They came, they saw, they conquered. For the second year in a row Unicol have bowed out of the Chatham Cup in round 2 to a Northern League Premier side. There is a clear difference between those sides and Unicol, on the other hand though, Unicol and a Northern League Div 1 or 2 side the difference is negligible.
North Shore took a two goal lead after less than 10 minutes, leaving Unicol to scrap for any possession, Krishaant Singh proving to be the most adaptable in these circumstances, giving up little and winning the ball from a number of encounters, including nicking a goal seconds from the end of the half.
1-2 looked a good score for Unicol to start the second half.
Playing with a back injury though, keeper James Field was practically a spectator for the game, which was perhaps reflected in the final score. Although unable to score again, Fawwaz Ali had a scorcher of a shot that their keeper could only watch fly a cm over the crossbar, while Kieran Payton had one shot just sneak past the post and another over the top. Last line of defence Nik Finlay hammered anyone and anything that tried to get through, and earned his stripes today, and probably the yellow too.
1-6 was the final score, North Shore didn't disappoint in playing as well as they did and getting away with a physical aspect of the game that seemed to bypass the officials. Unicol were outscored but at times were certainly not outplayed. There was a great contingent of spectators, some from Melville, some from Rovers and some wonderfully vocal Unicol members. Good to see Mark Jones watching the live-stream and having club legend Wilkydown watching.
...and the rest of Unicol’s results.
Quick Saturday round-up before we enjoy the spectacle that is the Chatham Cup, where Unicol take on North Shore United down at Jansen Park.
Aside from the Division 1 Development squad, who got their season back on track with a 3-1 win over Te Aroha (a hat-trick to Jeremy Atkin and a return from injury albeit an outfield run for goalkeeper Alfie Lewis) and a predictable 3-0 win for Division 4 Unicol Black over Eastern City, it was not otherwise a great day at the office.
The Reserves were hammered 0-8 by a rampant Otorohanga, not helped by using all their substitutes and then losing players to injury. The Vets shipped 5 in their draw with Puatruru, Patrick Purcell though managed to climb to the top of the Golden Boot pile, although it was Hayden Jones who was the player of the game with a brace of goals and a brace of assists. And Unicol Red also went down 0-5 to a Melville team.
Not too much of a fun day.