Waiheke’s Chatham Cup dream run ended with a tight 1-0 loss at local rivals North Shore.
This was an epic encounter and Waiheke can hold their heads high as they played with passion and skill, and dominated their higher ranked opponents for much of the match.
Around 200 vocal supporters made the short ferry trip to Devonport to cheer on our local heroes, and North Shore’s compact and pretty home field was a cauldron of fireworks and fervour as the players entered the packed arena.
This was the biggest game in Waiheke United’s history, and a huge number of former players, coaches and fans had sent messages of support from around the world urging the team to keep making history. Waiheke were primed for battle, but knew North Shore were up for it too.
Waiheke kicked off and, incredibly, conceded a penalty after only 30 seconds as high pressing from the home side caused panic in the Waiheke box. Keeper Seba Ciganda has an excellent record of stopping spot kicks, but he was given no chance as North Shore’s pacey left-winger drove the ball low and hard into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Far from the ideal start, but Waiheke recovered well from this gut punch and the game quickly became an arm wrestle between two well matched, heavyweight teams.
Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!