A Stephen Hoyle double pushed Loaded WaiBOP United to a 2-1 victory over Southern United at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Sunday.
Hoyle hooked the visitors into a 10th minute lead and boosted the WaiBOP advantage 10 minutes into the second half as he finished into an empty net following good work in the lead up from Mark Jones.
Andrew Mobberley gave the hosts a lifeline six minutes later but Southern couldn’t get back on level terms as we moved into third position in the standings.
We looked good at times, particularly during the first half, but Southern were stubborn in defence and difficult to break down. Hoyle, in his first start for us, was in the right spot twice to prove the difference between the two sides.
Another man in his first start, Xavier Pratt, put in a promising performance in midfield and was a little unlucky to have a couple of decent penalty shouts turned down. As always the wide men, Wade Molony and Mark Jones, proved threatening while Federico Marquez pulled the strings in his role just behind frontrunner Hoyle.
The back four dealt with most of what the hosts could throw at them and are looking more compact as they play more games together. Zac Speedy, in goal, wasn’t as busy as in recent games but was still called on to make a couple of fine saves.
Speedy was a bit unlucky with the goal, but Southern hit the woodwork in the first half and had a late header from a corner cleared off the line by Alexis Varela so were worth at least a goal.
In a tight play-off race, however, we walked away with three vital points.
Southern Utd 1-2 WaiBOP Utd (half: 0-1)
SU: Andrew Mobberley 61’
WB: Stephen Hoyle 10’, 55’
Southern United: Tom Batty; Tom Conner, Matt Joy, Tristan Prattley, Sam Redwood (Harley Rodeka 62′); Rhys Ruka, Andrew Ridden, Seamus Ryder, Tim McLennan (Michael Hogan 90′); Sam French, Andrew Mobberley (Tom McBride 62′). Subs (not used): Zane Green, Jude Fitzpatrick.
Loaded WaiBOP United: Zac Speedy, Scott Hilliar, Adam Mitchell, Adam Luque, Finn Cochran; Mario Ilich (Alexis Varela 71′), Xavier Pratt; Mark Jones, Federico Marquez (Tom Probert 88′), Wade Molony; Stephen Hoyle (Maksim Manko 82′). Sub (not used): Louie Caunter.