By David Gearey / asbpremiership.co.nz
NAPIER - A return to an old stomping ground often brings goals out of a footballer at least that's what Team Wellington frontman Hamish Watson hopes for on Sunday.
The Team Wellington/Wellington Phoenix extended squad member is on track to inflict further misery on his former side who return to Bluewater Stadium after back to back defeats on the road.
Team Wellington are also finding consistency hard to come by but Watson is hoping his return to Napier may get the capital men back on the right path as they move into the Christmas break.
“I’m really looking forward to this game. I’m still quite close to a few of the lads and there will be some banter thrown about but I’m just looking forward to having a good game at Bluewater Stadium," Watson said.
The powerful striker is aware that if his side are going to push for playoffs this season, complete 90 minute performances must become priority.
Watson said: "I feel we're going alright, we just need to find some consistency and gel more as a team, but I feel we are on the right track and should have a good season”.
Both clubs know that with the festive season drawing near, the match beckons as a six pointer in the race for the playoffs, a notion enforced by Bay's recent speed wobbles on the road.
Those two defeats for Bay have seen the Bluewater Stadium favourites slip off the pace and only victory this Sunday will give them a precious points buffer as they head into the new year.
New signing Stephen Hoyle could be seen as one of many players attributed to the Bay’s position in which they sit on the current league table.
The 19 year old English Import has had a bright start to his ASB Premiership campaign and would want nothing more but to see his side continue their run for the playoffs.
Hoyle said: “I'd like to do more on the scoring front but my main priority is playing my part in the bay making the playoffs for the first time.
“Hopefully I can bag another this weekend and give their defenders a hard time. It's a massive game and we are well prepared.
Hoyle goes in search of more goals without fellow striker Sean Lovemore, who was sent off against former club Waitakere last Sunday.
But the dilemma for coach Chris Greatholder eased immensely this week with Jarrod Smith and Dakota Lucas both returning to training.
Hawke’s Bay will be eager for the return of the exciting duo and their 2013 campaign could be a historic one to saviour.
The match takes place a Bluewater Stadium this Sunday and kick off is scheduled for 2pm.
Hawke's Bay United
Sorely missed during last week’s 4-0 reverse in Christchurch following suspension, former All Whites midfielder Cole PEVERLEY returns to the Bay squad.
Sean LOVEMORE, Bay’s leading scorer, is suspended, while Matt HASTINGS and Ross HAVILAND are both injured.
Cory CHETTLEBURGH (suspended) and skipper Adam McGEORGE (hamstring) are key losses for Team Wellington as they try to get back to winning ways.
Jarrod SMITH and Dakota LUCAS returned to training this week.
Hamish WATSON returns to Bluewater Stadium for the first time since last season to face his old club.
statistics: Hawke’s Bay United has never beaten Team Wellington in a regular season ASB Premiership fixture at Bluewater Stadium. A record of 0 wins, four draws and six defeats makes up the tale of the tape for Chris GREATHOLDER’s club.
Team Wellington linked two wins from two over the Bay last season and rattled in 9 goals for with 3 against. The capital men’s biggest win at Bluewater Stadium was a 7-0 thrashing achieved five years ago. Wellington has never lost to Hawke’s Bay away from home in eight years.
Hawke's Bay United
ASB Premiership - Round 7
Sunday 16 December, 2012
1- Richard GILLESPIE (GK)
1- Scott BASALAJ (GK)
2- Aaron JONES
2- Tim SCHAEFFERS
3- Josh MARGETTS
5- Andreas DAMGAARD
4- Danny WILSON
7- Wiremu PATRICK
5- Bill ROBERTSON (c)
10- Henry FA'ARODO
6- Stephen HINDMARCH
13- Karl WHALEN
8- Cole PEVERLEY
14- Dom ROWE
10- Stephen HOYLE
17- Jimmy HAIDAKIS
12- Harley RODEKA
18- Tom DOYLE
17- Fergus NEIL
19- Tobias BERTSCH
18- Dakota LUCAS
21- Justin GULLEY
19- Rudi BAUERFIEND
22- Hamish WATSON
20- Conor TINNION
23- Tom BISS
21- Matt BRUIN
24- Alec SOLOMONS
22- Angus KILKOLLU\Y
25- Will JONES (GK)
25- Danyon DRAKE (GK)
20- Luke ROWE