Stop Out 0 Western Suburbs 1
Central League
Hutt Park
Saturday 23rd May 2015

History Never Repeats.... 
so sang Split Enz and they told themselves before they went to sleep

Well in 1970 Stop Out played Western Suburbs in the new Rothmans National Soccer League, now 45 years later the 2 clubs were meeting in the Central League - the highest level that these clubs can currently achieve in NZ Football.

The original meeting was scheduled for the 10th May but it was postponed due to heavy rain, the rescheduled game took place on 6th June at Te Whiti Park. The 23rd May is the mid point between these 2 dates, maybe the schedulers knew this when they made the draw, but probably not.

There were 8 goals in the 1970 game with the Evening Post reporting 
“Stop Out trounced Western Suburbs by 5 goals to 3”
They seemed a little surprised that Stop Out had conceded 3 but put this down to the fact that player \ coach, Alex Milne, wasn't playing and this left the defence a little disorganised. 

The result left Western Suburbs at the bottom of the table and the report said there was not much hope for the rest of the season! The only praise they gave to Western Suburbs was the following “The only Suburbs defenders who seemed to have the situation in hand were K Barton and J Common”

K Barton was of course future Stop Out legend, Keith Barton, who holds the record of 246 appearances for the club.

In the 35 years since that game both teams have been through a bit. Western Suburbs have been through 2 mergers and 3 name changes, while winning the Central League 8 times and the Chatham Cup twice.

Stop Out almost won the National League in 1977 (losing out by 2 points to North Shore), they were relegated from the National League in 1980. In their 1st 4 seasons back in the Central League the came 2nd twice and won it twice but missed out on promotion to the National League, cementing their reputation as always being the bridesmaids.

Then in 1987 they combined with arch rivals, Petone & Lower Hutt City to form Hutt Valley United who competed in the National League from 1987-92. 

The 1990's were a decade that Stop Out would rather forget with problems both on and off the field. They reached their nadir in 1998 in Central League Division 3, failing to win a game, scoring only 8 goals and conceding 92 in their 21 games. 

They re-built and in 2005 won promotion back to the Central League and spent 3 seasons there before dropping back to Capital Premier until last season when they won that league and now find themselves back in the Central League.

Western Suburbs are currently coached by ex All White, Declan Edge and are effectively the Ole Football Academy team. Going into today's game they were 2nd on the table and had racked up a couple of big wins (8-1 & 6-1). Stop Out were 5th having won 3 and lost 4. 

Stop Out defending a Western Suburbs corner
From the start it seemed that Stop Out weren't going to be intimidated by Western Suburbs reputation and took the game to them. They had several chances and were unlucky not to be ahead at half time. Declan Edge obviously gave his players a bit of a bollocking at half time as Suburbs came out a different team in the 2nd half, and after about 25 minutes Tinashe Marowa finished of a great team move to make it 1-0. Stop Out had 3 chances in the last 10 minutes and really should have scored from one of them as a draw would have been a fair result in this game.

In 1970 they got 8 goals, today we got 1, the crowd in 1970 was over 1000, today there were about 60 and I guess the standard back then was higher as well, but one thing that would have been similar was the Stop Out clubrooms being full after the game, it was good to see not just the supporters but the lower grade teams (and some of their opposition) there as well something that used to be quite common but isn't so much these days.

So I guess Split Enz were right History Never Repeats......
The Stop Out flag flies outside the club rooms with a fantastic Wellington sunset

Footnote – If you are interested in Stop Out's time in the National League, have a look at 
Maurice Tillotson's website. Maurice was Stop Out Coach from 1974-79