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Friendly: SUFC 1-5 Canterbury United

Photo By Rab Smith

It was an ordeal by fire for Southern United as a well organised Canterbury side romped to a 5-1 win in the pre-season warm up match played in Timaru on Saturday.

None more so than for German defender Jacob Schneider who conceded an Own Goal almost from the kick-off, then was clattered in a tackle which cut his eyelid, and swathed in bandages the former Carl Zeiss Jenna became a spectator.

Without five players trapped in Dunedin doing University exams, coach Luiz Uehara's team was in disarray, and conceded another goal when a mistake set up Russell Kamo for goal number two after sixteen minutes.

However, Southern held on with some more organised controlled passing moves and with Matt Joy, Campbell Higgins and Cam Attwood competing well, it remained 2-nil at the break.

But determined to bounce back after itself losing to Auckland 5-1, it was coach Keith Braithwaite's side that created chances and went on to score from a superb free-kick by Morrison, then further goals by Fed Marques, and Cory Mitchell.

Otago's goal came from a penalty awarded by referee Hamish Phillip late in the match. Dan Morris showed no nerves and drilled the ball home.

Canterbury coach Keith Braithwaite praise his seasoned midfielders. NZ International Aaron Clapham, near veteran Rangers professional Stu Kelly, and former Everton player were just too experienced.

Braithwaite also has had a quality infusion of exotic talent in Pablo Mayo, Fed Marques and enough pre-season game time to weld together into a reasonable unit.

Southern coach Uehara expected better, but he and assistant Darren Hart admitted that the opposition was quicker in body and mind than the local opposition they had been training against at Tahuna park.

Uehara said,' To start five men short, then concede an almost instant OG, and then lose Jacob ( Schneider ) made it an uphill struggle against a well organised Canterbury side.'

' There were still some good performances, and I am sure that with the spirit shown, we can build and become more effective, as we will have to be, in our first National League match next week against champions Waitakere.'

Source: www.soccerotago.co.nz