MAGS win comes down to the wire
Mt Albert Grammar School caused a huge upset in Chatham Cup soccer on Monday, coming from 4-3 down, to upstage first division outfit Fencibles United 5-4 at Riverhills Domain.
Having seen his sixth minute penalty saved by Jay Christensen, MAGS’ Mark Withers opened the scoring seven minutes later.
But within 90 seconds, Fencibles were on top courtesy of goals from Norm Archery and Zane Christensen.
The home team edged further ahead in the 22nd minute through Sean Gillham, but found themselves back on level terms just three minutes later, thanks to Zane Sole’s penalty and a Jonathan Raj goal.
United restored their advantage once more in the 32nd minute, as Christensen struck his second goal, but Raj equalised for MAGS a minute before the halftime whistle.
Incredibly, the score remained unchanged until seven minutes from time, when Sole struck again to put MAGS in front for the second time in the game.
Even then, the drama wasn’t over, as Christensen was denied his hat-trick by a handball decision in the dying minutes.
There may yet be a further twist to the tale with the schoolboys’ triumph under protest.
It’s alleged a MAGS player sent off in a regular season match played in this tie, which, if proven to be the case, will see Fencibles advance to the last 32.
Meanwhile Onehunga Sports also found success, downing Waiuku 2-1, while cup holders Central United mauled Oratia United 9-2 at Parrs Park, led by a Dave Richmond hat-trick.
And Metro also kept the central Auckland flag flying, accounting for Takapuna 3-1 at Albie Turner Field.
Unfortunately luck wasn’t on the side of many other central teams with Melville United taking out Bay Olympic 1-0 at Keith Hay Park and Papatoetoe edging ahead of a nine-man Three Kings United 1-0 in extra time.
Meanwhile, Eastern Suburbs came from behind to beat Lynn-Avon United 2-1 at Ken Maunder Park, while East Coast Bays overwhelmed Mt Albert-Ponsonby 5-1 at Anderson Park.
Ties in the next round take place on June 14 and 15, with the draw to be released pending the outcome of Fencibles’ protest against Mt Albert Grammar.