Another cruel defeat for Bay United
For the second consecutive week the Hawke's Bay United footballers have been beaten at the death.
While last week's 2-1 loss to Team Wellington in the capital was cruel today's loss by the same score to Auckland City at Kiwitea Street was twice as cruel. No way did Thirsty Whale Hawke's Bay United deserve to lose the third round New Zealand Football Championship ISPS Handa Men's Premiership clash.
Referee Ben O'Connell dished out a harsh penalty against Hawke's Bay defender Jackson Woods which resulted in the hosts 75th minute goal to Cameron Howieson to tie the score.
A late speculator almost two minutes into extra time from Dylan Manickum gave Auckland City the victory.
Until that 75th minute goal Hawke's Bay United were the better side. Keeper Scott Morris was having a cracker game making save after save against an outfit which made 17 shots on goal.
The Bay's defensive quartet of co-captains Jim Hoyle and Fergus Neil, co-coach Bill Robertson and Woods was full of authority. Up front Gavin Hoy and Jesse Randall were causing plenty of problems for the Auckland defenders who were rattled for long periods.
Randall opened the scoring with a 26th minute left footer into the right hand corner of the net. The visitors led 1-0 at halftime.
"We're extremely disappointed. That tackle of Jackson's was more than clean ... we watched it 20 times on the game footage afterwards," Robertson said.
"There were three or four other bizarre calls. The referee has had a huge impact on the outcome of the match," Robertson explained.
"But overall we were pleased with our gutsy effort against a quality side. We should have come away with something. In the first half we were dangerous on the counter attack but in the second half we were a little bit deep and not quite as dangerous," Robertson added.
Former Hawke's Bay United player Andrew Blake was busy on attack for the hosts in the first half.
Hawke's Bay United will host Canterbury United in a fourth round clash at Napier's Bluewater Stadium from 2pm next Sunday.