Odds against Waikato FC

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 10/11/2012

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Aaron Scott's 101st game for Waitakere City may be looked on enviously by Waikato FC.

The Waikato product, who played for Melville United in this year's Northern League Premier Division under Waikato FC coach Declan Edge, brought up the century mark with the west Auckland side last weekend and now meets a franchise which has previously tried to sign him without success to stiffen their defence.

Scott has stuck with the perennial Premiership title contenders and last season's champions, while Waikato have rarely sniffed the top echelon of the competition.

Tomorrow at Fred Taylor Park, Waikato would love to have Scott in their ranks after a dual injury blow in last weekend's season-opening 2-0 defeat at home to Hawke's Bay United.

Olympian Adam Thomas is out for up to five weeks with a knee injury suffered midway through the first half, and his replacement, David Parkinson, lasted just six minutes before having to limp off with an ankle injury which he is battling to overcome for tomorrow's match.

Adding to the woes, last season's regular Tyler Lissette will have surgery next week to insert a pin in his ankle - which will keep him out of action until after Christmas.

Ironically, Waikato have strengthened their squad by picking up former Waitakere defender Hone Fowler and he may be pushed into action against his former club.

Waitakere will severely test the Waikato defence after opening their campaign with a 3-0 win over Team Wellington, with Roy Krishna, David Mulligan and Allan Pearce all scoring.

Waikato coped comfortably with Hawke's Bay's limited attacking threats last weekend but conceded two scrappy goals that they will need to eliminate from their game.

They will also need to achieve more in front of goal against the likes of Scott and former Hamilton Wanderers goalkeeper Danny Robinson than they did last Sunday.

Waikato looked likely at times going forward against Hawke's Bay but seldom troubled goalkeeper Richard Gillespie, continuing their previous season scoring woes.

Waitakere coach Paul Marshall believes his side will get a lot better.

Marshall told the competition's website: "The team isn't gelling yet and there's a lot more to come. That's the exciting thing for me."

History is also against Waikato FC - they have lost their last six games against Waitakere.

HOW THEY LINE UP

Waitakere City: (from) Danny Robinson, Louie Caunter, Aaron Scott, Tim Myers, Brian Shelley, Matt Cunneen, David Mulligan, Chad Coombes, George Slefendorfas, Allan Pearce, Roy Krishna, Jake Butler, Sam Matthews, Daniel Morgan, Ryan de Vries, Harshae Raniga.

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Waikato FC: (from) Matt Upton, Matt Oliver, Josh Greene, Sam Jasper, Eder Franchini, , Hone Fowler, Adam Wallis, Jack Hobson-McVeigh, Jesse Edge, Alexi Caroama Varela, Mohamed Awad, Ryan Thomas, Rory Turner, Sam Margetts.

- Waikato Times

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