Napier conquer Tawa
The cup run is over. Now it’s time to focus on the league.
Tawa AFC were knocked out of football’s Chatham Cup in the fourth round by Napier City Rovers on Sunday afternoon.
The Central League teams know each other well, but it was Rovers’ size and finishing that enabled them to progress at Redwood Park.
Both teams opened their accounts in stunning fashion.
Rovers were on the board inside six minutes with a shot from outside the box, but home spectators were in raptures after Mike Ramaekers curled in a left foot equaliser on 20 minutes.
Two goals before halftime were killer blows to the home side. Both came from set pieces – a free kick and a corner – and Tawa were then chasing the game.
A penalty for a hand ball put the nail in the home side’s coffin in the second spell, before Russell Kyne got a consolation for Tawa to make it 4-2.
Tawa coach Dan Wood said he could not fault the effort, but that size mattered.
‘‘It was always going to be a tough ask,’’ he said.
‘‘Napier are very big lads all around the park and we struggled to contain them, especially at the set pieces.
‘‘I thought we were better in the first half. We had a few chances and scrapped well.
‘‘We’re pretty disappointed, but I couldn’t fault our effort.
‘‘Napier are a good side who always pose an attacking threat and they were much better on the day.’’
Wood said the main benefit of a good run in the Chatham Cup was that his team were building confidence by winning games, something that had not always been happening in the Central League lately.
‘‘Our focus will always be the league and we have a big month of football coming up.’’
With eight games to go, Tawa sit third from bottom on nine points. They play lowly Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt on July 5 and 19 respectively.
Out of the cup: Steve Romijn’s Tawa side were bundled out of the Chatham Cup by a strong Napier City Rovers side on Sunday.