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SUFC 1-6 Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay delivered a reality check with a devastating 6-1 win over Southern United in the ASB Premiership football match played at the FB Stadium on Saturday evening.

The scoreline was bad enough, but Henrique Viana, who had shrugged off an injury from last week to play, was again injured in the 24th minute and ended up in  Dunedin hospital where a fracture was confirmed. The Brazilian ended up in plaster and will not play again for an estimated eight weeks.

Fellow striker Peter Rae lasted longer but was also hurt, and his 64th minute exit reduced United to 10 men, since the full complement of substitutes had been used.

It was the second week running that coach Uehara's team had to play out the last half hour a man short.

But there was no fairytale ending this week as Hawkes Bay maintained its feisty start while Southern never got out of first gear.

Barely recognisable as the team that beat Waitakere, Southern looked lethargic and paid the penalty as Hawkes Bay's Sean Morris crossed for an unmarked Aaron Jones to launch a diving header past keeper Tom Batty and after 18 minutes the score was 1-nil.

Sloppy marking, especially at corners and free kicks allowed coach Chris Greatholders side to score regularly in the 30th, 64th, 72nd, 84th and 93rd minutes.

Southern confidence evaporated as the game progressed, and goalscoring chances that might have stopped the rot were not taken as the normally reliable Jacob Schneider shot over the crossbar, and similar efforts by Nick Hindson and Dan Morris went astray.

In contrast, Hawkes Bay played patterned football that created space, and some elusive running by Nat Hailemariam teased defenders and the youngsters two goal haul was well deserved.

Southern's consolation goal was a solo effort by Taylor McCormack who badgered Bay's tough captain Bill Robertson into error, then held off challenges before sliding his shot past the advancing keeper Richard Gillespie in the 67th minute.

Bays last goal also drew a ripple of applause from the disappointingly small crowd, as former Otago player Harley Rodeks laced in a superb goal from 25 metres.

Coach Greatholder was delighted with his teams controlled performance, ' After a tough week where we lost three points due to fielding an ineligible player - this result is good and positive,' he said.

' We have had some good spells this season, but today was our best two halves, with all players hitting good consistent form that has put us back in contention for a top four finish.

A philosophic Uehara admitted his side started too slowly, and never reached last week's heights. ' They are still a young side, still learning, and today our luck deserted us with injuries, and having to play for quite a while with only ten men against that Bays side which was impressive.'

' We are all concerned for Henrique who will be out for a while, but football is all about doors opening and closing. There are opportunities to stake claims for a first team place, and we have players keen to do just that,' he said.

Southern United Squad : 1-Tom BATTY (GK), 2-David HAYMAN, 3-Nicholas HINDSON, 5-Matt JOY, 6-Henry FLOOD, 7-Sam MEPHAM, 10-Taylor McCORMACK, 11-Peter RAE, 12-Jefferson POTRICH (GK), 13-Logan WRIGHT-WEBB, 14-Henrique ALVES VIANA, 18-Daniel MORRIS, 19-Campbell HIGGINS, 20-Jacob SCHNEIDER, 21-Andrew RIDDEN, 23-Campbell ATTWOOD.
Coach: Luiz UEHARA

Hawkes Bay Squad: 1-Richard GILLESPIE (GK), 2-Aaron JONES, 4-Ross HAVILAND, 5. Bill ROBERTSON, 6-Tom BISS, 7-David MULLIGAN, 9-Sean LOVEMORE, 10-Tomas MOSQUERA, 16-Danny WILSON, 17-Fergus NEIL, 18-Harley RODEKA, 19-Sean MORRIS, 22-Harry EDGE, 24-Nathaniel HAILEMARIAM, 26-Matt GOULD (GK).

Southern United Youth Team squad : Tom Stevens , Tyrrell  Barringer-Tairi, Keegan Taig , Lewis Jackson, James McGarry, Daniel Morris, Cody Brook, Jesse Smith, Rahan Ali, Nikita Meglinski, Daniel Gruppelaar, Mitchell Carter, Gabriel           Schwarz, Joshua Dijkstra, Mat Mitchell, Joe Clark.
Coach Mike McGarry, Andrew Brook , ManagerLiz Dijkstra


Text and Image: Rab Smith