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Olympic carves up Taranaki

Team Taranaki proved the perfect guest at Olympic's 50th anniversary party in Wellington yesterday gifting the home side a 4-0 victory.

Head coach Ian McGrath admitted his Energyworks Taranaki side was completely outplayed in the Central League football clash at Newtown Park.

"For the first time this season, we were carved open and deserved nothing from the match," McGrath said.

"We are naturally all disappointed at the result, but we have to be philosophical about it, take it on the chin and take stock of our own performances."

In typical fashion, Taranaki competed well in the first spell and trailed by a solitary goal at the break.

But a sweetly taken strike it was, according to McGrath. Adam Church flew in off Olympic's left flank to meet a cross and steered it past Mike Reive in the Taranaki goal from the edge of the box.

Nevertheless, with the game on a knife-edge and Taranaki's habit of being hard to put away, McGrath remained optimistic going into the sheds. "At halftime, we didn't feel we were out of the game."

But Olympic striker Mickey Malivak put an end to any thoughts of a comeback, with a rapid-fire second-half hat-trick.

He had the first goal within five minutes of the break. Picking up a ball played in behind the Taranaki defence, Malivak calmly slotted it past Reive. The next two came in quick succession and effectively ended the match as a contest.

"They were superb passages of play, they carved us open and the striker was able to finish both from inside the box," McGrath said.

The Chatham Cup break this weekend couldn't come at a better time for Team Taranaki, with the side needing to regroup for an important home match against struggler Wellington United in a fortnight.

"Clearly we will want to turn things around against Wellington, put in a good performance and get a result," McGrath said.

Team Taranaki 0 Wellington Olympic 4 (A. Church 1, M. Malivak 3).

By ROBIN MARTIN - Taranaki Daily News

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