A hard-working Tasman United came from a goal down to record its third win of the ISPS Handa football premiership, over Waitakere United at Trafalgar Park on Sunday.
The 3-1 win sees Tasman leap-frog Waitakere into eighth position of the ten-team comp.
But Tasman did receive some help along the way, with the visitor’s Luke Jorgensen shown a straight red card for a tackle on James McClay on the half hour mark.
At that stage, Waitakere were a goal ahead thanks to a Kris Carpenter header from a corner kick after just 13 minutes.
The red card changed the complexion of the game though.
Tasman started to find space on the flanks as the visitors tucked in and defended the box. The tactic worked for Waitakere until half time with Tasman not troubling the goal keeper much, despite the man advantage.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, Tasman again started the brighter of the two sides but struggled to get shots on target.
After 16 minutes of the second half Tasman finally found the back of the net as Ahmad Osman scored from a wonderfully lofted ball over the advancing keeper. As good and as composed as the finish was, it was the ball from Kiernan Hughes-Mason that made it. He picked out Osman’s run from inside his own half with a precision pass.
Minutes later, the visitors had a big chance to reclaim the lead with Sanni Issa one-on-one with Tasman keeper Keegan Smtih. Smith saved the shot with his foot as he was diving away to his left. It was as big a moment as the goal moments earlier.
In the 86th minute Tasman took the lead after its two substitutes combined. Matt Tod-Smith took the ball past a defender on the right-hand side of the box and fizzed it across the front of goal for Alex Ridsdale to tap in.
The result was put beyond doubt two minutes later when James McClay fired a stunning free kick from the edge of the box into the top left corner.
For Tasman, skipper Tom Hickey was a stand-out, working tirelessly in front of his defensive line, turning over possession on a number of occasions.
Tasman now sit on 11 points, one clear of Waitakere but still ten points behind the top four.
Next week Tasman will travel to play bottom-placed Wellington Phoenix Reserves in the capital.