Fans from both sides were left scrambling for the record books after Upper Hutt City booted out powerhouses Napier City Rovers from the national knockout competition yesterday.

The Wellington Premier League campaigners beat the Thirsty Whale-sponsored Blues 3-0 in round two of the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup encounter at Maidstone Park.

It was a day to forget for Bay fans after the Building King Havelock North Wanderers went down to Advanced Electrical Western Suburbs in the village although they went into the game as overwhelming underdogs amid controversy over the switching of pitches at Guthrie Park due to heavy rain.

But the Rovers stole the thunder in recording back-to-back losses in a long weekend of despair after they had succumbed 3-1 to Ultra Football Central League newcomers Integration Works Waterside Karori in the capital city on Saturday.


Ironically Blues player/coach Bill Robertson was having a family reunion in Fiji while his assistant, Stu James, was with the New Zealand Masters team in Thailand.

"We're very disappointed," said Neil, a squad member who is sitting out this season to overcome niggly injuries. "It's been a horror weekend for us, really."

The defender wasn't going to reach out for any lame excuses, such as weather or unknown quantities, for their hiccups.

"We have no one else to blame today," he said, revealing league golden boot striker Martin Bueno, of Uruguay, was serving a match suspension for accumulated yellow cards and centre-mid Karan Mandair was out because of an ankle injury on Saturday.

"If we had played to our potential we wouldn't have had any issues."

Neil said the Rovers didn't "do their high press right" and were "a little off their pace" against the Parapine ITM-sponsored Upper Hutt side under the tutelage of Mark Foster.

Teenager Ethan Ladd played rightback, English import Drew Matthews stoked the engine room while BJ Christensen made his debut for the Blues as striker after a long injury layoff since switching allegiances from the Wanderers this year.

The mood was one of optimism at halftime when the sides were locked scoreless.


Neil said they had spoken about moving the ball much more smartly to break down Upper Hutt on the artificial pitch.

But 19-year-old Victoria University student Sam Patterson drew first blood in the 54th minute during a cornerkick melee.

It wasn't until the 83rd minute that Upper Hutt left wing Matt Fong extended the lead to 2-0 from a counterattack.

However, the salt in the wound for the visitors came in four minutes of added time when Donal Gahan came in as a substitute centre-mid in the 90th minute to make it 3-0.

Blues player/coach Bill Robertson (right) is on a family reunion trip to Fiji. Photo / File
Blues player/coach Bill Robertson (right) is on a family reunion trip to Fiji. Photo / File

Upper Hutt club spokesman Phil Gorman last night said it was a fantastic result for their club and one the players should be very proud of.

"Napier has always been one of leaders of football across New Zealand and for us to beat them at the highest level from a league below for the first time ever is a credit to Mark Foster and his boys," Gorman said. "The club and its supporters have had a great day celebrating the historic win."

Upper Hutt club's women also had a crushing 7-0 victory over Kapiti Coast United in round two of the national knockout Kate Sheppard Cup.

Rovers stalwart Terry Parkin suspected a Matt Chandler-coached side might have lost to a second-tier Palmerston North End about a decade ago.

However, Parkin confirmed a Blues team lost a cup match to second-tier Tawa (Wellington) in 1994 after the Mick Waitt-coached outfit had won the former National League and Chatham Cup double the year before.

Was it right to have move Wanderers v Suburbs match from pitch No 1 to No 2 at Guthrie Park yesterday?

The jury is out on that one but it goes without saying the weather bomb did the hosts more favours than it did the visitors who, nevertheless, beat the villagers 3-0 to progress to round three.

The Wellingtonians, who as defending Central League champions had trounced the villagers 9-0 on the No 1 ground in ideal conditions last Saturday, were up 2-0 at halftime.

"It was tough. We knew it was going to be harder in a different competition and they moved it to the second pitch to make it harder for us so fair enough, to play it into their hands, but we got the job done and we're into the next round," said Suburbs captain Owen Parker-Price.

"It was very heavy [underfoot]. Everyone had their long studs on but they were still slipping so we just happen to get out of there with a win," said Parker-Price, who felt they did their best to move the ball but the final pass became laboured.