Soccer: Hattrick hero gets revenge over club

By Craig Stephen

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Angus Kilkolly
Angus Kilkolly

To score your first goal for a club is pleasing enough, to get a hattrick in the same game is a Lotto bonus.

But why stop there, why not do it against your former team, a club where you barely got a chance to prove yourself?

It was easy to find Angus Kilkolly yesterday afternoon at Memorial Park, he was the man with the biggest grin after putting three past Lower Hutt City to give Napier City Rovers a resounding 3-0 win in their Central League clash.

After netting twice in the first half, Kilkolly finished with a flurry, tearing at the opposition late on to notch his hat-trick. He had, after all, extra motivation to get that third strike.

"Everyone wants a hattrick I guess, but it was against a former club so I was happy to score against them," said the striker, whose playing time with Lower Hutt City last season was largely confined to substitute appearances.

"I just drove on, there were a couple of guys around me so I knew I had to take my chance when I could. I didn't hit the ball that hard but it sneaked in."

Kilkolly opened the scoring after 30 minutes, rising high to smash home Matt Hastings' pinpoint free-kick. He added a second just before the interval, when he skipped past two Hutt defenders and struck the ball with just enough pace for it to squeeze in at the far post.

It wiped the memory, of just 90 seconds earlier, when he missed what was virtually a sitter. He had the space, and the time, but shot wide with the Hutt keeper in a weak position. With just six minutes to go Kilkolly pushed on again, brushing off the attention of two opponents before prodding the ball past hapless Hutt goalkeeper Coey Turipa.

For Rovers this was redemption after their 5-1 capitulation to Miramar Rangers in Wellington the previous weekend and player-coach Bill Robertson was justifiably pleased with the performance against a side that always out up a good fight against the Bay outfit.

"We kept possession better; last week we rushed things and forced our passes. But we were far more relaxed in possession today, we did the basics well and it was a much better performance.

"I asked for a reaction from the boys, after last week they were obviously very disappointed, but they fought hard today and I can't ask for any more."

While showing some attacking bite, Rovers had to contend with a Hutt onslaught for much of the second half, and successfully repelled a strikeforce led by Hawke's Bay Utd player Nathan Hailemariam.

To be fair to the home side, the scoreline was harsh, given all their effort, but soccer is all about goals, and other than a shot that came off the cross bar, they looked woeful in attack.

While pleased with the all-round effort of his squad, Robertson was particularly delighted with Kilkolly.

"Angus is doing really well, he has a lot of potential and we are trying to nurture that.

"He wanted to come here and do well, and what more can you ask of him, he's scored three goals and could have had a couple more.

"He has come on a lot in the few games we have had this season and he worked really hard today."

The match was played at Memorial Park after Lower Hutt's new home, at Fraser Park, was waterlogged after heavy rain in the lower North Island.

In other league matches yesterday, Wairarapa Utd drew 2-all at home against Petone; Tawa beat fellow strugglers Upper Hutt City 3-2; Miramar Rangers beat Palmerston North Marist 3-1.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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