Nelson Suburbs are through to the semi-finals of the Chatham Cup after a tense 1-0 win over East Coast Bays at Saxton Field on Sunday afternoon.
An Alex Ridsdale goal just before half time was enough to see Suburbs book a berth in the semis for the first time since 2008.
Coach Steve Bignall says his side “worked their butts off” and he couldn’t be prouder of his men.
“It’s cup football, we rode our luck a bit at times but we kept trying to play football, which was great.”
Player coach Ben Wright was ‘ecstatic’ following the win.
“Just brilliant, really pleased, I thought we deserved it.”
Ben says there were spells where they were put under the pump, but the players stood up in the face of intense pressure.
“Overall I think we defended well and everyone put an absolute shift in.”
He says the win is fantastic for the region.
“It was great to get people down here and behind us, we could hear and sense that.”
After a feeling out period early on, Matt Tod-Smith found some form, puting on four shots at goal in the opening twenty minutes.
Suburbs began to threaten more as the half drew to a close before Alex Ridsdale’s 43rd minute match-winner.
Ridsdale calmly slotted the game’s only goal after Ryan Stewart’s first attempt deflected off keeper Michael Williams.
Suburbs made a number of changes early in the second half as they went about defending their lead. East Coast desperately searched for an equaliser, but keeper Corey Wilson proved impenetrable in goal.
Defensive duo Jimmy Deehan and Sam Ayers were superb in tandem at the back while Labu Pan and James McClay looked dangerous throughout.
Suburbs will now meet either Cashmere Technical, Western Suburbs or Birkenhead United in the semi-finals on August 25-26.