Eastern Suburbs win Chatham Cup final in extra-time over Napier City Rovers
Damien Mosquera's extra-time goal gave Eastern Suburbs victory in the Chatham Cup final in Auckland on Sunday.
Mosquera neatly finished a slick passing move just before the end of the first period of extra-time to give Suburbs a 2-1 win over Napier City Rovers in the prestigious knockout event.
It clinched a sixth Chatham Cup for the club and a 2015 double for the Northern Region Premier Division champions and denied the same for Rovers, who took out the Central League title this winter.
A top drawer left-foot free-kick from Brandon Barnes put Suburbs ahead in the 52nd minute before Danny Wilson levelled for Napier.
Eastern Suburbs coach Malcolm McPherson praised the efforts of his side.
"I think as you've seen today, we've got some talent in the group," McPherson said.
"When you need to churn out a result, which we've had to do so many times this season, those players have consistently stood up and I think that has been on evidence today.
"The game was a little bit more open at times than I would have liked. At the start of the second half we had two or three opportunities where we probably could have put things to bed.
"As it transpired that wasn't the case and they got back into it and it was a little nervy for everybody for that last half an hour."
A match that produced a scrappy score-less first half sprung to life immediately in the second when a Barnes' cross couldn't be converted from close range in the 46th minute.
Rovers then broke down the other end and looked to have claims for a penalty when a player was brought down on the edge of the box, but referee Matt Conger elected to play on and the ensuing result was merely a corner to Napier.
Suburbs retaliated and caused problems from a couple of corners before a goal-line clearance denied Thomas Mosquera from putting the northerners ahead.
However, Barnes broke the deadlock two minutes later with his exquisite free-kick.
Nate Foster came close to doubling Suburbs' lead soon after but his free header from a cross by Barnes went wastefully over the bar.
Napier winger Miles John, who always looked dangerous running at defenders out wide, was beginning to influence the game again in the second spell and drawing fouls.
It was from a deep free-kick that Rovers found their equaliser in the 67th minute as Ryan Tinsley nodded down for skipper Danny Wilson to control with his chest and swivel to volley home a left-foot strike into the low far corner of the Suburbs net.
Napier then had a spell of dominance which saw Tinsley have a shot on target saved by Simon Williams and Saul Halpin blazed wide when he should have done better after excellent lead up work by Stephen Hoyle and Angus Kilkolly.
Barnes then missed his chance to nab a winner when he side-footed wide on the break, before a deflected strike from John with five minutes to play fell onto the junction of post and crossbar.
Suburbs came close twice in the dying stages of normal time before Halpin missed a glorious chance to become the hero as he dragged his left-foot effort wide from 12 metres out in injury-time.
Napier were again denied strong penalty claims by Conger before Mosquera scored, and there was further agony for them when Halpin fired home a knock-down from player-coach Bill Robertson in the 120th minute, only to wheel away in delight to find his dramatic equaliser ruled out by an offside flag.
John was named the winner of the Jack Batty Memorial Trophy as the game's most valuable player.