Tasman United held at home by Waitākere

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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You won't see Tasman United coach Davor Tavich lunging for the panic button, after his team dropped points for the third consecutive week. But there could be further tinkering as he searches for a winning formula.

You won't see Tasman United coach Davor Tavich lunging for the panic button, after his team dropped points for the third consecutive week. But there could be further tinkering as he searches for a winning formula.

After conceding a stoppage time penalty in a 2-1 loss to Team Wellington last week, and allowing Southern United back into the game at 2-2 when goalkeeper Corey Wilson was sent off the week prior, Tasman were hoping to return to winning ways when they hosted Waitākere United at Trafalgar Park on Saturday.

Instead they were left frustrated once again, with neither team able to convert a single chance as they settled for a 0-0 draw - a result that keeps both sides out of the top four.

Tavich made four changes to his starting 11 on the back of last week's defeat, with Wilson returning from suspension, while Paul Ifill, Sam Ayers and Mark Johnston were promoted from the bench.

Hoping to match the opposition's physicality, Tavich opted for "size" in a front three of Ifill, Maksym Kowal and Kieran Smith, with Tinashe Marowa and Abdulla Al-Kalisy starting from the bench.

But, in his assessment of the goalless draw, he admitted that the approach did not pay off.

"Obviously we haven't scored so it didn't work as well as I wished," Tavich said.

Although eight points from the first five games is still a respectable tally, Tavich was left to rue the fact that Tasman had once again dropped points at home. It was particularly frustrating as they failed to capitalise even when Waitākere were reduced to 10 men in the 84th minute with midfielder Nino Lacagnina dismissed for his second bookable offence.

"I think we have left a few points, in Wellington with the penalty and then with the Southern situation, but it's not bad luck, we just felt like we should have got more out of those games," he said.

"I think we are on the right track, we just have a few things that we need to tidy up in the final third and I think the goals will come.

"I think a draw was a fair result today. I don't think either team did enough to win the game. It would have been nice to have had some goals but I think a draw of any kind would have been a fair result."

Tasman went into the game without centre-back Daniel Allan. Allan actually injured himself while playing in goal in the final 20 minutes against Southern. Tavich hinted that he may have trouble forcing his way back into the starting 11 with Johnston and new recruit Brian Kaltack forming a solid partnership at the back.

Although he was the guilty for giving away a penalty last week, Kaltack has been a strong addition to Tasman's inexperienced back four. The Vanuatu international is extremely difficult to beat in the air and was a major factor in keeping a clean sheet on Saturday.

"I think he's won everything in the air, he's good on the ground and his distribution is good. He's definitely a very good player to have around."

Tasman United 0 Waitākere United 0          

Mainland Football 2010