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In many ways, it summed up Southern United’s season.
Great last week, terrible this week.
A 6-0 drubbing from Eastern Suburbs in Auckland was a further showing of the side’s inconsistencies in the national football premiership.
It followed a win last week, which had come after a 5-0 loss the week before.
Martin Bueno bagged a hat-trick, while Michael Built, Reid Drake and Kevin Kalua added one each in yesterday’s demolition, which would be coach Paul O’Reilly’s final game.
It was a young Southern team this time around.
The squad of 16 contained eight teenagers to fill several places due to player unavailability, notably that of captain Conor O’Keeffe.
Keeping the ball proved problematic, while defensively the side was broken down too many times in the box.
Bueno scored his first just nine minutes in, heading a cross into the bottom left corner.
A second followed 13 minutes later, this time to Michael Built.
It came in similar fashion, the defence disorganised and a cross to Built in front of the goal.
Chances were hard to come by for Southern.
Danyon Drake was left with little to do in goals for the home team, as it took a 2-0 lead to the break.
From there, Suburbs snuffed out any chance of a comeback.
Bueno scored two inside the first eight minutes of the second half, the defence again left scrambling.
He was involved in setting up the fifth, as well.
A nice run in the 70th minute left the Southern defence under pressure once more.
Bueno was unable to get a shot off himself, but found Reid Drake, who buried Suburbs’ fifth goal.
Kalua completed the rout just four minutes later.
He strolled through the defence into the clear, shooting past Liam Little to make it 6-0.
The loss was Southern’s eighth in a row against Suburbs, the one team it has not claimed points against over the past four seasons.
O’Reilly said while it was not an ideal way to finish as coach, it was not about him, it was about the players.
It had been a young team and he felt the game illustrated where those players needed to get to.
"As tough as it is to lose 6-0, there was a lot of young players that played today.
"It’s the youngest team I’ve ever put out since I’ve been here.
"Those young players are the future.
"They now need to keep working hard, they need loads of support in terms of the structures that are in place locally and the programmes that are in place to help them.
"Look, we were inexperienced today. We got beaten by a very good team. They were outstanding, Eastern Suburbs, and we made lots of mistakes.
"But young players, they make mistakes. They need a platform to learn and develop."
In other matches, Team Wellington beat the Phoenix Reserves 1-0, Auckland City beat Hamilton Wanderers 3-1 and Tasman United took a 3-1 win over Hawke’s Bay United.