The new-look Tasman United side has had a less than stellar start to its 2019 campaign, suffering back to back losses in the National Football League.
Tasman finds itself sitting at the bottom of the table after two rounds, going down 2-0 to Waitakere United in its first home game on Sunday.
In a scrappy affair, the visitors required two late goals to sink Tasman, who controlled the match for the after for majority of the 90 minutes.
It was a scoreless first half at a sodden Saxton Field. Both sides had their chances to open their accounts, but the final execution was lacking.
Tasman looked the more threatening and Jean-Phillippe Saiko and Jama Boss were looking increasingly dangerous on attack with the pair combining for Tasman’s best shot at goal in the opening 20.
Jean-Phillippe was yellow carded for an aggressive tackle on Lachlan McIssac, who limped off the pitch.
Facu Barbero was next to go close for the hosts on the back of a superb steal from Jama.
Waitakere looked certain to break the shackles moments later, only to be denied by a desperate save from Pierce Clarke sending the sides to the sheds all square.
Tasman again started the stronger of the sides in the second, creating opportunities, but was unable to convert its dominance into points.
However, a mistake from Tasman gifted Waitakere a chance which they gleefully accepted, with former Nelson College star Alex Connor-McLean slotting the goal to put his side ahead after the seventy-minute stalemate.
Jean-Phillipe got the crowd on its feet shortly after as he found the back of the net, but was ruled offside.
The New Caledonian international had one final shot at an equaliser but, as was the story of the day for Tasman, his effort went wide.
Connor-McLean then capped the victory in injury time with his second goal, sealing a frustrating loss for the home side.
Coach Jess Ibrom says, while the loss is disappointing, they won’t dwell on the result.
“We have to look forward now and just go again.”
He says had there were a number of positive signs from Sunday’s outing.
“We created a number of opportunities in that first half, it was unfortunate that we conceded possession the way we did which resulted in Waitakere scoring.”
He says there is a firm belief in the team that they are heading in the right direction.
“We have worked very hard to create this group in a short period of time. There are 16 games left, it’s a hell of a long season so we will turn up with a positive attitude against Hawke’s Bay next week.”
Waitakere 2 (Connor-McLean 2)