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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Solomon Islands’ Totori keep pace in NZ soccer club championship golden boot race.

Graham Little has ended a rare goal drought to earn Team Wellington a point at YoungHeart Manawatu.

The Scottish marksman broke his duck in the eighth game of the season just a minute after Benjamin Totori had given Manawatu the lead at FMG Stadium on Sunday.
The result saw Manawatu slip five points behind leaders Waitakere United who beat visiting Waikato FC 1-0 in Henderson while the point keeps Wellington firmly in the playoff hunt.

Totori's 10th goal of the campaign in the 69th minute sees the Solomon Islander five clear of Auckland marksman Keryn Jordan in the golden boot race. But both sides were left ruing a "stack" of unconverted chances in the difficult, gusty conditions.
"We found the conditions difficult but we should have played better than we did – I guess we had an off day," Manawatu coach Shane Rufer said.
"The game could have gone either way and we attacked more strongly in the last 15 minutes. I thought Maemae had it won for us with the last free kick but it wasn’t to be.

"The boys know they could have won this and they are very disappointed."

Wellington coach Mick Waitt was also left wondering what might have been afterwards.
"We are disappointed with the result, especially the last 15 minutes. I thought we played well in the first half and used the wind well. The conditions made it hard for both teams to play expansive football," he said.

"The match was tight and could have gone either way."

Alick Maemae and Totori were Manawatu's best while goalkeeper James Bannatyne and striker Costa Barbarouses shone for Wellington.

Source: NZ Soccer.

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