Who’ll be basking in Chatham Cup glory after this weekend’s fourth round?

posted in: Chatham Cup, News

The do-or-die nature of cup football ensures upset victories — and this weekend’s fourth-round ties in the Chatham Cup will likely produce their share.

It’s the 100th year of football’s oldest cup competition, increasing the attention as the final gets closer.

The fourth round is the last to be staged on a regional basis, with the eight quarter-finalists going into an open draw.

So which games should we be checking for an upset this weekend?

Friends of Football writers Max Fletcher, Luke Austin and Jack Sharp looked through the fixtures to help the rest of us figure out who might be basking in cup glory after the weekend …

READ MORE: South Island clubs get chance to shine in men’s and women’s cups >>>>

Western Springs v Auckland City 

This is surely one of the games of the round — an entertaining match-up for the neutrals.

Cup holders Auckland City are putting together their usual midseason form, and striker Ryan de Vries is in hot form having equalled the club record (with Angus Kilkolly and the late Keryn Jordan) for scoring in 10 consecutive games.

Western Springs are having an inconsistent season (with seven wins and seven losses in the Northern League) but are capable of a good performance when the chips are down. The possibility of an upset will be a strong motivator.

— Max Fletcher

Birkenhead v Eastern Suburbs

Both sides have good league form and a win here will ignite real hopes of these recent Chatham Cup winners getting to another final.

Birkenhead despatched Bay Olympic 3-0 in the league last weekend with recent signing Niko Vanina scoring his first for the club.

Suburbs put Hamilton Wanderers to the sword, 6-1, with a hat-trick from Martin Bueno.

This one has the potential to go to extra time, and even penalties; and with everything on the line, a red card or two would not surprise.

— Max Fletcher

Fencibles United v Melville United

Melville United have memories of past Chatham Cup runs to draw on, especially their improbable 2003 campaign in which they went within 32 minutes of winning the trophy.

READ MORE: Special feature: The underdogs who went within 32 minutes of Chatham Cup glory >>>>

The Waikato side come into the tie with gilt-edged form, a 5-2 win last weekend against a Manurewa side that’s been among the frontrunners in this year’s Northern League.

Fencibles, who have won more than they’ve lost this year, lost 3-1 to league leaders East Coast Bays in last weekend’s round of games in the Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship.

— Jack Sharp

Hamilton Wanderers v Ngaruawahia United

Wanderers have never won a national title, despite so many local and regional successes as a club.

Winning the Chatham Cup in its 100th year could be the perfect way to get that particular monkey off the club’s back.

But first they’ll need to get past Waikato neighbours Ngaruawahia United who have gone from WaiBOP Premiership to Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship status in just a few seasons, and are now challenging for promotion to the Northern League.

This will be a gem of a tie — a local derby, and the likelihood of a large and vocal crowd at Cambridge’s John Kerkhof Park where the tie is being played.

— Jack Sharp

Napier City Rovers v Waterside Karori

Waterside Karori’s last trip to Napier ended in a 5-0 loss in the Central League but the Wharfies have improved since then, securing some impressive results.

They will be desperate to make amends for this heavy defeat and return to Wellington with a big win

The home side Napier are in fantastic form, with five wins and a draw in their last six games including an 8-2 thrashing of Stop Out in the previous round of the Cup.

— Luke Austin

Petone v Wellington Olympic

Favourites Olympic will have to be wary against a strong Petone side who have shown they can mix it with the top teams this year.

Both sides play an attacking and free-flowing brand of football which should be a great spectacle for the fans at Memorial Park.

— Luke Austin

Cashmere Technical v Christchurch United

The two top sides in the Southern League go head-to-head for a quarter-final spot.

Their last encounter, on May 27, ended in a 1-1 stalemate so both sides will want to get an upper hand early to ensure extra time and penalties are out of the picture.

United need to nullify Cashmere’s Irish striker, Garbhan Coughlan, who has scored 27 goals in 17 games in all competitions.

— Max Fletcher

Roslyn Wakari v Wanaka

With both sides in the Men’s Southern Premier League, this tie guarantees that at least one club outside of the regional leagues will get through to the last eight.

Whichever side goes through could well become the lowest-ranked side remaining in the cup — an achievement in itself.

The sides played two weeks ago, with Roslyn Wakari winning 2-1. They might have the edge again with striker Nathan Wilkie in good form, scoring 13 goals in his 11 league games.

— Max Fletcher


Games to be played on Saturday July 8, 2023

Western Springs v Auckland City
Seddon Fields, Westmere, 2pm

Roslyn Wakari v Wanaka
Ellis Park, Dunedin, 2pm

Petone v Wellington Olympic
Memorial Park, Lower Hutt, 3pm

Fencibles United v Melville United
William Green Domain, Pakuranga, 6.30pm

Games to be played on Sunday July 9, 2023

Birkenhead United v Eastern Suburbs
Allen Hill Stadium, Devonport, 2pm

Hamilton Wanderers v Ngaruawahia United
John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge, 2pm

Napier City Rovers v Waterside Karori
Bluewater Stadium, Napier, 2pm

Cashmere Technical v Christchurch United
Garrick Memorial Park, Christchurch, 2pm

Our writers

Max Fletcher

Max Fletcher is a football-loving volunteer writer for Friends of Football, who lives in the Waikato.

Luke Austin

Luke Austin is a Wellington-based football fan and volunteer, who plays for Island Bay, and follows the Central League.

Jack Sharp

Jack Sharp is a long-time follower of club football in New Zealand and is a volunteer writer for Friends of Football.

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