• Hoy stars as United upsets city slickers

Hoy stars as United upsets city slickers

Take a bow Gavin Hoy!

Before leaving the Bay with Thirsty Whale Hawke's Bay United for today's seventh round New Zealand Football Championship clash with Eastern Suburbs in Auckland versatile midfielder Hoy said he was prepared to share the load following the departure of the side's sole goal scorer in the previous six rounds, Jesse Randall. The 28-year-old Canadian more than did that.

Hoy scored both goals as bottom-of-the-table Hawke's Bay United upset the previously second placed side in the ISPS Handa Premiership 2-1 in windy conditions at Madills Farm.

After a scoreless first half which Eastern Suburbs dominated with eight shots on goal, six more than the visitors Hoy opened the scoring when he put the ball into the back of the net from a 54th minute free kick. This followed a dangerous tackle from Suburbs defender Campbell Strong.

Nine minutes later Hoy, who relished the centre forward role all day, gave Hawke's Bay United a 2-0 lead when he capitalised on a clever assist from midfielder Sam Pickering.

Eastern Suburbs only goal came in the 69th minute and it was a cheap one from midfielder Reid Drake after a corner.

With their second victory of the season Hawke's Bay United stopped Eastern Suburbs from going to the top of the table. The visitors defence during the first half and final 10 minutes was superb.

Eastern Suburbs forced eight corners in the second half after neither side could force any in the first spell. Five of Suburbs corners came during the final five minutes when they were desperate to score.

Hawke's Bay United's 19-year-old keeper Scott Morris again made some spectacular saves. His 25th minute save of an attempt from Suburbs forward Ryan Feutz was particularly memorable.

While Hoy was the visitors player-of-the-match all of his teammates deserve praise for their resilience and composure.  Hard workng French midfielder Hugo Delhommelle returned from a six-week injury spell with a massive workrate.

Suburbs best players were roving defender Kelvin Kalau and midfielder Dan Edwards. They combined extremely well down the left side during the first half.

Hawke's Bay United co-coach and centre back Bill Robertson said his troops were pleased with the result and discipline displayed when they defended for long periods.

"Even though we were out of possession for long periods we were in control of the game. We restricted them to very few chances and our  counter attack worked well ... we were happy with the application," Robertson explained.

He pointed out there were no new injuries collected during the match but co-captain and defender Jim Hoyle, who was a late withdrawal with an injury could be unavailable for two to four weeks. Hawke's Bay United host top of the table Team Wellington at Bluewater Stadium in a round eight clash from 1pm next Sunday.