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Southern United put on one of its better performances of the season but the game is about putting the ball in the back of the net. It probably had more chances once it got settled into the game but only once did it get on the scoresheet.
Team Wellington came out lively and big defender Roy Kayara scored the first goal, getting free in the box from a corner and powering a header home.
But about halfway through the first half, Southern United evened the score when Garbhan Coughlan sent a looping header into the top corner of the goal.
The rest of the half had a few chances but the ball was tough to control in the wet conditions.
Then, about a quarter of an hour into the second half, Southern United was too slow on the ball on its right. Team Wellington struck and Jack-Henry Sinclair eventually slotted the ball home.
Ten minutes later and the visitors had a third when home-team goalkeeper Liam Little got in a tangle with his defence and Team Wellington striker Ross Allen found the empty net. Down two goals, Southern United threw people forward and had some chances but could not score.
The loss was hard to take for coach Paul O’Reilly, who felt his side deserved better.
"The goals were sloppy and they came down to individual errors that we have not been doing a lot of lately," he said.
"But, in general, the performance was good. They are probably the best team in the country, national league champions from last year, and I thought we were really positive against them.
"They were clinical. We made some errors and they took their chances. While we had a number of chances but couldn’t take advantage of them.
"I thought we pressed really well and in defence we were on the front foot. And we worked them, put them over a couple of times, and created chances."
He said the side worked hard and it was tough to swallow the defeat after playing so well.
Coughlan was impressive and Tom Connor, Jared Grove and Tim McLennan never stopped trying.
The side takes on the Phoenix Reserves at Sunnyvale next Sunday.