Royals win their first point with 4-4 draw

The Dunedin City Royals picked up their first point of the Southern League season from a highly entertaining 4-4 draw with Ferrymead Bays at Tahuna Park on Saturday.

Due to injuries, the vastly experienced Tim Horner was drafted in as a Royals replacement but he was helpless when Cameron Rean dinked the ball over Royals keeper Alex Boomer to open the scoring within five minutes.

The Royals equalised with a moment of individual brilliance from Nicolas Zambrano, who received the ball, turned and — well inside his own half — hit a superbly struck shot over Bays keeper Kyle Hodge.

Raven August. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Raven August. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Bays scored twice in the space of five minutes to take a 3-1 lead. A fortuitous header at the far post found Satsuki Ito, who smashed it home from the edge of the box, and Chris Murphy cut in from the right and his deflected shot deceived Boomer.

The Royals closed the gap when Horner won the ball on the edge of his box and fed Braden Fowell. He released Zambrano, who played a beautiful through ball with the outside of his right foot into the path of Raven August, who drilled it past Hodge.

The Royals came out firing in the second half and a Will Turner brace had them in the ascendancy.

Turner’s first on 57 minutes came when a quick throw-in from Josh McCarroll found Turner one-on-one with keeper Hodge, and he duly dispatched it from a very tight angle.

The second, 14 minutes later, fell to Turner in an offside position. However, with a Bays player taking a deliberate last touch, after consultation between the officials the goal stood.

From 3-1 down to 4-3 up, the Royals were elated, but they conceded immediately when Liam Murray equalised with a header off a James Deehan corner.

Murphy looked to clinch the win in the final minutes when he cleared Boomer from a long ball, but the wily Horner used all his experience to drag Murphy down, earning a red card but protecting the point for the draw.

There were two 5-0 scorelines in the Southern League on Saturday. Former Green Island forward Trevin Myers scored a hat-trick as Nelson Suburbs walloped Selwyn United, and Nomads thumped battling FC Twenty11.

Christchurch United held on to beat Canterbury University 4-3, and Coastal Spirit and Cashmere Technical ended the weekend with a wild 4-4 draw.

—  In the ODT Men’s Premiership, Roslyn-Wakari took a 3-0 lead in Wanaka thanks to a Lewis Wall hat-trick, his third goal a lob over keeper Josh Shackleton from long range.

Wanaka had plenty of possession in the second half and scored two goals in quick succession, the first to Ethan Arratia and the second to John Plimmer.

Daniel Brum curled in a wonderful equaliser for Wanaka in injury time.

There was also a 3-3 draw between the Royals and Northern at Tahuna Park.

Max Stanley and Rory Hibbert traded early goals before a defensive mistake allowed Dafydd Spratt to hit a low drive and give the Royals the lead early in the second half.

Sam Cosgrove scored two almost identical goals within a few minutes to give Northern a 3-2 lead, but Charlie le Comte rescued a point for the Royals with a high angled shot past Northern keeper Eli Urwin.

Mosgiel claimed the Blair Davidson Trophy with a 9-0 demolition of Green Island.

The Plainsmen shot to a 5-0 lead in a devastating 18-minute spell thanks to Rhys Quarrell (two), Rory Findlay, Ben Thompson and Liam Reynolds.

Mosgiel’s substitutes sparked a later flurry of four goals in seven minutes. George Duncan grabbed a quickfire brace, Harvey Stephens scored the goal his all-round fine play deserved, and Quarrell claimed his hat-trick with the last kick of the game.

University scored late through Lucca Sullivan in Invercargill to claim all the points against Queens Park.

Anton Fitzgerald had tied it at 1-1 with a 48th-minute penalty for the home side after Regan Quirke had given the students a halftime lead.

Queenstown and Northern Hearts drew 1-1 in Timaru. Junior Violatos gave Queenstown a 1-0 lead before Cameron McCracken scored the equaliser for Hearts.

—  There were two 5-0 results in the latest round of South Island women’s qualifying games.

Brooke Verevis scored twice to lead University to a 5-0 win over Green Island, and Tyler Andrews bagged a brace in Queens Park’s 5-0 win over Northern.

— Neville Watson