Christchurch United win drama-laden Chatham Cup final in penalty shootout

posted in: Chatham Cup, News

Christchurch United have won the Chatham Cup for a record-equalling seventh time, with a penalty shootout win against Waikato side Melville United.

The Paul Ifill-coached Christchurch side added the cup to their Southern League title with victory at North Harbour Stadium in the Chatham Cup’s 100th year.

The game went to extra time after Melville United’s goalkeeper Max Tommy scored eight minutes into stoppage time, levelling the scores at 2-2.

READ MORE: Goalscoring ‘keeper Max Tommy earns Jack Batty Cup for final heroics >>>>

When neither side could score in an energy-draining half-hour of extra time, Christchurch won the penalty shootout 4-2.

Christchurch needed two own goals in the first half of normal play and had to withstand a determined fightback from Melville in the second half.

Melville United captain Aaron Scott … final game for his club.

The result consigned Melville to their third cup final defeat, after losses in 2003 and 2019, and spoiled the chances of a fairytale finish to the career of former All White Aaron Scott who will retire after more than 370 appearances for the club.

Christchurch United settled the quicker of the finalists, creating most of the chances in the game’s opening stages.

The breakthrough came in the 11th minute when Christchurch United’s Dan MacLennan created space for his captain Matt Todd-Smith who lashed the ball across the face of the Melville goal.

Young fullback Lucca Lim watched in horror as the ball cannoned off his legs and into his own net.

In the 35th minute, the South Islanders doubled their lead from a corner when Melville fullback George Brown, under pressure at the far post, turned the ball over his goal line.

Christchurch United were deserving 2-0 leaders at half-time.

MacLennan had been tricky every time he had the ball, and he hooked one shot over the bar and forced a good save from goalkeeper Tommy with another effort.

Jago Godden smashed the ball against the post from close in.

Melville United brought several hundred fans from the Waikato to get behind their team. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

After the break, Melville reshuffled their line-up, with captain Scott dropping deeper, and the team shaping to go forward more often.

Coach Jarrod Young made a key substitution with half an hour to go, bringing on goalkeeper-turned-striker Jack McGovern, who arrived from the UK in June.

McGovern hustled and bustled up front, forcing free kicks and turning the Christchurch defenders.

The momentum of the game swung in favour of the Waikato side.

In the 72nd minute, Lim compensated for his own goal, scoring a nicely-taken goal with a left-footed shot that crept inside the far post.

Melville started to throw everyone forward, urged on by their vocal supporters.

As the game went eight minutes into stoppage time, Melvile won a free kick 35 metres out.

Goalkeeper Tommy ran the length of the pitch to join the swarm of red shirts crowding the Christchurch penalty area.

Jerson Giraldo curled the free kick into the box. The ball dropped to the ground. Tommy’s foot stretched out.

The stadium went crazy as the ‘keeper scored one of the Chatham Cup’s most dramatic goals, a goal that would send the game into extra time.

Goalkeeper Max Tommy turns to celebrate his stoppage time goal for Melville United.

The first half of extra time was marked by tiring legs, mistimed tackles and end-to-end play.

In the second spell, Tommy was the hero again, diving full length to deprive Eoghan Stokes whose shot looked destined to sneak inside the post.

Inevitably, referee Nick Waldron ended the match and prepared the sides for penalties.

Tommy saved an effort from Christchurch’s Mason Stearn; Christchurch ‘keeper Scott Morris saved from Jakob England and McGovern blasted his effort over the bar.

It fell to Christchurch skipper Todd-Smith to take the penalty that would seal the win. He struck it low and up the middle, as Tommy dived to the side.

Tommy was awarded the Player of the Match, winning the Jack Batty Cup.

READ MORE: Goalscoring ‘keeper Max Tommy earns Jack Batty Cup for final heroics >>>>

Christchurch United now share the record for cup wins with University-Mount Wellington.

Main photo: Christchurch United are presented with the Chatham Cup for the seventh time in their history. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Watch the highlights

Watch the full match


Game played on Sunday September 10, 2023

Melville United 2 (Lucca Lim 72′, Max Tommy 90+8′)
Christchurch United 2 (own goals 11′, 35′)

* Christchurch United win 4-2 on penalties after extra time


Melville United’s starting line-up. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Melville United

Max Tommy, Aaron Scott (captain), George Brown, Matthew Dale (Campbell Brown 86′), Ry Mcleod, Liam Hayes, Jerson Lagos Giraldo (Jakob England 100′), Quinton Kipara (Jack McGovern 58′), Isaac Bates (Sean McDonnell 114′), Erik Panzer, Lucca Lim

Subs: Dylan Williams, Keagan Thompson, Thomas Cave

Staff: Jarrod Young (head coach), Jet Lim (assistant coach), Antony Meiklejohn (goalkeeper coach), James Young (physio), Daniel Miller (team manager), Kshitij Gohel (analyst)

