Nelson Suburbs through to Chatham Cup quarterfinals

Nelson Suburbs striker Ben Wright scored twice in the victory.

Nelson Suburbs striker Ben Wright scored twice in the victory.

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."

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The quarterfinal draw is expected to be revealed on Tuesday afternoon.


Nelson Suburbs 6 (Ben Wright 2, Kristian Gibson pen, Matt Tod-Smith, Omar Guardiola, own goal) Queenstown Rovers 1 (Gareth Beale)

HT: 3-0

 - Stuff


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