Two second half strikes from Canterbury United have put paid to our chances of breaking our ASB Football Park hoodoo.
Angus Kilkolly scampered on to a flick on just after the break to put the hosts 1-0 ahead after an evenly contested first half, before Brock Messenger headed home a Jessie Dingjan free kick late on to secure the points for his side.
We had our moments, with Federico Marquez going close in the first half, while Mark Jones fired over from a promising position with twelve minutes remaining and Canterbury leading by a solitary goal.
Zac Speedy was the busier of the two keepers, with his one-on-one save from Atkin Kaua during the first half a highlight. He was also forced to deal a string of Canterbury corners.
Centre-half, Adam Luque, went down with a serious looking knee injury during the first half. He stayed down for several minutes before being helped off but he was unable to return to the game.
We missed our chance to solidify third spot with Canterbury taking that spot instead.
It doesn’t get any easier for us in our next match, the first of four at FMG Stadium Waikato this season, when we host champions, Auckland City.
Canterbury United 2-0 Loaded WaiBOP United (half time: 0-0)
CU: Kilkolly 48′, Messenger 86′.
Canterbury United: Coey Turipa, Julyan Collett, Tom Schwarz, Atkin Kaua (Michael White 71′), Gary Ogilvie, Juan Chang (Dan Schwarz 89′), Jessie Dingjan, Andre De Jong, Brock Messenger, Andreas Wilson, Angus Kilkolly (Jacob Allen 86′). Subs (not used): Reuben Parker-Hanks, Dan Terris.
Loaded WaiBOP United: Zac Speedy, Scott Hilliar, Adam Mitchell, Adam Luque (Tom Probert 27′), Finn Cochran; Ryan Tinsley (Mario Ilich 76′), Xavier Pratt; Mark Jones (Israel Whitley 84′), Federico Marquez, Wade Molony; Stephen Hoyle. Sub (not used): Louie Caunter.