• Rovers drop to seventh, Wanderers retain lead

Rovers drop to seventh, Wanderers retain lead

Napier City Rovers Central League football team's player-coach Bill Robertson remains focused on a top-three finish despite today's fifth loss of the season.

Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers were beaten 4-1 by Western Suburbs in a ninth-round match played at Endeavour Park in Wellington.

"We're only halfway through the season and we're still working towards both of our goals," Robertson (pictured above) said referring to retaining the Chatham Cup and securing a top-three finish in the Central League to book a berth in next summer's new-look National League.

"Suburbs have a lot of good players and they were very good today. While we competed well in the first half they managed to dominate possession in the second half," Robertson explained.

Xavier Green opened the scoring for the hosts with a decent shot from the edge of the box in the 19th minute. In his first starting XI appearance for the Blues 18-year-old forward, Kaelin Nguyen scored Rovers only goal, his first at this level, in the 21st minute.

The score remained 1-all until halftime. Ben Stroud gave Suburbs a 2-1 lead in the 50th minute with a header from a corner. 

A Wan Gatkek goal in the 53rd minute and one from Alex Clayton in the 69th ended the scoring.

Rovers play North Wellington away in a 10th round clash on Saturday before an away Chatham Cup match against Wairarapa United in Masterton on Queen's Birthday.

Meanwhile, Havelock North Wanderers maintained their lead in Central Football's Federation League with a 6-1 victory against Levin at Guthrie Park yesterday.

"It was a really good team effort again but we should have scored a few more goals. We clear at the top and looking good," Wanderers coach Chris Greatholder explained.

Forward Bjorn Christensen scored two goals to maintain his lead in the tussle for the golden boot award with eight. Midfielder and captain Jerome Groot, fellow midfielders Oli Chapman and Vinnie McKirdy and forward Dakota Lucas scored the other goals. 

Wanderers next match will be an away Chatham Cup fixture against Miramar Rangers on Queen's Birthday.