By Bob Pearce / asbpremiership.co.nz
AUCKLAND - Sean Lovemore’s boots are made for travelling – and scoring goals for his new club, Hawkes Bay United.
The 20-year-old has moved on from Waitakere United to the Bay but still works in Auckland and clocks up the kilometres as he commits himself to training and playing away from home.
This Sunday he will enjoy what is almost a home game as the Bay take on Auckland City at Kiwitea St in an ASB Premiership top-of-the-table clash.
The schedule seems to suit him.
He has had a brace of goals in each of Hawkes Bay’s wins against Waikato and Manawatu in the first two rounds of the Premiership and shares the lead in the Golden Boot contest.
A national under-20 and under-23 representative, who has played his winter football for Onehunga Sports, Lovemore never established a regular starting slot for Waitakere, though he did make a one-off appearance for the injury-hit Wellington Phoenix against Sydney in February 2011.
Hawke's Bay have never made the Premiership playoffs, something coach Chris Greatholder and his assistant, Perry Cotton, will be keen to rectify this season.
Two wins from two starts sets the scene for a breakthrough season and victory over Auckland City would be a huge confidence boost.
Auckland sealed the minor premiership with a 3-2 win in the corresponding fixture last season but not without some stumbles. Conor Tinnion gave the Bay the lead in the opening minute, Chad Coombes, David Mulligan and Luis Corrales scored for Auckland before a Tom Biss penalty for 3-2 gave the home team an anxious few minutes at the end.
Coombes and Mulligan have switched to Waitakere this season but Corrales is still around and came to the rescue of Auckland last weekend with two goals in the last five minutes to salvage a 3-1 win over Otago United in Dunedin.
Auckland coach Ramon Tribulietx was pleased that his team kept their composure despite going behind to a “lucky” goal which frustrated them.
“They kept playing our system and retained their confidence which paid off in the end,” he said.
Tribulietx is sure his team are not distracted by the prospect of heading off in a couple of weeks to play in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
“We’re trying not to speak about it,” he said. “It’s understandable they think about it but they have kept their focus on the games here. This week we’re concentrating on the Hawkes Bay game. Chris Greatholder has established a different shape and structure.
“They have a good defence and they’ve added pace and power up front so that they’re a threat on the counter-attack.”
Captain Ivan Vicelich should be back from All White duty in China in time for the game but fullback Angel Berlanga is nursing a groin strain he suffered in Dunedin.
For the moment Tamati Williams is first choice goalie ahead of Jacob Spoonley.
Hawke's Bay United
Josh MARGETTS and Matt BRUIN are drafted into a provisionally assembled squad as coach Chris GREATHOLDER monitors injury niggles in his group.
Angel BERLANGA misses out through injury
Tui KENNEDY drops out as part of a squad rotation policy.
All Whites player Ivan VICELICH is confirmed in the squad. Jacob SPOONLEY is dropped from the squad with Tamati WILLIAMS elevated to first choice goalkeeper. Liam ANDERSON provides cover for WILLIAMS on the bench.
Jarrod SMITH (hamstring) is again on the injured list.
Auckland City has won seven and drawn one of its last eight clashes with Hawke’s Bay United. The navy blues have also never lost to Hawke’s Bay United at home since the competition was launched for a record of played nine, won eight and drawn one.
History does not favour Hawke’s Bay United in this fixture their only wins a 4-2 (2004/05) success and a 2-0 victory (2007/08). Last season, Bay ran Auckland City very close in 3-2 and 3-1 defeats.
ASB Premiership - Round 3
Hawke's Bay United
Sunday 18 November, 2012
12- Tamati WILLIAMS (GK)
1- Richard GILLESPIE (GK)
2- Simon ARMS
2- Aaron JONES
3- Takuya IWATA
3- Josh MARGETTS
6- Jason HICKS
4- Danny WILSON
7- James PRITCHETT
5- Bill ROBERTSON (c)
8- Chris BALE
6- Stephe HINDMARCH
9- Manel EXPOSITO
7- Matt HASTINGS
10- Luis CORRALES
8- Cole PEVERLEY
11- Danko KOPRIVCIC
10- Stephen HOYLE
13- Alex FENERIDIS
11- Conor TINNION
14- Adam DICKINSON
12- Harley RODEKA
15- Ivan VICELICH (c)
16- Sean LOVEMORE
16- Albert RIERA
17- Fergus NEIL
17- Pedro Santa Cecilia GARCIA
19- Rudi BAUERFIEND
18- Liam ANDERSON (GK)
21- Matt BRUIN
19- Dan SARIC
23- Luke CHAPMAN
20- Emiliano TADE
26- Danyon DRAKE (GK)
22- Andrew MILNE