May 13, 2012
AUCKLAND – Underdogs around the country enjoyed their day in the sun, with the First Round proper of the 85th ASB Chatham Cup throwing up a score of upsets including an early exit for a recent winner.
Clubs in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty federation league led the way as four clubs claimed the scalps of Northern League first or second division sides with Waikato Unicol’s 2-1 win over Glenfield Rovers the pick of the bunch.
The better part of two divisions separated the sides before the match but the students made the most of home advantage and clinched victory through a 75th minute goal to Rob Sonntag, just five minutes after a Cory Hitchin penalty had cancelled out Hamish Utteridge’s first half opener.
Otumoetai matched the scale of Unicol’s shock result by edging Albany United 4-2 in a tense penalty shootout at Rosedale Park on Auckland’s North Shore. Lee Robinson had given the home side an early lead but Matt Fisher drew Otumoetai level in the 68th minute. The visitors the held their nerve from the spot to reach to go into next week’s draw for second round on Queen’s Birthday Monday.
Ngongotaha and Whakatane Town joined in on the upsets dispatching Northern League second division sides Western Springs and Matamata Swifts 2-1 and 3-2 respectively, while Auckland Sunday leaguers Bohemian Celtic won a seven goal thriller against first division Forrest Hill Milford at Bill McKinlay Park.
Auckland/Northern conference side Waitemata also accounted for a Northern League side beating second division Onehunga Mangere United 4-1 at home.
The most notable scalp among 46 first round ties came in Wellington however, as Capital Premier League strugglers Stop Out knocked out three time winners Western Suburbs at Hutt Park with Martin Packer grabbing two goals in the 3-1 victory over the 2007 champions.
Upper Hutt City also knockout out a Central League side, putting two unanswered goals past Tawa away from home while for the second year running Lower Hutt beat bitter rivals Petone 2-1 with a late goal with Andrew Coad finding the winner in extra time.
The upsets continued in the deep south as Invercargill’s Old Boys edged Southern Premier League side Green Island 3-2. Barra Toubet was the hero for the home side with two goals including the winner late in the game.
On Sunday, a Jindrich Hahn hat trick fired Northern League division two side Tauranga City United to a 3-2 win over division one Metro, while there were big wins for Waiuku, who thumped Cambridge 7-0, and Nelson Suburbs who thrashed eight-man Richmond 8-0. Birkenhead beat Ellerslie 4-1 in Sunday’s other fixture.
The draw for the second round will see the introduction of the last remaining seeded teams from the Northern and Southern regions as well as defending champions Wairarapa United from the Central region.