Soccer: Spoiler part of winning formula

It was a big game with only one equation to win it, Rovers soccer captain Bill Robertson said.

"It was great to finish at home in front of our fans and to finish in such an emphatic way with a 4-1 win," Robertson said after a "tough season" that yielded the club's third Central League title yesterday.

While conceding a goal after halftime had been a setback, the Blues had shown character.

"To be honest, there's a belief in our squad that we'd achieve something," the Englishman said, adding the Rovers always looked dangerous on attack.

A grinning Robertson didn't consider himself a regular midfielder after coach Grant Hastings pushed him up from centreback to provide some impetus.

"The coach has asked me to do a job for the last couple of games and I gave it my all, but I'm certainly not going to ask him to play there again," he said, comfortable his spoiling tactics worked against Wairarapa United as well the previous round.

Robertson thanked his players, staff and fans for a "fantastic" season.

It was disappointing to bow out early in the Chatham Cup campaign to Lower Hutt by 2-0 on July 7 after making the final in 2011, but next winter the Rovers would endeavour to defend their Central League title and try to lift the Chatham Cup, too.

Miramar manager Ryan Holland rued the Rangers' slow start from the block to concede an early goal.

Holland said they dominated for about 15 minutes after the equaliser, but Rovers striker Jarrod Smith and his flatmate, Cole Peverley, were the difference.

"In the last 10 minutes we had to push the guys forward and a lot of gaps opened up in the back so Napier capitalised with a penalty and a fourth goal.

"If you look at it closely, 4-1 wasn't probably a fair result, but Napier were probably the better team in periods of the game," Holland said, disappointed a draw would have done the trick before they hosted Lower Hutt at home this weekend.

"Napier's a pretty tough place to play and the last time we were here we got beaten 5-0 [as defending champions in 2011 Chatham Cup]."

Ruing injuries in the past month, Holland lauded Rovers for fielding some homegrown talent and being one of the most consistent sides in the league.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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