The Marlborough Development football side are remaining positive despite suffering a 3-0 loss to Nelson College First XI in Nelson's division one competition on Saturday.
After a competitive and scoreless opening 60 minutes at Nelson's Broads, the college side slotted home three goals in the last half hour to seal three competition points.
Despite being on the losing end of a score line that perhaps flattered Nelson College, Development showed traces of the committed and disciplined performance that saw them notch up an impressive 2-0 win over Richmond AFC a week earlier.
"The whole team played really well ... we were very competitive for an hour," explained Development coach Wolfie Waechter, who said his side took plenty of positives from the match.
Defensive partners Ollie Baker and Robbie Columbus both turned in excellent performances at the back for Development, while striker Carl Connor-McClean created plenty of problems for Nelson College's defence.
Veteran goalkeeper Johnny Guardiola received a last-minute callup after Nick Stanton was forced to pull out because of illness. Stanton wasn't the only goalkeeper in the wars however, Guardiola fracturing his finger and injuring his leg during the match.
It was also a painful day for his side on the score sheet, the 3-0 score line not reflecting the closeness of the encounter. After establishing early ascendancy, Development rued not capitalising on their scoring chances in the opening spell.
"We lost the game in the first half really," Waechter said. "We were actually the better team and had a number of opportunities and didn't take them so we could have been one or two goals up."
Playing on a sodden pitch, the fitness of both sides was tested and their ability to play expansive football restricted. But it was the home side that managed the conditions most effectively, second-half goals to Bertie Fish, Jacob Pellowe and Van Rolan Hlawn-Ceu securing the win.
It was the home side's second win over Development this year after they thrashed the Marlborough side 6-1 on May 3 and their fifth win in six matches, leaving Waechter under no illusions as to the quality of their opposition.
"Nelson College are a very good team, they're very mobile, and in the end they deserved to win," he said.
The result was also a continuation of a roller coaster few weeks for Development, the Marlborough side having recorded two losses and three wins in the past five weeks. Their next match is against Suburbs on Saturday.
- The Marlborough Express