Favourites keep out opposition
It was an afternoon for the favourites in Southland Football's premier men's Donald Gray Cup competition as Queens Park and Southend United, who are locked in second place eight points behind Old Boys, had comfortable wins over Waihopai and Thistle respectively.
Old Boys had the bye day on Saturday, knowing that their lead had been further enhanced by the decision of Football South to uphold a protest from the first round game between Queens Park and Southend United.
Both teams were found to have played ineligible players and the decision was to declare the game be annulled and that no points or goals scored be awarded.
Queens Park had won the game, 3-2.
On Saturday, Queens Park dominated both halves of their game against Waihopai at O'Rorke Park eventually winning 9-0 while Southend United had to come from a goal down at the ILT Turf to beat Thistle 5-1.
George Edwards was the player of the day for Queens Park as he added four goals to a Matty Burgess strike to give Park a seemingly unassailable 5-0 halftime lead.
Edwards effort was made more impressive as three of his goals were headed into the net from inch-perfect crosses by team-mates.
In the second half, Burgess added another goal, Kevin Downie chimed in with two and a Josh Smith goal completed the 9-0 rout.
Waihopai's starting lineup, missing several of their regular players, struggled from the outset and with goals coming at regular intervals their task just got harder as the game progressed.
"It's no fun winning games by wide margins against weakened teams but we did take our chances well. I was pleased George had a successful afternoon, he has a good attitude and has fitted into the team well," Queens Park coach Cory Johnson said.
At the ILT Turf, Southend United coach Iain Walker was once again left wondering why his team is making just average starts to games following another slow start against Thistle.
"Its certainly baffling and something we need to work on, although we have turned in some top class second-half displays." Walker said.
Daniel Ashby, having his first start for Thistle this season, opened the scoring to put his team 1-0 ahead. Steve MacDonald countered with an equaliser for Southend United minutes later before a Thistle own-goal put Southend 2-1 in front.
James McFelin then slotted a goal to give Southend a 3-1 lead that they held until the halftime break.
MacDonald extended the lead to 4-1 with his second of the afternoon and Thistle completed the day's scoring with a second own-goal to inflate Southend's already widening margin to 5-1.
For Thistle, Todd Findlater's work rate has to be commended while goalkeeper Darren Dummigan kept the score from becoming embarrassing with a series of fine saves.
Southend United defender Reon Calder had another a strong game and was well supported by team-mate Dave Donegan.
Division 1 Old Boys 5, Winton 0; Queens Park 3, Western Rovers 1; Gore Wanderers Red 4, GoPro Invercargill Thistle 0; Gore Wanderers Black 3, Arrow International Waihopai 0.
Division 2 cup: Old Boys Black 1, Gore Wanderers 0; Old Boys Red 3, Cleanways Thistle 0; Southend United Green 4, Thistle Blue 2.
Division 2 trophy: Queens Park 7, Western Rovers 1; Old Boys White 8, Queens Park Masters 1; Southend United Black 4, Smiths City Waihopai 0.
The Southland Times