Sun, Jun 16, 2024 4:51 PM

FC Nelson’s Chatham Cup dream drowned


Andrew Board

The conditions matched the mood of fans at Guppy Park this afternoon as FC Nelson’s Chatham Cup dream came to a crashing end.

FC Nelson earned its place in the third round of the Chatham Cup after a stunning 2-1 win over Nelson Suburbs last month. But up against Christchurch-based Ferrymead Bays in wet conditions today it couldn’t repeat its heroics, losing 3-1.

Like Nelson Suburbs, Ferrymead Bays plays in the Southern Premier League, while FC Nelson plays in the Nelson Bays Football first division, a lower league than the SPL.

Wesley Olea skips passed Ferrymead Bays defender Hamish Jardine. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.

FC Nelson had opportunities to open the scoring in the first half with Labu Pan, Wesley Olea and Jamane Wilson all a threat in and around the box.

With the two sides heading into the half time break locked at 0-0, FC Nelson would have backed themselves to get a result. But those hopes were dashed almost immediately as a FC Nelson defender was ruled to have handled the ball in the box, earning Ferrymead Bays a penalty, which was converted by its captain James Deehan.

The exuberant celebrations didn’t endear the visitors to the home crowd but it did create a clear divide in the game with FC Nelson not looking as threatening as the second half wore on.

FC Nelson had a chance to equalise midway through the half which was aided by smoke from flares lit by home supporters which drifted across the Ferrymead goalkeeper’s area making it difficult for him to see. The smoke caused the referee to halt the game until it cleared.

When Ferrymead scored its second, a lovely finish into the far corner from Cameron Rean, the game looked to be slipping away from the hosts. When Chris Murphy’s deflected strike beat FC Nelson goalkeeper Charlie Calderbank it was clear the Chatham Cup run was all-but-over for Nelson.

FC Nelson goalkeeper Charlie Calderbank gets a finger to the penalty attempt from Ferrymead Bays' James Deehan early in the second half. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.

A late penalty converted by Labu Pan gave the home supporters something to cheer about.

FC Nelson coach Paul Brydon was full of praise for his players at full time.

“Generally, I thought we matched them, they were just that bit sharper and that’s because of the level they play at. They were a bit more mobile than we were, in midfield it seemed like they had an extra one in there.

“But it shows that we can compete at that level and that's the main thing, we’re not far away.”

FC Nelson supporters light flares at Guppy Park. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.

Yesterday in the Nelson Bays Football first division, Rangers beat Richmond 2-0 at Jubilee Park, Golden Bay beat Tahuna FC 2-0 in Takaka and Nelson Suburbs Reserves beat Motueka 7-0 in Motueka, while FC Nelson and FC Nelson Karenni was postponed due to today’s Chatham Cup fixture

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