United look to contain striker

TONY SMITH
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012

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Stopping Sean Lovemore is the ultimate challenge for the Canterbury United defence in tomorrow's tussle with unbeaten national premiership co-leaders Hawke's Bay United.

The 20-year-old striker has scored six goals for the Bay in the first four rounds this season.

Canterbury captain and right back Dan Terris agreed yesterday the Dragons would have to be on their toes against the lightning-quick Lovemore at English Park.

"I'm not sure where they're playing him, through the middle or on the wing. But if he's on either wing, he will cause problems because he's got so much pace. He's probably the quickest player in the league," said Terris, who was named in the premiership team of the month with team-mates Russell Kamo and Aaron Clapham.

"We've got to stop the supply of ball to make sure we keep him in check and when he gets it we've got to stop him playing."

The other big match-up will be in midfield where former All Whites Aaron Clapham (Canterbury) and Cole Peverley (Hawke's Bay) are likely to stick to each other like glue.

Terris said Peverley and Clapham had similar mindsets. "Claps likes to play against the best players and the best teams and I'm sure Pevs also won't shy away from that [challenge]. They've both been in professional environments with the All Whites so they know the drill. It adds a bit of spice to the game and as they're probably mates off the pitch, that adds another element."

Clapham was outstanding in Canterbury's 3-2 midweek win over the Wellington Phoenix Reserves and Terris also had big wraps on the contribution of right midfielder Darren White, who he believes offers as much down the flanks as anyone in the Phoenix A League squad. Terris also agreed with coach Keith Braithwaite that Bulgarian forward Dimitar Bayrev is starting to hit form.

Terris said tomorrow's game would be a different style to the Phoenix fixture with "more at stake. I think Hawke's Bay will bring the game to us a little bit more."

Third-placed Canterbury have won three consecutive games while Hawke's Bay share top place with champions Waitakere United with three wins and a draw.

Squads:- Canterbury United: Adam Highfield, Tom Batty (gks), Dan Terris (c), Tom Schwarz, Vladimir Bayrev, Julyan Collett, Nick Wortelboer, Darren White, Josh Smith, Chris Murphy, Aaron Clapham, Andy Barton, Dimitar Bayrev, Russell Kamo, Ash Wellbourn, Ken Yamamoto, Michael Fifii, Cory Mitchell.

Hawke's Bay United: Richard Gillespie, Danyon Drake (gks), Aaron Jones, Danny Wilson, Bill Robertson (c), Stephen Hindmarch, Matt Hastings, Cole Peverley, Stephen Hoyle, Connor Tinnion, Harley Rodeka, Sean Lovemore, Fergus Neil, Rudi Bauerfiend, Matt Bruin, Angus Kilkolly, Luke Chapman.

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Kickoff: 2.30pm.

- The Press

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