Chatham Cup Round 1
Boyd Wilson Field, Wellington
Saturday 13th May, 2017
Attendance 30 odd

In the 89 previous Chatham Cup competitions these two teams have met eight times, dating back to 1948 (when Uni won 3-1). Somewhat surprisingly given the history of the two clubs it is University that have the upper hand winning five of the encounters to Stop Out's three, before this game.

Victoria University AFC was founded in 1943. They have always been a large club in terns of playing numbers and teams, the majority have been social teams made up of students from the University. They did compete in the Central League in three periods (1974, 1981-85 & 1990-99) and they won division 2 in 1998. 

Stop Out were founded in 1919 by the Reverend Thomas Fielden-Taylor of the Wellington City Mission, who wanted to provide a club for the children of Te Aro Flat, who would stay out late kicking a ball about. A Stop Out in those days was slang for troubled youth. They relocated to the Hutt Valley in the 1930's. Playing in the top Wellington league they were inaugural members of the National League in 1970, finishing 2nd in 1977 before relegation in 1980.

The two clubs were both in the top Wellington tier in the 1955, when they met in the Wellington Final of the Chatham Cup. University won 3-1 and went on to beat Kiwi United of Palmerston North 4-1 in the regional final, before falling to a 4-1 loss against Eastern Suburbs of Auckland in the North Island Final. It was the best performance ever for the club in the Chatham Cup.
Stop Out 1956 Chatham Cup Winners Photo Stop Out
Stop Out got their revenge on University the next season beating them 5-4, then going on to win the Wellington Final (4-1 v Western Suburbs), the regional final (7-3 v Masterton Athletic) the North Island Final (7-3 v Eastern Suburbs) and the Final, 4-1 over Shamrock of Christchurch, for the clubs only Chatham Cup win.

Victoria University are sitting in 4th place in Capital 1 this season, two divisions below Stop Out who are currently on top of the Central League. So this game had the potential for lots of goals, not that University coach Juan De Las Casas thought so, saying before the game they would win 2-1.

Had Stop Out fielded their normal starting XI then there probably would have been lots of goals, but they fielded what was effectively a reserve team with a couple of 1st team regulars added. This approach nearly cost them, Victoria University more than matched them in the first half and while they did get the ball in the Stop Out net, it was ruled out for offside. Stop Out could probably consider themselves lucky they weren't 1-0 down at half time. 

Stop Out make it 1-0 The JourneyFan

University were playing well, holding their shape and cutting off Stop Out attacks, they didn't really look like scoring though. Stop Out bought Steve Gulley on in the 65th minute and the game started to turn their way, 11 minutes later Scott Henderson put the ball into the back off the net and it looked as if extra time was off the table. University, however, had other ideas and a couple of minutes later Patrick Waller broke down the right wing and got the ball to Tom Parker who made it all square and extra time was back on.

Stop Out obviously weren't keen on extra time and pressed forward to find a winner. Jerram Tuck probably should have got it but was denied by an excellent save at his feet, from University keeper, Liam Playle. 

Stop Out's James Sharp Celebrates the winning goal The JourneyFan

Then in the 92nd minute, Stop Out's James Sharp rose to meet a cross and headed the ball into the net. It was a cruel blow for Victoria University who had done enough to at least warrant extra time. Although had it gone to that I think Stop Out's superior fitness would have won out.

So it wasn't a cup upset or classic game, photographer Michael Welsh (Dr Yomcat Shoots) summed it up best saying, "it wasn't a great game, but it wasn't bad either" and maybe Stop Out will think twice before fielding a weakened side in the next round.




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