The sending off of key defender Frank O'Boyle in the second half and going behind 1-0 from the resulting penalty kick was the catalyst for Old Boys' exit from this season's New Zealand-wide Chatham Cup tournament.
The locals bowed out 2-0 to Football South Premier League unit University at the ILT Turf in Invercargill yesterday in a game that, as it developed, looked more likely to be settled with a mistake or a stroke of luck as both attacking units failed to make the most of their few chances.
The defensive lines stood fast for both teams and the midfield play was keen and even as the game ebbed and flowed from end to end.
However, 20 minutes into the second half, O'Boyle, who, along with colleagues Jeremy Dix and Hamish Low was having an outstanding defensive game, elected to stop the ball entering the net with his hand resulting in the game-changing incident.
Minutes earlier, O'Boyle had a strong header cleared off the line to safety at the other end in a last- ditch effort from a University defender.
Despite a valiant effort from the remaining 10 players, Old Boys were finally put to the sword with a goal of real class five minutes from fulltime and from a quick counter-attack by the visitors the ball found its way to Ifeangi Unamadu, who swept it across the front of goal to the head of Peter Overmire.
Overmire left Old Boys keeper Mitch Fowler groping at air as the ball flew into the net to complete the 2-0 scoreline.
"We felt our biggest problem would be adjusting to the artificial turf from the grass we normally play on, and our first-half effort reflected that. Our play leading up to the penalty deserved a goal and that gave us the momentum to finish the job. I was impressed with our debut player Cory Glover, whom I chose as our player of the day," University coach Luiz Uehara said. Other Other Football South zone Chatham Cup results: West End 1, Pleasant Point 2; Dunedin Tech 4, Roslyn 1; Northern Hearts 5, Mosgiel 0.
- The Southland Times