Mixed fortunes for Reid, Wood

Find out how the overseas-based All Whites performed for their respective clubs over the weekend with the first instalment of our newly-introduced ‘Kiwis Abroad’ series.

There were mixed fortunes for New Zealand’s players in the English top divisions with Winston Reid helping West Ham United to a crucial win over Southampton in the Premier League while Chris Wood was on target again for Leeds United in the Championship but couldn’t prevent his side falling to a loss at promotion rivals Huddersfield Town.

Defender Reid played the full 90 minutes as the Hammers came from behind to claim a 3-1 victory against the Saints and move into the top half of the Premier League table. The only blot on the centre back’s copy book arrived late on when he received a yellow card with just a couple of minutes remaining.

Up in Yorkshire, the final moments proved costly for Leeds, who were on track for a point after Wood had equalised Huddersfield’s opener in the 35th minute. The striker showed a high degree of skill and composure to control a flick on and calmly finish in front of over 22,000 fans.

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It was Wood’s 18th strike of what is turning into a very prolific campaign – he is just two goals off the Championship’s golden boot lead – but it counted for little as Huddersfield scored a winner with one of the last kicks of the game in the 89th minute. The action then ended on a sour note as Leeds manager Gary Monk and counterpart David Wagner were both sent to the stands after clashing on the touchline.

The news out of Ipswich Town was much more pleasing as Tommy Smith made his long-awaited return from back surgery by taking full part as the club’s U-23 side romped to an 8-0 triumph over Watford. And he wasn’t the only All White to make an impact on proceedings as young striker Monty Patterson hit a hat-trick in the rout.

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Another New Zealander will soon be strutting his stuff at U-23 level in England after Sam Brotherton put pen to paper on a professional deal with Premier League outfit Sunderland. Brotherton, who was a member of the New Zealand squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015 and has seven caps for the All Whites, has signed until the 2019 off-season.

Over in mainland Europe, winger Ryan Thomas played the full 90 minutes as PEC Zwolle earned a crucial 3-2 win over Sparta Rotterdam to move three points clear of the bottom three in the Dutch Eredivisie. Thomas and his team mates will continue their fight against relegation on Friday evening when they host N.E.C. in another important showdown.

Zwolle are hoping to stay out of the second-tier Eerste Divisie, or Jupiler League, in which goalkeeper Tamati Williams was unable to stop RKC Waalwijk slumping to a third consecutive defeat. It was the youth team of FC Utrecht that did the damage on this occasion by inflicting a 2-1 loss as Waalwijk played their second match in just four days. Despite the disappointing result, Williams’ side are eleventh on the ladder and remain in the play-off hunt.

All Whites goalkeeper Tamati Williams trudges off the field after suffering a third defeat in a row for RKC Waalwijk.

All Whites goalkeeper Tamati Williams trudges off the field after suffering a third defeat in a row for RKC Waalwijk.

Across the Atlantic in Canada, fullback Deklan Wynne is getting back into his stride at club level as the Vancouver Whitecaps second-string kicks off its pre-season training period. The team is preparing for its third season in the United Soccer League (USL) and Wynne was a member of the line-up that reached the Western Conference Final last year. Wynne and co will play three pre-season matches in preparation for their March 25 regular season opener at LA Galaxy II.

Also in pre-season training is fellow fullback Kip Colvey, who has a new assistant coach to learn from after the recent appointment of former Chelsea and Scotland striker John Spencer in that role for Colvey’s Major League Soccer side, the San Jose Earthquakes.

Closer to home in the A-League, a group of All Whites took their talents to New Plymouth for the first time this season but couldn’t give the locals a win to cheer about as the Wellington Phoenix fell to a 3-1 loss against Western Sydney Wanderers. Glen Moss, Andrew Durante, Tom Doyle, Kosta Barbarouses and Shane Smeltz all started for the ‘Nix’ while Michael McGlinchey and Matt Ridenton came off the bench in the second half.

Smeltz scored from the penalty spot in the 71st minute – his first goal since his return to the club – but his day was to end on a low note as he picked up a second yellow card soon after and was dismissed. The result allowed Western Sydney to leapfrog the Phoenix on the table and leave Des Buckingham’s side in eighth place.

Across the Tasman, Marco Rojas was at the centre of a thrilling derby as his Melbourne Victory side scored twice in the last six minutes to beat Melbourne City 2-1 in front of more than 30,000 fans at Etihad Stadium. The ‘Kiwi Messi’ won a penalty for Victory just after the hour mark but Besart Berisha was not able to beat Dean Bouzanis from the spot.

Berisha made up for his penalty miss by equalising with six minutes left – Rojas teeing the goal up with some trademark skill in the box – before Victory got the winner just a few moments later when City’s former Phoenix defender Manny Muscat turned the ball into his own net.

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