Nelson Suburbs through to Chatham Cup quarterfinals
Ben Wright doesn't care who Nelson Suburbs play in the quarterfinals but his fingers are crossed for a home game.
Suburbs have reached the top eight of the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup for the first time since 2009 after their emphatic 6-1 win away to Queenstown Rovers on Saturday.
Wright, who scored twice in the rout, praised his team for overcoming a mammoth away trip, having driven six hours to Christchurch on Friday before flying to Queenstown on game day, to beat the Southern Premier League side by such a significant margin.
"The boys put a real shift in today, it was brilliant. There was a lot of heart, a lot of guts and right from the first whistle," the player-coach said.
"We tried to press high right from the start and get into them. They have some good players but we didn't give them a lot of room and they didn't have the time or space because we closed them down quickly."
Suburbs made a promising start to the match, played at the picturesque Queenstown Events Centre, with Kristian Gibson's penalty and goals to Matt Tod-Smith and Omar Guardiola giving the visitors an early 3-0 buffer.
Wright then iced the victory with a second half brace with Queenstown scoring once through Gareth Beale before putting the ball in the back of their own net.
It's a remarkable result for Suburbs who joined Cashmere Technical as the only remaining South Island clubs left in the competition. The other quarterfinalists are; Central United, Birkenhead United, Onehunga Sports, Bay Olympic, Western Suburbs and Wairarapa United.
"It was a big game. The boys knew that. I thought the way they applied themselves was brilliant and I think everyone can enjoy a night in Queenstown.
"It's good to get outside of what we're used to. We've played just us and Christchurch for so many years so to play beyond that was a really good experience and something different."
The quarterfinal draw is expected to be revealed on Tuesday afternoon.
AT A GLANCE
Nelson Suburbs 6 (Ben Wright 2, Kristian Gibson pen, Matt Tod-Smith, Omar Guardiola, own goal) Queenstown Rovers 1 (Gareth Beale)