Resounding win for Team Wellington over Southern United

Sunday's Wellington derby can hardly come soon enough.

With Team Wellington spanking Southern United 4-1 and the Phoenix Reserves being involved in a 5-5 thriller with Hawke's Bay United in the latest round of the ASB Premiership, there shouldn't be a shortage of goals when the capital's bragging rights go up for grabs at David Farrington Park.

"We're always competing, on all fronts," Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott said.

"They're big brother and all of that stuff. We want to be competitive and our boys go out and work 50-hours a week and train three-nights a week and they get [paid] about a dollar a week, while the Phoenix lads are well looked after."

The first 45 minutes of Team Wellington's dress rehearsal on Sunday weren't the flashest. They enjoyed most of the possession against Southern, but rarely threatened to do much with and suffered the embarrassment of going a goal down in first half stoppage time when Seamus Ryder nodded a cross in at the back post.

Team Wellington were a far more imposing proposition after the break and soon had four goals to show for it. Chris Bale curled a freekick in, after 49 minutes, then set up Ben Harris' first goal with another.

While the first freekick was all precision, Bale's next effort, in the 80th minute, was all power. Southern goalkeeper Tom Batty couldn't hold it and Harris was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Harris then curled a shot of his own past Batty, six minutes later, before right fullback Anthony Hobbs completed the scoring in stoppage time, following some fine work by Andy Bevin.

"Some of that stuff was all right in the second half; you know, passing and moving. We looked a threat every time we went forward," said Calcott.

Harris in particular. There's not a lot of subtlety about the striker's play, nor some of his language.

Ad Feedback

But he's wholehearted, can strike the ball with power with both feet and believes he can score every time he gets possession. So much so that there won't be any danger of him topping the tally for goal assists this season.

In fact, less forgiving team-mates might get a little annoyed with someone who doesn't like to share the ball.

"One thing Ben Harris doesn't lack, is confidence," said Calcott.

"He's a good man. He's our fines master and, yes, he does annoy people but he's a cracking lad. Like 90 per cent of them, they just want to work and they're really starting to come together now."

While Team Wellington were emphatic winners over in Miramar, the Phoenix Reserves looked like they'd achieve similar up at Napier's Bluewater Stadium. The 'Weenix' raced out to a 4-0 halftime lead and were still 5-2 up after 57 minutes.

But the home side methodically pegged back and might even have found an unlikely winner, in stoppage time.

 - Dominion Post
HAMISH BIDWELL