July 5, 2012
AUCKLAND – The coach of ASB Chatham Cup upstarts Stop Out admits his side’s cover is well and truly blown heading into this weekend’s fourth round ties.
The Lower Hutt based side, currently mid-table in Wellington’s second tier Capital Premier League, take on four time winners Miramar Rangers at Wellington’s Wakefield Park on Saturday but the Central League outfit hold no fear for Stop Out.
They’ve already sent three time winners Western Suburbs tumbling in the first round followed by 2009 winners Olympic in round two before defeating the leaders of their own division, Upper Hutt, in the third round to complete a trio of upsets and reach the last 16 of the cup’s 85th edition.
Coach Scott Easthope admits his side aren’t about to sneak up on Miramar.
“It’s fair to say our cover been blown a bit,” said Easthope.
“Also being in the local league we’ve played Miramar’s reserve team so there’ll be a couple of players who have already played against us. They’ll know plenty about us, let’s put it that way, and vice versa.”
Stop Out’s cup form has made their league record look average and Easthope says the Chatham Cup has brought the best out of the team in his first season as coach.
“It’s been tough for the boys to get used to me, a new regime and a new coaching style but when we approach games that we need to prepare properly for or we risk being flogged, those are the games we turn up with the right attitude. When we do that we’re good enough to beat anyone.”
Almost six decades have passed since Stop Out beat Shamrock at the Basin Reserve to win the 1956 Chatham Cup final but Easthope says their current ruin is beginning to stir memories of the club faithful as well as introducing younger players to the excitement the competition can generate within a club.
“The guys in our team who have played a lot of games for the club and are a big part of the culture have been really important in making other players aware of the history and what the Chatham Cup means.
“Any time you go on a Chatham Cup run it’s the sort of thing that can bring a lot of energy to a club. The players have enjoyed that energy and want to keep it going for all those club people that watch us every week.
Elsewhere in the Chatham Cup’s final regional round, Dunedin hosts a Sunday double header against visiting Christchurch teams with Dunedin Technical meeting Western at the Caledonian and Caversham welcoming Cashmere Technical to Tonga Park.
Last season’s runners up Napier City Rovers travel to Lower Hut’s Bell Park to meet Lower Hutt City in an all-Central League clash while the heavyweight clashes in the Northern Region see Melville hosting Auckland’s Eastern Suburbs at Hamilton’s Gower Park and Three Kings taking on Central United at Keith Hay Park.
Northern League Division Two club Manukau City host first division Papatoetoe at Massey Park on Saturday in their toughest test of their cup run while Birkenhead United are also eying an upset at home when they host Hamilton Wanderers at Shepherd’s Park on Sunday.
The eight fourth round winners will enter an open national draw for the Chatham Cup quarterfinals. The final of the ASB Chatham Cup is scheduled for August 25.
Full Fourth Round draw