Blunders set up must-win encounter
Old Boys' run of dismal results in the Football South Premier League continued on Saturday when they were soundly beaten 6-1 by Dunedin visitor Caversham at the ILT Football Turf in Invercargill.
Old Boys again showed glimpses of being competitive, but lacked direction on attack and their finishing was woeful.
Coach Ignacio Sande was disappointed that simple defensive blunders led to two Caversham goals during Old Boys' best period in the game.
"We have had to manage the loss of six important players from the squad during the season," Sande said.
It took Caversham 25 minutes to register their first goal, when Tom Jackson slotted home to give them a 1-nil lead.
Two minutes later debutant striker Sammy Cosgrove pounced on a defensive error and it was 2-nil to the visitors.
Caversham went to the halftime break with a 3-nil lead thanks to another opportunist goal from Cosgrove.
Facing a three-goal deficit, Old Boys tried to get into the scoring early in the second half, but several well-worked moves were spoiled by wayward play in attack and an outstanding display by Caversham's centre back Jude Fitzpatrick.
Tall in stature, Fitzpatrick was able to easily cut out any balls that Old Boys tried to lob over the Caversham defence for their front runners to pursue.
It was a good 30 minutes of play though from Old Boys but it came to an end when Callum Flaws was on hand to tap in a goal and give Caversham a 4-nil lead. Within minutes, Old Boys pulled a goal back with a nicely worked free kick which James Tucker placed wide of the Caversham keeper.
With time running out, Caversham scored twice more, with Ant Hancock and Tim Cook extending their advantage to 6-1.
Old Boys face Grants Braes next Saturday in a must-win game to have any chance of survival in the league.
But their fate is really in the hands of Queenstown Rovers, who need only two points from their final two games to keep Old Boys in the drop zone.
Southend United showed they have transferred their Donald Gray Cup championship form into the Charity Cup competition as they accounted for a depleted Waihopai unit 10-nil in the first semifinal.
Southend ran up a 5-nil lead by the halftime break and doubled it by the end of the game. Navarre Campbell 3, Kyle Schins 3, and Dave Donegan and James McFelin, with 2 each, did the damage for Southend.
In something of an upset, Old Boys edged out the more favoured Queens Park team 2-nil in the second Charity Cup semifinal to earn the right to play Southend in the final next week.
Atain Halley put Old Boys 1-nil ahead after 10 minutes with a goal against the run of play.
After an absorbing 80 minutes, when Old Boys had chances to increase the lead and Park chances to level the score, it was a late goal from Old Boys' Bob Cox that destroyed Park's hopes and sealed the 2-nil win.
Queenstown Rovers tightened their grip on the Kolk Cup title on another day for the favourites in the women's premier league, with the top three teams, Queenstown, Southend United and Waihopai, all recording wins.
Queenstown Rovers didn't have it all their own way against a strong Queens Park challenge at Queenstown before eventually edging out the visitors 2-nil through goals from Rose O'Neill and Ella van der Geest.
Another Jackie Robertson hat-trick and goals to Tracey McKay 2, Hayley Munro, Casey Bryant and Megan Walker ensured Southend United claimed a comfortable 8-nil win over Old Boys.
Meanwhile, at Surrey Park, Waihopai accounted for Thistle 5-1 with their goals coming from Kirsty Montgomery 2, Leah McGregor, Theresa Rhein and Jessica Watts.
Football South Premier: Caversham 6, Maddison Financial Services Old Boys 1; Dunedin Technical 12, Grants Braes 0; Roslyn Wakari 4, Mosgiel 1; Green Island 1, Northern 1.
Charity Cup semifinals: Old Boys 2, Queens Park 0; Southend United 10, Waihopai 0.
Edinburgh Trophy semifinals: Western Rovers 3, Queens Park 2; Cleanways Thistle 2, Old Boys AFC 0.
Premier women: Xtreme Bar Queenstown Rovers 2, Eastend Liquor Queens Park 0; Malloch McClean Waihopai 5, Thistle 1; Southbuild ITM Winton 5, Club Southland Western Rovers 0; Southend United 8, AWS Legal Old Boys 0; Eastern Southland Midwifery Gore Wanderers 6, Queens Park 2 0.
The Southland Times