Upper Hutt wins tight encounter with Marist
Marist were beaten 4-3 in an entertaining encounter by Wellington league side Upper Hutt in their second-round Chatham Cup clash at Upper Hutt yesterday.
With their loss, only the Massey University women's side remain in either national knockout cup and they'll meet Seatoun in the quarterfinals on June 17.
After opening the scoring early in the first spell, Marist were then made to pay for missing other clear chances as Upper Hutt scored twice before the break. They added another brace after halftime to lead 4-1 with all four goals scored by Upper Hutt striker Luke Grindlay.
Goals from Khair Jones, who added his second goal, and Tyson Brandt gave Marist some hope. Although a couple of long-range efforts, one from midfielder Dave McCorkindale, went close, Marist couldn't force the game into extra time.
Marist coach Matt Kennedy was disappointed not to win a tight game, but also for conceding four goals.
"It's a bit gutting because we had our chances to score but didn't take them," Kennedy said. "But we made it hard for ourselves by giving away four goals."
Importantly though it gave Kennedy the opportunity to look at a side that looks likely to go close to winning the Wellington premier title where Upper Hutt have an impressive seven-point lead over Waterside-Karori.
The Wellington winner will face the central region winner home and away with Marist, Red Sox-Manawatu and Wanganui City in a scrap for that position.
"They're a pretty handy team and if they win the Wellington competition they won't be easy to beat," Kennedy said.
"They were better than us on the day but there's nothing between us."
Kennedy said being knocked out of the Chatham Cup now left his side totally focused on the Western Premiership title.
"We've got a tough game next Sunday when we face Taranaki in New Plymouth which will be important for our title hopes."
Wanganui City are the only Western Premiership side left in the league with Kyle Graeme-Luke's goal giving his side a 1-0 win over Island Bay in Wanganui.
YoungHeart and former Manawatu players featured in wins by other sides with Jared Bloor (2) and Joachin Rande scoring for Hawke's Bay side Maycenvale in their expected 4-0 win over Taranaki side Inglewood.
Six of Wairarapa United's seven goals in their 7-3 win over New Plymouth Rangers at New Plymouth yesterday were scored by current or former Manawatu players. YoungHeart Manawatu striker Seuli Soromon scored three, former YoungHeart captain Adam Cowan bagged two and Nathan Cooksley one.
Wairarapa are the defending Chatham Cup champions.