Meadowbank United will take on Thistle A tomorrow in search of the their first win of the season following defeats to Timaru City A in week one and Northern Hearts last Saturday.
If Bank’s 3-0 opening day defeat deflated Simon Willett’s side’s confidence, then last weekend’s 8-0 mauling would have completely punctured it.
The Oamaru team were outplayed and outmuscled at Aorangi Park, as failure to retain possession led to defensive errors.
Following the departure of playmaker Kevin Oh and limited availability of Mitchell Greaney this term, Meadowbank’s midfield resembled an orchestra missing a conductor as Hearts looked to punish every forced error.
Luckily for Meadowbank, Thistle A aren’t the same calibre of team as last week’s opponents having also contributed heavily to Hearts’ plus-17 goal difference from a 9-0 loss on the opening day of the season.
Bank did show snippets of creativity last weekend and the return of Greaney for tomorrow’s encounter will help control the tempo of the tie, while Paul Holmes step up from the reserves will bolster the midfield.
Willetts said the weather had hindered his players’ training sessions this week but expects a stronger performance in tomorrow’s outing.
“We’re pretty much the same, we may have Mitchell Greaney coming in the squad and Paul Holmes may come up from the reserves,” he said.
“We haven’t done any field training with the weather but we did a gym session on Tuesday.
“There’s a few things to work on but once that happens I think we’ll be a lot stronger.”
Thistle A vs Meadowbank United, Anzac Square, 2.45pm
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: JAMES FORD
BATTLING ON: Reece Curle makes a challenge during Meadowbank United’s 8-0 loss to Northern Hearts at Aorangi Park in Timaru last Saturday.