Miramar hero Cole Peverley is targeting an unbeaten season after Rangers knocked a 10-man Western Suburbs out of the Chatham Cup with a 1-0 extra-time win in a controversial second round clash yesterday.
Underdogs Wests had been the better side for 75 scoreless minutes at David Farrington Park but the match turned when captain Harry Edge was sent off for his second yellow card.
Edge, who is about to join All White Ryan Thomas at PEC Zwolle, was late with his slide tackle on Peverley and was given his marching orders by referee Peter Linney.
The midfielder was joined in the stands by father Declan Edge, Wests' coach, who was sent from the sidelines for referee abuse.
The young Wests side continued to battle manfully but were eventually broken in the second half of extra time as Peverley rose to head in a Cory Chettleburgh corner.
"I wasn't even going to go up until Ben Thomas said ‘go on, get up there', Peverley said.
"A late run and I got my head on the ball and it went in. Fantastic. We always knew Wests were a good team. They played us a week ago and they were very good on the ball. They press us and they did that very well. We had to change our game, we started going a bit longer and it started to work."
It capped a fine long weekend for Rangers, who regained the Central League lead by beating arch-rivals Wellington Olympic 3-0 on Saturday.
Rangers have won all seven league games this season and one-cap All White Peverley, in his first year at Miramar, said there was no reason why they couldn't win their fifth Chatham Cup as well.
"We don't want to lose this season. I don't know what the Auckland teams are like but we've definitely got the team to go all the way."
Meanwhile, Declan Edge slammed the decision to send his son off and claimed Linney was not ready to referee at this level.
"It was terrible," Edge said.
"The player's gone in for a tackle which is fine and he's pulled out of the tackle at the last minute, knowing he's on a yellow card. A sending off? No. Did it change the game? I don't know but why would you have a national league referee on the line [John Rowbury] and then the young kid that they're trying to promote in a big game like this? He's not ready."
Former All White Edge was proud of his players, who pressed tirelessly and were slick with their passing, but unable to defeat Phil Imray in goal.
"I've coached some teams before and that was as good a performance as I've seen from a bunch of players that worked hard to try and get a result for themselves. I am very proud."
In the other big central region game, Napier City Rovers edged Olympic 5-4 in an extra time classic at Park Island.
Stu Wilson scored the winner for Rovers.
Upper Hutt City upset Wairarapa United 2-0, Lower Hutt City outclassed Stokes Valley 4-1, Tawa defeated Waterside Karori 3-1 and Victoria University beat North End 3-0.
- The Dominion Post
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