Soccer: Olympic fight-back earns Cup semi final

Wellington Olympic fought back from two goals down to beat Dunedin's Caversham 3-2 in the capital on Sunday to round out a gripping weekend of Chatham Cup quarterfinals. Photo / Getty Images.
Wellington Olympic fought back from two goals down to beat Dunedin's Caversham 3-2 in the capital on Sunday to round out a gripping weekend of Chatham Cup quarterfinals. Photo / Getty Images.

Wellington Olympic fought back from two goals down to beat Dunedin's Caversham 3-2 in the capital on Sunday to round out a gripping weekend of Chatham Cup quarterfinals.

The 2009 champions are joined by three time winners Waitakere City, Christchurch's Cashmere Technical and Melville United from Hamilton in Monday's draw for the August 24 semi finals of the 90 year old competition.

Waitakere City were ruthless 7-0 winners against Onehunga Sports, Cashmere professional in edging Marist 1-0 in Palmerston North while first division Melville are the wildcard in the final four after upsetting Birkenhead United 3-2 at home on Saturday.

Caversham shrugged off flight delays on their way north to hit the ground running and goals to Ant Hancock and Seamus Ryder, both from Olympic errors, within three first half minutes had the visitors two goals clear after little more than half an hour.

A header from Olympic skipper Colm Kenny halved the deficit in the 58th minute, Jamie O'Connor levelled from the penalty spot six minutes later and Clayton Lewis completed the comeback with a blistering match-winner four minutes from time.

Kenny said the home side's conviction never wavered.

"We've a habit of falling behind but coming back. We've done it five or six times this season," he said.

"At halftime we had a good talk from coach Mick Waitt and had been playing well so we weren't too negative. We always had the belief we would come back."

Despite the similarly tight score line, Cashmere Technical were far more comfortable in defeating surprise package Palmerston North Marist 1-0 needing just Andy Pitman's 16th minute goal in a match they controlled throughout.

Waitakere City were again in ominous form dispatching Onehunga Sports with alarming ease in Whenuapai.

Roy Krishna scored in each half with the rest of the goals spread around Imran Shah, Rory Turner, Jake Butler, John Muchirahondo and Alepua Petoa.

Meanwhile, Melville were celebrating deep into Saturday night after reaching the semi finals for the first time since their run to the 2003 final with a pulsating 3-2 win over Northern Premier League pacesetters Birkenhead United at Gower Park.

Scott Hilliar twice gave the Northern League first division side the lead inside the opening 20 minutes but his 11th minute opener - after an incisive Jama Boss run - was cancelled out after just a minute by Marseille-bound Bill Tuiloma.

Hilliar restored the advantage with a 19th minute inswinging corner that beat everybody and Aaron Scott's retaken penalty just shy of the hour mark edged Melville closer to the win.

Even then, Tuiloma ensured a nervous final 20 minutes when he thumped his second goal to reduce the deficit with only a late red card to Birkenhead playmaker Jack Hobson-McVeigh killing the momentum of a fast finishing North Shore club.

- APNZ

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