Subs provide game-winning impact as late surge lifts Tasman United to victory
Don't be scared to miss.
That's the message coming from Tasman United women's coach Ryan Stewart after three long-range strikes saw them register a 4-1 win over Waimak United at Saxton Field on Sunday, continuing their perfect record against the North Canterbury side.
"If you shoot from range and it's high and hard it's a lot harder for them to get there and all three strikes were well hit," said Stewart, encouraging his players to have a pop more often.
It looked like it was going to be another frustrating afternoon for Tasman, who despite defending strongly, continued to cough up possession due to inaccurate passing.
However, the bench was able to ensure Tasman would not be punished for a flat performance, each of the substitutes providing the game-winning spark that Stewart was searching for.
All three of Tasman's substitutes; Amelia Abbott, Briar Luff and Ruby Smith scored in the final 15 minutes with Anna McPhie also beating Waimak goalkeeper Briar Guyan to blow the score out to a level that probably didn't reflect how even the game was.
"We've got players who are wanting to start, they all push each other at training," he said.
"For a coach it's the most pleasing thing because it shows they care and that they want to prove a point."
The reality is, Sunday's victory was hard-fought and Stewart admitted as much at fulltime.
"A year ago that game would have finished 0-0 or we would have lost 1-0.
"But we've learnt how to dig in and win games ugly and it's a testament to the girls. They did just enough to win the game."
Waimak's goal came from the penalty spot, Macey Fraser punishing Tasman for a handball in the box.
They also hit the frame of the goal twice and winger Gabbie Rennie caused plenty of problems with her speed down the right.
They had plenty of other chances but were denied by the smart goalkeeping of Nicole Hyland and some last ditch defending by captain Geena Gross.
Stewart made four changes to the starting 11 after last weekend's defeat to Cashmere Technical with Matilda Dawson, Holly Moffatt, Ellie Kershaw and Hyland earning starts.
AT A GLANCE
Tasman United 4 (Amelia Abbott, Briar Luff, Anna McPhie, Ruby Smith) Waimak United 1 (Macey Fraser pen)