Waikato cup hopes still alive

Waikato's two top sides made the fourth round of the Chatham Cup – but didn't give any overwhelming indications they were contenders for later glory.

Hamilton Wanderers and Melville United saw off non-league opponents 1-0 at the weekend to make the last 16 off the knockout competition.

Wanderers' tendency to play to the level of their opposition has served them well on their way to a share of third spot in the Northern League Premier Division.

However, it causes them undue problems in the cup and they struggled to see off gallant but far-from-threatening non-league Waitemata at Porritt Stadium.

Wanderers were knocked out of last year's tournament at home by Division One Manurewa following a turgid performance, and Saturday's showing was no better.

The hosts eventually triumphed 1-0, with Mark Jones scraping home an eighth-minute penalty after Jordan Shaw was clipped in the area.

That looked likely to open the floodgates as Elliot Collier hit the post soon after and then had a shot cleared off the line.

But that was as good as it got for Mark Cossey's side, and they were fortunate to see a shot cannon against their crossbar and bounce clear after 20 minutes.

Wanderers' woes were highlighted in the second half by striker Daniel Frischknecht horribly mis-hitting his attempt at goal when through one-on-one with the keeper, and later being booked for diving after tripping himself up in the penalty box.

Melville United were able to forget about their Premier Division survival concerns for 90 minutes with an away win yesterday over non-league Oratia, who made the third round with an unimpressive 3-0 victory earlier this month over Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation League One side Waikato Unicol.

Veteran defender Gavin Douglas netted the winner for the visitors 10 minutes into the second half and while the underdogs applied late pressure, Melville coach Declan Edge had few concerns.

"We were quite efficient – they had a little bit of a go in the last 10 minutes but we dominated things and passed it from start to finish.

"We were quite comfortable and even if they scored we would have gone on and won it."

Tyler Lissette made his return from injury and help solidify the Melville defence.

The fourth round draw is likely to pit the two Waikato victors against tougher foes, with Central United, Three Kings United, Eastern Suburbs and Birkenhead United among the third round winners, while Cup holders Wairarapa United were knocked out by Napier City Rovers, the side they beat in last year's final.

In Northern League Division Two, Matamata Swifts went down 1-0 away to fellow mid-table side Fencibles United, with the hosts netting the winner with 20 minutes left.

Waikato Times