Waikato hope for lucky day

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 23/02/2013

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A long and testing season for Waikato FC ends tomorrow when they host Otago United at Ngaruawahia.

There's still an outside possibility that the hosts could end the ASB Premiership regular season at the bottom of the eight-team table, but a surprise win midweek could be just the fillip Mark Cossey's side needs to avoid the wooden spoon.

Waikato scored a 4-1 victory over the Wellington Phoenix A side at Centennial Park on Wednesday night, and while the display from the visitors did give some indication on why their top side sits bottom of the A-League, it was hard to detract from a lively performance by a Waikato team that had lost their previous seven premiership outings.

The attacking trio of Rory Turner, Gurjeep Singh and Sam Margetts were a constant threat, the midfield covered more ground than in recent weeks to frustrate their opponents while the defence stood firm against a strikeforce that featured Benjamin Totori and Hamish Watson.

That will have given coach Mark Cossey the belief that his team can finally halt a losing record at home that has stretched over two years and give them the three points that would push them into a sixth-place finish.

"We played that game as a proper training game for Otago," Cossey told the league's website (asbpremiership.co.nz) later. "We used our gameplan like we want to go on against Otago. Hopefully, we haven't used up all our luck in one game."

Tomorrow's visitors haven't been in great form either this year - they've lost their last six matches.

Waikato, Otago and Manawatu begin the final round with six points from 13 matches. Waikato and Manawatu both have a goal difference of -32, while Otago's is -24.

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- Waikato Times

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