Never mind how the Napier City Rovers look at it, the result was a Greek tragedy when the curtain fell on their theatre of footballing dreams in Wellington tonight.

Had the Rovers lost 1-0, 2-1 or even 3-1 to Wellington Olympic at Wakely Park the Blues faithful would have shrugged their shoulders in resignation to say: "Oh yeah, things happen."

Shockingly the Greeks hammered the Fergus Neil-captained visitors 6-1 in round nine of the Central League. So, how is anyone supposed to respond to that sort of flogging?

"Look, it's a disappointing result and the performance wasn't where we wanted it to be, particularly in the first half we were very flat," lamented Rovers coach Bill Robertson after the defending champions found themselves 2-0 down at halftime on the artificial turf.


"I'm struggling to know why that is but we've addressed that with the players afterwards and we'll do it again [at training] on Tuesday," Robertson said, of a side who also train on Thursdays.

The outcome for the table-topping Blues was a far cry from the previous round when they made a mockery of Lower Hutt City with a 7-0 victory at Park Island.

As strange as it looked and sounded, Robertson was loath to fish for excuses to justify their mediocrity.

"We also don't want to make excuses around the travel but it's a long day and we've been slack before on the away games although we've managed to recover from a poor first-half performance.

"Today we didn't. Everything kind of went right for them, you know, when they scored a few very good goals and we didn't create an awful lot."

The turf wasn't a "great surface" and not conducive to playing a beautiful game after the delayed 3.30pm kick off that finished under the floodlights.

"It's hard to get the ball down to play on that pitch," he said, suspecting the Rovers were a little spoilt on the grass surface of Bluewater Stadium. "It was windy but then they are all just excuses, aren't they?"

Robertson said while the Greeks would be more familiar with the conditions, the Rovers had eked out results there before.


"It was just an off day so we'll just have to bounce back.

"You don't just become a bad team overnight all of a sudden after one performance."

He took heart from the Blues still sitting on the top rung of the ladder of the premier men's winter competition in the Capital Football and Central Football regions.

Having claimed seven wins from nine outings this season and racking up 24 victories from 28, dating back to last winter, was a testimony to the class of his troops.

"It was certainly a bad afternoon for us and we need to address it to make sure we bounce back."

The third-placed Olympic oozed class in the mould of Solomon Islands international Henry Fa'arodo and ISPS Handa Premiership golden boot Tom Jackson, of Team Wellington, claiming a brace each while George Barbarouses and Ahmed Othman also got on the scorecard.

Rovers goalkeeper Kyle Baxter, who looked out of sorts in the previous round, had a hectic day retrieving the ball from the net although two goals came from set pieces.

Blues midfielder Sho Goto scored a consolation goal for his league leaders but the Western Suburbs have a great chance of going to the top of the table tomorrow. Photo/file
Blues midfielder Sho Goto scored a consolation goal for his league leaders but the Western Suburbs have a great chance of going to the top of the table tomorrow. Photo/file

Japanese import midfielder Sho Goto scored a consolation goal for the Blues when they were 4-0 down in the 67th minute.

Robertson said Olympic had recruited heavily this season, including national league players so Neil and his men were mindful they could become road kill.

Fa'arodo, he said, captained his country so the Rovers had, under no circumstances, underestimated the Greeks' dossier.

"Every side has a one off so today we were punished where everything seemed to go in for them," he said, revealing the hosts had created about eight chances and nailed six for an impressive conversion ratio.

However, Robertson said the match was a tad scrappy.

"You know, we haven't been opened up and outplayed by a better footballing side, I think, but the scoreline speaks for itself in what was a funny game and, sometimes, these things happen."

At exactly the half way mark of the league, he said had anyone given him a top-of-the-table position he would have gleefully taken that on the back of only two defeats.

"It seems a little doom and gloom at the moment but it's a good opportunity to reflect at half way through the season and a good opportunity to put things right in the coming weekend."

With the Queen's Birthday long weekend beckoning, Rovers have two games on the agenda.

They hit the highway back to the capital to play North Wellington in the league on Saturday before hosting Tawa in round two of the Chatham Cup (national knockout competition) on Monday.

In other matches today, Miramar Rangers thumped Wellington United 10-1, Waterside Karori pipped North Wellington 1-0 while the Canaries bounced back to relegation-threatened Wairarapa United 6-1.

The only undefeated side in te league, Western Suburbs, who have two draws and are a point adrift from the Rovers on the table, host Stop Out Sports Club tomorrow and will become the league leaders should they win.