker Tomas Mosquera and another blow is having attacking midfielder Jono Steele out suspended after being sent off last week, while Khair Jones will be out for about a month with a leg injury.

After a good draw at Wanganui Athletic last Saturday, Palmerston North Boys' High School will be confident of tipping over Red Sox-Manawatu at Skoglund Park tomorrow to overturn the result of the first round game.

In other games, Marist Reserves host Wanganui Athletic on Memorial Park while Feilding will be keen to maintain their impressive improvement when they host North End at Timona Park.

Massey University have won every game they've played this season, lead the women's Central League and are in the semifinals of the national Knockout Cup. But they won't be taking fellow Palmerston North side Valeron Wanderers lightly when they meet at Memorial Park on Sunday.

On paper there appears little standing in the way of Massey with strikers Jane Barnett (16 goals), Mikaela Boxall (7) and Rhonda Bridges (6) heading a prolific strike force. But Valeron have their own lethal striker in former national player Ella Wiebe (6 goals).

If Valeron can get parity in the midfield, get the ball forward to Wiebe quickly for her to pressure a strong Massey defence and keep their defence from getting caught square at the back, Valeron might surprise Massey who are chasing three consecutive league titles.

Manawatu Standard