Tasman United has opened its season with back to back losses, going down 2-1 to Hamilton Wanderers at Trafalgar Park on Sunday afternoon.
A first-half own-goal put the hosts on the back foot and ultimately cost them the points, despite a stunning second half that created at least three clear chances that either went just wide or hit the post.
Coach Andy Hedge says, after a poor first half effort, his side did not deserve to take the points. “Really disappointed with the first half performance in particular.”
Andy says he was pleased with the way his side recovered in the second, with the team dominating territory and possession.
“We camped in their half, hit the bar and the posts, we did everything we could to get the points. The second half was a lot brighter, but we shouldn’t have been in that position to start with.”
Andy says Kiernan Hughes-Mason and goal scorer Ahmad Othman looked electric on attack but were simply not afforded enough opportunities.
“We have some tough lessons to learn.”
Keegan Smith took on the gloveman duties with Corey Wilson still recovering from a nasty head clash suffered against Auckland last weekend.
Smith was put to the test early on too, called on to make two strong saves in the opening ten.
Some physical defence saw Tasman on the wrong side of several calls from referee O’Connell, Mason-Hughes eventually carded for throwing the ball in a Hamilton player’s face as frustrations grew.
Despite being on the back-foot for the second half, Hamilton found a second goal after a pinpoint Joseph Terry header, which set a tough task for Tasman with 15 to play.
The hosts offered the faithful a glimmer of hope in the 82nd minute with Othman scoring off the back of a stunning run.
Tasman fought bravely till the final whistle in search of an equaliser with Jordan Yong and James McClay creating several chances. However, they were unable to crack the resolute Hamilton defence.
Next week, Tasman will travel to the capital to take on Team Wellington with a 2pm kick off.