• Pressure intensifies in Rovers top three quest

Pressure intensifies in Rovers top three quest

Napier City Rovers will have to be more clinical in front of goal if they are going to secure a top three finish in this season's Central League football competition.

Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers were beaten 3-0 by Lower Hutt City in yesterday's sixth round clash at Fraser Park. Depending on results of games today Rovers could drop to fifth on the points table.

The Chatham Cup holders have to finish in the top three to secure a berth in the new-look National League next summer. Rovers have recorded three wins and three losses to date.

"We're disappointed. We had more shots on goal than the opposition. We had double the shots and three times the amount of crosses ... all the stats are in our favour apart from the finishing," Blues head coach and centre back Bill Robertson explained as he reflected on yesterday's trip to the capital.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead with a superb long shot in the 10th minute. They then scored from the penalty spot in the 34th minute.

"We've just watched the footage and it was hard to see whether the penalty was warranted. There was another questionable penalty just before halftime but Oscar saved that," Robertson said referring to 16-year-old Rovers keeper Oscar Mason.

It was the second consecutive week Mason (pictured above, photo Stephanie Gunther) saved a penalty and he also shone with his distribution from his feet.

Striker Kailan Gould was industrious and created a lot of opportunities. But like his fellow forwards, Gould, needs to add more polish to his finishing, like he had when he scored four against Petone a fortnight ago.

"We created a lot of chances but Lower Hutt City were more clinical with the few chances they had," Robertson lamented.

His troops missed the services of forward Ben Wade and utility Zac Madsen who couldn't shake off their respective groin and ankle injuries. However Robertson is optimistic the pair will be available for next Sunday's seventh round clash against Waterside Karori at Napier's Bluewater Stadium.