• Second half blues hurt Bay United again

Second half blues hurt Bay United again

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

Most of us have heard this saying from our parents at various stages in our lives. Good coaches often take this approach when their teams aren't functioning as well as they should be.

Perhaps Thirsty Whale Hawke's Bay United co-coaches Chris Greatholder and Bill Robertson should consider leaving their New Zealand Football Championship side out on the pitch at halftime when they host Waitakere United at Bluewater Stadium next Sunday. This might keep the lads mentally focused and reduce the risk of the second half blues which have plagued the winless side during the first five rounds of the ISPS Handa Premiership to date.

After dominating a scoreless first half during their round five clash against the Wellington Phoenix Reserves at Lower Hutt's Fraser Park yesterday Hawke's Bay United were beaten 3-0. This means they have conceded 13 goals during the second spells of their five encounters.

Considering how well the visitors played in the first half few would have predicted that final score as both teams took to the turf in the second half. Yes it was Hawke's Bay's first outing on an artificial turf this season but this can't be used as an excuse and neither can the 45-minute delay to the original start time because of travel delays as the Bay outfit started well.

During the first 25 minutes Hawke's Bay United had five shots on goal, three more than the hosts. Both teams had eight shots on goal when the halftime whistle blew.   

Phoenix keeper Alex Paulsen made some superb saves throughout the match. His best in the first half was from a 23rd minute attempt from Kailan Gould.
Midfielder Karan Mandair had a huge workrate for the visitors in the first half. Gould, Jorge Akers and Jesse Randall were creating plenty of opportunities up front for the Bay in the first half but once again the completion rate was poor from a team which has yet to concede a first half goal this season.

The fact the Phoenix Reserves didn't force their first corner until three minutes into the second half was another indication of how dominant the Bay were in the second half. 

George Ott opened the scoring five minutes into the second half with a cracking left footer after good buildup work from Riley Bidois. Twenty four minutes later 19-year-old substitute Thomas Raimbault put a shot in off the crossbar to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Bidois had the final say 32 minutes into the second half. This was the second win of the season for the Phoenix Reserves who have a roster of under-20 players.

While Hawke's Bay United's intensity levels were poor during the second half they still created 11 scoring opportunities, six more than the hosts.