Vandalism overshadows Chatham Cup match
Three third round Chatham Cup replays were overshadowed by a shocking act of pitch vandalism that saw 59 nails scattered across the pitch before today's match between Glenfield Rovers and Birkenhead United.
Already transferred once then abandoned shortly after halftime last week due to the unplayable conditions, the replay was again transferred to Taharoto Park in Takapuna after Glenfield's home ground McFetridge Park was ruled out early on Sunday morning.
Although Taharoto Park passed inspection at 10am, match officials found 59 nails spread across the pitch during a second inspection closer to kickoff.
New Zealand Football officials will now turn the matter over to police.
When play got underway later in the day at North Harbour Stadium the two fierce North Shore rivals served up a classic cup encounter with extra time, five goals and and the appearance of two substitute goalkeepers.
Birkenhead, who were 3-0 ahead when last week's match got abandoned, were the first to score when Sam Jenkins got on the end of a free kick midway through the first half but Matt Wallace drew Rovers level in first half injury time shortly after Birkenhead's first choice number one, John Fletcher left the field injured.
Despite being reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute when Danny Parkes received his second yellow, Glenfield looked to have snatched it with Michael Gywther's 90th minute penalty. However, a red card to Rovers 'keeper Neil Dayal for striking an opponent gifted Jack Hobson McVeigh the chance to even the scores again time from the penalty spot deep into injury time.
Even then there was still time for both teams to rattle the woodwork before fulltime was finally called and the game sent to extra time.
Birkenhead's extra numbers finally told in the second period of extra time with Sam Margetts clinching the win in the 109th minute and a fourth round home tie against Hamilton Wanderers next Saturday.
The fourth round of the Chatham Cup takes place this weekend - aside from Cashmere Technical's match against the winner of Nelson College and Waimak United - with the final of the 90 year competition scheduled for September 15.
Ellerslie 1 (Warrick Hart 12')
Waitakere City 3 (Jake Butler 8', John Muchirahondo 29', Alopua Petoa 90')
Caversham 4 (Seamus Ryder 5', 81'; Mitchell Carter 77', Callum Flaws 87')
Dunedin Technical 0
Glenfield Rovers 2 (Matt Wallace 45+1, Michael Gwyther pen 90')
Birkenhead United 3 (Sam Jenkins 23', Jack Hobson-McVeigh pen 90+5', Sam Margetts 109')
After extra time (Halftime: 1-1, Fulltime 2-2)