Western Suburbs dominate Stop Out to make Chatham Cup quarterfinals
Western Suburbs have marched into the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup quarterfinals after a dominant display against Stop Out.
New Zealand under-17 representative Elijah Just scored a hat-trick in the 5-1 win at Hutt Park on Saturday, with contributions from across the park from his Wests team-mates.
"Again, we were very good," Wests coach Declan Edge said.
"We were patient early on, we waited for the opportunities and there was some real quality from all of the players."
The match went to script for Wests as they went up 2-0 by halftime thanks to a great strike from Just from outside the box in the 36th minute, before Xavier Green tapped home from close range in first-half stoppage time. Both goals came on the back of defensive errors from Stop Out, with the home side unable to deal with Wests' press throughout.
Stop Out weren't helped by two early injuries. Left back Scott Henderson left the field after 11 minutes, before influential midfielder Steven Gulley limped off 10 minutes later.
Those injuries, plus Green's goal, left Stop Out coach Chris Sambrooke contemplating what might have been.
"I thought we had a good plan in place. We executed it well for 25 minutes, we restricted them and got them to play in areas we wanted them to play in and turned over a lot of ball, but the constant reshuffling with the two injuries we lost a lot of composure and then two errors in the first half cost us goals.
"Second half the game got a lot more stretched. We got a bit tired and tried to get ourselves back into the game and they're such a good counter attacking side that it was hard to reel them back in."
More errors at the back led to chances for Wests in the second half. Just was on hand to apply two more cool finishes, while substitute Matt Garbett got his side's fifth five minutes from time.
One minute later Jerram Tuck scored Stop Out's consolation goal from the penalty spot after Nando Pijnaker was adjudged to have handled in the box.
The result continued Wests' dominance of the region this season. They've lost only one game in the Central League to sit top with four games to go, while they've won their four Chatham Cup matches by a combined 26-2.
Edge has never put much importance on results during his five years at Wests. The aim has been to develop young players, but one would imagine it's very pleasing for him to see this current crop of Kiwi players, who are predominantly under-20, dominate teams like they have this year.
So would Edge be welcoming the chance to potentially test their talents against one of the nation's heavyweight clubs in the quarterfinals?
"It doesn't really matter. Stop Out today were great opponents, so it doesn't matter who we get in the next round. It would be lovely to get a nice home draw at Endeavour [Park] for Western Suburbs to have a big day in the capital. That would be nice."
Just who Wests have available for that August 5-6 quarterfinal tie will be another matter, with a few of their players committed to United States university programmes. The NCAA season starts on August 25, although Edge was still working through who he would lose and when.
In the region's other match on Saturday, Wairarapa United beat Miramar Rangers 2-1 thanks to goals from Alex Ridsdale and Sam Mason-Smith.
The other teams through to the next round were Birkenhead United, Onehunga Sports, Bay Olympic, Central United, Cashmere Technical and Nelson Suburbs.
Chatham Cup round of 16 results
Western Suburbs 5 (Elijah Just 36' 65' 70', Xavier Green 45', Matt Garbett 85') Stop Out 1 (Jerram Tuck 86' (pen)). HT: 2-0
Wairarapa United 2 (Alex Ridsdale 6', Sam Mason-Smith 39') Miramar Rangers 1 (Tom Jackson 75'). HT: 2-0
Birkenhead United 2 (Godwin Darkwa 59', Jack Salter 71') Three Kings United 1 (Alan Pearce 51'). HT: 0-0
Onehunga Sports 1 (Andrew Milne 59') Melville United 0. HT: 0-0
Bay Olympic 3 (Julyan Collett 15' (pen), Jared Colligan 69', 73') Western Springs 2 (Adam Dickinson 10', 88'). HT: 1-1
Central United 4 (Mario Ilich 2, Emiliano Tade, Nicolas Zambrano) North Shore United 0. HT: 0-0.
Cashmere Technical 2 (Michael White 8', OG 58') Caversham 0. HT: 1-0
Nelson Suburbs 6 (Ben Wright 47' 56', Kristian Gibson 25', Matt Tod-Smith 30', Omar Guardiola 45+2' OG 69') Queenstown Rovers 1 (Gareth Beale 45'). HT: 3-0.