It was not easy but Palmerston North Marist moved into the second round of the Chatham Cup with a tight 2-1 win over Stop Out at the Ashhurst Domain on Saturday.
The eagerly-anticipated clash, after Marist beat the Wellington side in the Central League playoffs last season, did not live up to its billing with both teams setting themselves up defensively.
Marist coach Simon Lees said it was what he expected from two closely-matched teams.
"It wasn't pretty to watch," Lees said. "But cup games are about winning and sometimes you win ugly."
With Marist taking up their usual position of sitting deep and Stop Out, clearly worried about Marist's pace, doing the same, there was plenty of room for both midfields to cover.
In past games too much room in the midfield has been Marist's downfall, most goals against them coming from range.
This time though, they mostly halted Stop Out dangerman Steve Gulley in his tracks, with Michael Sheridan and Dominic Milne's combative style not allowing Stop Out time on the ball.
The game did not begin well for Marist, who fell a goal behind in the first few minutes before Tomas Mosquera levelled the game after 15 minutes from the penalty spot after Jono Steele was hacked down.
In a game of few chances, it took a piece of brilliance from Mosquera to set up the winner. He beat two Stop Out players with a neat piece of footwork then delivered a pinpoint cross to Sheridan between two defenders for an easy header.
Sheridan had an outstanding game while Tyson Brandt, Steele, Mosquera, Milne and Khair Jones all had strong games.
In a close Chatham Cup game, Red Sox-Manawatu did not take their chances and were beaten 2-0 by Victoria University at Kelburn Park.
Massey University gained bragging rights in the battle of the universities, easily dispatching Victoria University 8-0 in their national women's knockout cup clash at Ashhurst Domain yesterday.
Rhonda Bridges, Jane Barnett and substitute TeeJay Lyn-Lewis scored two goals each, with Mikaela Boxall and Jess Green also scoring.
The win pits Massey in a quarterfinal clash with Waterside-Karori who beat Palmerston North side Valeron Wanderers in a nail-biter in Wellington.
Valeron lost 2-1 on penalties after the sides were locked 2-all at fulltime and after extra-time.
Catherine Pretty stepped up and scored the first shot, then the following four all missed along with three of the Waterside players.
"It's pretty gutting after we had done so much to win the game," Valeron coach Craig Newell said.
"But I'm very proud of all the girls. There were two teams playing this game and it showed we're well and truly good enough to match the top Central League sides."
Newell said they had been hoping they would get a chance to play Massey in the next round and it was disappointing because they had been so close.
Ella Wiebe put Valeron ahead 1-0, then Libby Boobyer put Valeron ahead again before Valeron had a shout for a penalty turned down near the end of the game.
- Manawatu Standard