By Adam Pearse
Massey University Men’s 1st football team has stormed into the Federation Cup final with a comprehensive 5-1 win against Hawkes Bay’s Port Hill.
Massey dominated possession during the game on June 24, creating chances in all areas of the park which led to all five goals being scored by different players.
New coach, Donald Piper says Massey had plenty of opportunities to take the game and the boys took their chances.
“It was a game that was there to be won and the boys certainly stepped up and put in a really decent shift.”
Piper notes that the speed of the team’s play wore out a tiring Port Hill side.
“Our ball speed and our movement speed really tested Port Hill. We did shift them around the park quite well and I felt, by 20 minutes in, that they looked pretty tired whereas we were hitting our stride.”
This good cup result comes after tough encounters in the league fixtures as Massey try to lift themselves off the bottom of the table.
Piper says that good performances have been tarnished by the inability to keep a lead but comments that belief in the fundamentals is essential.
“There were a number of games that we led and we could have closed out yet [a lack of] game experience and composure got the better of us.
“We base our philosophy on three things: structure, discipline, hard work and we’ve just got to keep believing in the fundamentals.”
Massey now look to the final where they will play a strong Marist team for the Fed Cup on September 2.
As a former Marist man, Piper acknowledges Massey’s underdog status but says the unity and belief within the club is like no other.
“I can’t put a price on the unity within this squad and within the football club as a whole. There’s a tremendous bond there and something I’ve not experienced at any other club which is something Massey should be proud of.”
PHOTO CRED: Amy Macaulay. Massey Men’s 1sts discuss tactics at halftime against Port Hill