Pleasant Point knock down City
Pleasant Point delivered stand-in coach Peter White the perfect result with a 5-0 victory over an injury-hit Timaru City in football's South Canterbury League.
In other results on Saturday, Northern Hearts tightened their grip on the title with a come-from-behind 4-1 win over West End at Aorangi Park and Meadowbank United grabbed a hard-fought 1-0 win over Timaru Boys' High School (TBHS) at Sir Basil Arthur Park.
Timaru City were unable to settle into their gameplan, at the Caledonian Ground.
Coach Shane Johns' squad is often bolstered by B and C team players, and their lack of depth was sorely exposed.
Injuries to two key attacking weapons in Adam McFarlane and Craig Johns forced two substitutions early in the match.
To their credit, Pleasant Point were ruthless: striker Jason Brokenshire was credited with a scrappy, but well deserved goal after 15 minutes, as the ball rolled over the line amongst entangled bodies from both sides.
Timaru City had played most of the time leading up to the first goal with 10 men in the hope McFarlane could recuperate from his knock, which failed to happen.
The usually tenacious Timaru City defence was lacking its bite and Pleasant Point playmaker Eddie Iraia and fellow forward Jeremy Linton made the most of the extra time and space they were allowed to harass the Timaru City goal.
Iraia doubled the advantage after 30 minutes, when he was played through on goal for an easy finish.
Timaru City had their chances, and Ryan Hanifin blazed the best of them over the bar, when he should have scored from point-blank range, late in the first half.
For all their dominance, Pleasant Point had to wait until the 64th minute for a third, well-deserved, goal delivered by the industrious Linton.
A goal-keeping error handed Blair Ritchie a goal in the 77th minute and Tom Shearer made the scoreline emphatic, six minutes from fulltime when he ran through a tired Timaru City defence to make it 5-0.
White said he was pleased to see his team build on their draw with West End in their previous match.
"We have been threatening to do this for a while.
"The third goal was the killer – that really knocked the wind out of Timaru City's sails, because they were battling on."
Johns said not only did the loss hurt but he was likely to have some long-term injuries which would continue to stretch his squad.
"It's disappointing that we weren't able to turn up after such a strong win last week."
West End may have scored first, through Aaron Procter, against Northern Hearts, but that was as good as it got for the visitors.
West End coach Wayne Dyche said while it was the best performance he had seen for "three or four weeks" but two lapses in concentration saw them concede two soft goals which compounded their run of poor results.
"We certainly played better as a team, there wasn't as much bickering amongst ourselves.
"It felt more like a 2-1 game than a 4-1 game, but that's what Hearts can do."
Northern Hearts player/coach Matt Chambers was happy with his team's effort.
He said mid-fielder Christian Kleinaw had his best game of the season, while James Patterson made the most of a rare start, and was sharp on attack.
TBHS coach Gary Ivamy got a fresh perspective on how his team was going as the sixth choice goal-keeper for the schoolboys against Oamaru's Meadowbank United.
Despite the 1-0 loss, he said with several first-choice players away, he was happy with the performance as they looked to build towards their national secondary school tournament later in the season.
- © Fairfax NZ News