A Chatham Cup Weekend

Chatham Cup Round 3

North Wellington 5 Upper Hutt City 1
Alex Moore Turf, Johnsonville
Saturday 25th June 2016
Attendance about 150

Tawa 0 Wairarapa United 2
Redwood Park, Tawa
Sunday 26th June 2016
Attendance about 80

Round 3 of the Chatham Cup saw just 2 Wellington teams being drawn at home, Capital Premier team North Wellington were hosting unbeaten Capital 1 team Upper Hutt City on Saturday. While some good scheduling from Capital Football saw another Capital Premier team, Tawa at home to Central League Wairarapa United.

Before the games I made the bold prediction that we could see 2 upsets. Upper Hutt City were unbeaten so far this season and North Wellington, were on a 3 games losing streak and had conceded 13 goals in those games. While over at Tawa, you would expect Wairarapa United to trounce their hosts, but Redwood Park can be a great leveler 
(a somewhat ironic statement about a pitch that is anything but level!).

North Wellington & Upper Hutt City don't really have a great history in the Chatham Cup, Upper Hutt have reached the 5th round on 4 occasions.

North Wellington's 2 highlights were in 1997 when they reached the quarter finals and lost 3-2 away to the (at the time) mighty Mt Wellington and then in 2005 when they drew the holders, Miramar Rangers, in round 3. Miramar bought the trophy along and were probably expecting an easy win over a young team 2 divisions below them. Instead North Wellington fielded what was essentially a masters team, many with Central league experience, and they ran out winners by 3 goals to 2. Under Scottish logic that would mean that they were holders of the cup (but Miramar took it back to their trophy cabinet!)

Jeremy Fong celebrating
The game was pretty even in the first half. North Wellington opened the scoring in the 23rd minute from a free kick, the Upper Hutt City keeper made a fantastic double save but the 2nd rebound fell to Rhys Howe who stabbed it into the back of the net. 2 minutes later, North Wellington's Kieran Cripps made it 2-0. Upper Hutt City were still competing and were rewarded in the 32nd minute when North Wellington keeper, Ben Shields, had a brain fade and came rushing out of his box and halfway up the field, allowing Jeremy Fong to curl the ball around him from about 35 meters out and make the score 2-1. 
The turning point of the game came in the 72nd minute when Shields made an outstanding reflex save and then North Wellington took the ball up the other end of the park where Corey Larsen was bought down in the area. Upper Hutt's keeper made a great save from the penalty but the rebound fell to Kieran Cripps who slotted home his 2nd of the day and his 50th for the club (in only 72 games). 2 minutes later he had a hat-trick and the game was effectively over. 

Upper Hutt City to their credit kept pushing for another goal, but this caused them to be caught again and Fejos made it 5-1 with 8 minutes to go and that's how it finished. North Wellington deserved the win but the scoreline of 5-1 was a little flattering.

Kieran Cripps nets his 50th goal for North Wellington

Sunday's game saw 2 teams with a bit more history in the cup, Tawa's best time in the competition was the 90's with 2 quarter final appearances and a semi final. In 1992 they had what is arguably one of the greatest upsets in the history of the Chatham Cup. They were sitting in the lower reaches of Central League division 1 and were drawn away against National League leaders Napier City Rovers. The 2 teams had met the season before in friendly and Napier had won 9-0 and most would have been expecting a similar result. But Tawa stuck to coach Derek McKillop's game plan, saved a penalty, and managed to come away with a 1-0 win. Tawa went on to the semi final that season where they went down 2-0 to another National League team, Waikato United.

Wairarapa United won the Chatham Cup in 2011 beating Napier City Rovers 2-1 in the final.
Tawa huddle in the rain before kick off
Before the game it looked as if it would rain, but it was holding off and it did pretty much until the game kicked off and then it came down heavily and horizontally and included hail! Enough for me a few others to hightail it back into the club rooms. The down side of this was that as there were quite a lot of people in there the windows started to fog up. 

While I was in the club rooms, Wairarapa's Paul Ifill was bought down and from the free kick, Tawa's keeper, Lance Ramaekers made his only mistake of the day, spilling the ball at the feet of James Hoyt who made it 1-0.

Sam Mason-Smith being watched by Steve Romijn
The weather cleared a little so I decided to head back pitch side and try and get some photos and a better view of the game. Given the wet and muddy conditions both teams were managing to play some decent football and stay on their feet. I think both teams realised that if they went in for a slide tackle they could quite easily end up on the other side of the pitch and who knows how many players they would collect on the way, along with a red card! 

While Tawa played well they only had a couple of half chances and never really looked like scoring. Wairarapa were dominating but finding it hard to break down Tawa's defence, until James Hoyt hit a screamer from 25 yards out to make it 2-0.

Late on in the game Tawa had 2 penalty shouts, the first one was the loudest but it was the Tawa player slipping in the box that caused him to go down and it happened right in front of the referee. The 2nd shout looked more like it should have been a penalty with the Tawa player appearing to be taken down from behind, the ref making an allowance for the conditions is the only reason I can think of for him not giving it.

Wairarapa United ran out deserved winners and had the conditions been better they probably would have got 1 or 2 more goals and my predictions yet again were way off!

The Refs - Nigel Piper (with ball) is an ex player (Goalkeeper)
who made 190 appearances and scored 8 goals for North Wellington

So despite the weather on Sunday (even then around about 80 turned up), I saw 2 good games, big up to Capital Football for scheduling the games over 2 days. 

Also have to mention Tawa's program, a fantastic A4 sized glossy magazine covering all teams at the club, a bit of history and even a crossword and cartoons. Towards the end of the season I am going to do  review of programs and it is hard to see anyone beating Tawa's effort

The draw for the next round will be done on Tuesday 28th at 12pm

Photos from North Wellington v Upper Hutt City

Photos from Tawa v Wairarapa United


  1. Thanks Dave. I actually played in the two North Wellington highlight games you mention in 97 and 05. Both great games for different reasons. Miramar were actually very good about the loss. They brought the cup as you say but let us keep it for the night at the clubrooms (stayed with me) and even let us host the cup again for our next round fixture. By the way I scored 8 times!

  2. Cheers for the extra info Nigel, have changed the goals scored - I must have looked at the stats without my glasses on!


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