No Chris Greatholder, no Anthony Floyd and no Shannon Fowler and still they won comfortably.
Best Travel Havelock North Wanderers beat Promotem Napier City Rovers 3-0 in round five of the ComputerCare Pacific Premiership at Park Island, Napier, on Saturday to show they are the team to beat this winter.
Wanderers coach Bruce Barclay said despite the score and the Rovers losing two key players to their Central League side, Havelock North did well at Park Island on the back of strong defence, especially from goalkeeper Mitchell Webber.
"It was perfect conditions at the park after playing into a beast of a wind the previous weekend," Barclay said.
Rovers coach Matt Hastings, back from his Aussie honeymoon, lost last round's hattrick hero, Sam Lawson, and Oli Chapman, who were in the Central League equation of father Grant Hastings' team in their 1-0 win against Tawa in Wellington.
"We brought a couple of players through [from first division]," said Matt Hastings after the Rovers won the two previous games under stand-in coach/player Stu Wilson.
Rovers 0 Havelock North 3 (Bjorn Christensen, Dion Adams, Adam Kockelburg). HT: 1-0.
Port Hill 4 Maycenvale 1
Up 1-0 at halftime, Cru Bar Maycenvale United celebrated like there was no tomorrow at Marewa Park, Napier.
It seemed premature as Ericksen Honda Port Hill United came back to clinch a 4-1 victory on the foundation of a hattrick from Czech substitute striker Miroslav Vilek.
"Their [Vale's] mental game let them down because they started giving each other heaps," Port Hill coach Tim Claudatos said.
"We're not getting too excited because we need to now play a complete game," Claudatos said.
Port Hill 4 (Miroslav Vilek hattrick, Shay Wall) Maycenvale 1 (Nick Lucas). HT: 1-0 Vale.
Rangers 1 Taradale 2
Despite the unavailability of five players from the previous round, Cape Physio Taradale carried on with their winning streak.
"Adam Turner started crook and hadn't eaten well for the past week and we played on a difficult pitch, too, so we just wanted to get in and get out with three points" said Dale coach Robbie Parker after pipping Western Rangers 2-1 at a lumpy St Leonard's Park, Hastings.
The hosts were down to 10 men in the 34th minute when the ref sent off Julian Wuerzer for a studs-up tackle.
"I have no complaints about the sending off," Rangers coach Ritchie Howard said.
"Again we're out with a defeat and rock bottom of the table but I can't fault my lads who worked their socks off," Howard said.
Rangers 1 (Luke Donovan 89th) Taradale 2 (Mark Henderson 42nd, Chris Bruin 68th). HT: 1-0 Dale.
Gisborne 2 Marist 1
The visitors went up 1-0 within 20 minutes at Childers Road Reserve, Gisborne, but the hosts clawed their way back into the game yesterday.
"There was plenty of enthusiasm but not enough football," Jennian Homes Team Gisborne coach Blake Mulrooney said yesterday after pipping Hot Shots Napier Marist 2-1.
The equaliser came 15 minutes before fulltime and the winner not long after.
"It would have been an injustice if we hadn't come away with something. I probably sound bias but we deserved to win," Mulrooney said.
Gisborne 2 (Cheauxyan Makau McPhee, Max Logan) Marist 1 (not available). HT: 1-0 Marist.
Red Sox 6 Dale 2
It was the second defeat for Your Solution Taradale after they slumped 6-2 to Red Sox Manawatu in Palmerston North on Saturday after Jerram Tuck scored four goals for the hosts.
Sox coach Aaron Clegg said they were happy with their performance but disappointed they conceded two goals.
"We lost 1-0 to Palmerston North Marist in the opener but there isn't much between us," Clegg said as Manawatu teams aim to fly a flag in the Central League. The Chris McIvor-coached Taradale have lost 1-0 to Palmy Marist.
Red Sox 6 (Jerram Tuck 4, Zane Cleaver, Jono Steele) Taradale 2 (Keegan Bright, Nick Demaine). HT: 3-1.