YoungHeart goalie detects improvement
In his 40-plus games for YoungHeart Manawatu, Matt Borren has been busier than any other goalie in the national league.
But surprisingly, against Waitakere United - the Manchester United of the league - at Whenuapai on Saturday he had less work to do than against some of the lesser sides.
All right, Waitakere won 4-0, but Manawatu belied their bottom spot despite being under-strength with Adam Cowan and Nathan Cooksley and others out.
While Borren has seen the ball sail past him 34 times in 10 games this season, he couldn't do much to prevent the four goals on Saturday.
He made two fine saves early on before defender Tim Myers banged in two headers from corners and Waitakere star Fijian striker Roy Krishna slotted two more in virtual one-on-ones.
Borren said he and fellow goalie Ben Wilkes work hard at training every week.
"It's no secret it's going to be busy when we play," Borren said.
"There's only so much you can do."
After a hot day in Auckland, Borren was out playing premier one club cricket for Old Boys yesterday.
Borren gets the best look at his team in front of him each week. And he said Saturday's effort was miles better than when Manawatu were embarrassed by Waitakere in the first home game of the season.
"We were a lot more organised [on Saturday], looked a lot better," he said.
"Waitakere are a quality side and it will take something pretty good to beat them at the moment."
They are unbeaten with nine wins and a draw.
He said Manawatu's effort was on a par with their win over Phoenix A two weeks ago.
"Tactically, we were a lot better; defensively picking up key players in and around the box.
"We were just beaten on the day by a better team."
It wasn't until the 27th minute that Waitakere broke through when defender Tim Myers was unchallenged to head home a corner from Chad Coombes. That was repeated four minutes later.
Manawatu's Alex Rufer went close with a curving shot, and Tom Mosquera hit the bar. In the first half, Waitakere had nine corner kicks to Manawatu's five.
Krishna's first goal didn't come until 16 minutes from time and the fourth, after a Borren parry, came in time added on for a drinks break taken after 71 minutes because the weather was scorching. It was Krishna's 11th goal of the season.
Coach Stu Jacobs would have been glad to see only one yellow, against sub Dale Higham.
Jacobs believed the scoreline flattered Waitakere.
"I think we did enough in the first 20 minutes to get ahead," he said. "But, as I explained to the boys, sometimes you don't get the rewards."
Next Sunday, Manawatu host Wellington at Memorial Park.
At Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai: Waitakere United 4 (Tim Myers 27' 31'; Roy Krishna 74' 94'), YoungHeart Manawatu 0, HT 2-0.
Other results: Wellington 1 Waikato 0, Hawke's Bay United 1 Auckland City 1, Otago United 1 Canterbury United 4.