Christchurch United’s starting line-up. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Christchurch United

Scott Morris, Riley Grover (Nicholas Murphy 80′), Aaron O’Driscoll, Daniel MacLennan, Eoghan Stokes, Sam Philip (Haris Zeb (67′), Cameron Lindsay, Joel Peterson (Eddie Wilkinson 67′), Matt Todd-smith (captain), Benjamin Lapslie, Jago Godden (Mason Stearn 90+2′)

Subs: Frewen Watts, Louis King, Daniel Meyn

Staff: Paul Ifill (head coach), Daniel Godden (assistant coach), Ekow Quainoo (assistant coach), Edward Ashton (goalkeeper coach), Michael Peterson (physio), Sam Peterson (team manager)


Referee: Nick Waldron
Assistants: Edward Cook, Gareth Sheehan
Fourth official: Luke Gardner
Assessor: Martin Neale

All the past winners — Chatham Cup

1923 – Seacliff (Otago)
1924 – Harbour Board (Auckland)
1925 – YMCA (Wellington)
1926 – Sunnyside (Canterbury)
1927 – Ponsonby (Auckland)
1928 – Petone (Wellington)
1929 – Tramways (Auckland)
1930 – Petone (Wellington)
1931 – Tramurewa (Auckland)
1932 – Wellington Marist (Wellington)
1933 – Ponsonby (Auckland)
1934 – Thistle (Auckland)
1935 – Hospital (Wellington)
1936 – Western (Canterbury)
1937 – competition cancelled due to lack of entries
1938 – Waterside (Wellington)
1939 – Waterside (Wellington)
1940 – Waterside (Wellington)
1941-44 – no competition due to World War II
1945 – Western (Christchurch)
1946 – Wellington Marist (Wellington)
1947 – Waterside (Wellington)
1948 – Christchurch Technical Old Boys
1949 – Petone (Wellington)
1950 – Eden (Auckland)
1951 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1952 – North Shore United and Western (Canterbury)(shared)
1953 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1954 – Onehunga (Auckland)
1955 – Western (Canterbury)
1956 – Stop Out (Wellington)
1957 – Seatoun (Wellington)
1958 – Seatoun (Wellington)

1959 – Northern (Dunedin)
1960 – North Shore United (Auckland)
1961 – Northern (Dunedin)
1962 – Hamilton Technical Old Boys (Waikato)
1963 – North Shore United (Auckland)
1964 – Mount Roskill (Auckland)
1965 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1966 – Miramar Rangers (Wellington)
1967 – North Shore United (Auckland)
1968 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1969 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1970 – Blockhouse Bay (Auckland)
1971 – Western Suburbs (Wellington)
1972 – Christchurch United (Canterbury)
1973 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1974 – Christchurch United (Canterbury)
1975 – Christchurch United (Canterbury)
1976 – Christchurch United (Canterbury)
1977 – Nelson United (Marlborough)
1978 – Manurewa (Auckland)
1979 – North Shore United (Auckland)
1980 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1981 – Dunedin City (Otago)
1982 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1983 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1984 – Manurewa (Auckland)
1985 – Napier City Rovers (Hawkes Bay)
1986 – North Shore United (Auckland)
1987 – Gisborne City (Poverty Bay)
1988 – Waikato United (Waikato)
1989 – Christchurch United (Canterbury)
1990 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1991 – Christchurch United (Canterbury)
1992 – Miramar Rangers (Wellington)
1993 – Napier City Rovers (Hawkes Bay)

1994 – Waitakere City (Auckland)
1995 – Waitakere City (Auckland)
1996 – Waitakere City (Auckland)
1997 – Central United (Auckland)
1998 – Central United (Auckland)
1999 – Dunedin Technical (Otago)
2000 – Napier City Rovers (Hawkes Bay)
2001 – University-Mount Wellington (Auckland)
2002 – Napier City Rovers (Hawkes Bay)
2003 – University-Mount Wellington (Auckland)
2004 – Miramar Rangers (Wellington)
2005 – Central United (Auckland)
2006 – Western Suburbs (Wellington)
2007 – Central United (Auckland)
2008 – East Coast Bays (Auckland)
2009 – Wellington Olympic (Wellington)
2010 – Miramar Rangers (Wellington)
2011 – Wairarapa United (Masterton)
2012 – Central United (Auckland)
2013 – Cashmere Technical (Canterbury)
2014 – Cashmere Technical (Canterbury)
2015 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
2016 – Birkenhead United (Auckland)
2017 – Onehunga Sports (Auckland)
2018 – Birkenhead United (Auckland)
2019 – Napier City Rovers (Hawkes Bay)
2020 – competition cancelled due COVID-19
2021 – Cashmere Technical (Canterbury)
2022 – Auckland City (Auckland)
2023 – Christchurch United (Canterbury)

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