Football: Quick-fire Caversham stuns Western

To be late at the Caledonian ground yesterday was to miss a couple of goals, as Caversham and Western locked horns in the Chatham Cup, and the local side eventually romped to a 7-2 win.

From the kick-off Hamish Chang scurried forward, stole possession and laced in a shot that was deflected enough by a defender to become an own goal.

Three minutes had gone when Western had equalised during a goalmouth muddle which allowed Sam Miles to fire in from close range, and spectators reached for their calculators to record the score.

Both sides had their talented players, but Caversham lifted the tempo to white hot with explosive running off the ball, closing down Western's options, and when in possession, coach Richard Murray's side immediately relaxed and stroked passes around.

It took another quarter of an hour of cut and thrust before Darren Overton cut back a low left wing cross, and Harley Rodeka arrived at pace to sidefoot Caversham ahead at 2-1.

Then Caversham turned the screw, Chang and Seamus Ryder dominated central midfield, and Pat Fleming, Tom Jackson, Overton and Rodeka charged through Western's shell-shocked ranks.

Fleming clipped in one goal, Western replied via Tom Sanson, and from a gravity-defying leap by Jackson, Rodeka made it 4-2 to finish a bubbling first half.

Western coach Julian Morris' second-half strategy vanished as his keeper punched the ball into his own net after a giant Jackson throw produced chaos.

Fleming struck again, Chang joined in with another goal, and the Western woodwork vibrated to another couple of shots as Caversham cruised through to the next round.

Murray was delighted with the high-energy game which Caversham generated from a solid defensive platform led by centreback Tom Schwarz, plus the core midfield of Chang and Ryder, and a volatile attack that scored and defended with pace and passion.

Western coach Morris admitted his side never got going and was always playing catch-up.

On Saturday, in another cup-tie, Roslyn-Wakari comprehensively beat University 5-1 at Ellis Park, where gusty windy conditions made quality ball control difficult.

University threatened an upset when Dylan Stone scored in the 18th minute, pouncing on a defensive error and beating keeper Peter Evans from close range.

Seven minutes later a rash tackle had referee Allan Martin pointing to the penalty spot. Mike Cunningham calmly equalised, and 10 minutes later shot Roslyn into a lead it did not relinquish.

Both sides had players absent due to University exams, but Roslyn generated flowing moves that stemmed from set up passing which allowed more consistent control when the ball was won.

Once again, Mike Cunningham was the hub, with Tim Mather and the mobile James Watson covering for attacking runs by man of the match Tom Connor and right back Brad Johnstone.

Varsity did not lack effort and was well served by Yannik Wouts, Dom Higgins and Stone, but lacked finishing power and continuity.

Roslyn's last goal stood out like a beacon, as James Govan spun on a pass, then took his time to bend a right-footed shot swerving round keeper Danniel Becheri.

Dunedin Technical eventually beat Christchurch United after 120 minutes at Brookside Park, in Christchurch.

Without striker Aaron Burgess who did not travel due to family commitments, Mike Fridge's side missed several scoring chances.

It was the never-say-die attitude of Richard Smith that broke the deadlock, with a well taken goal in extra-time to win the tie 1-0, and banish the prospect of a penalty shoot out.

 

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