14 June 2004 , By TONY COFFIN
The alarm bells would have rung out in the central region on Saturday, after Wellington Olympic smashed Manawatu AFC 6-0 in their Chatham Cup game at Memorial Park.
Next season the top capital and central federation sides combine in a new competition, and with both Olympic and Manawatu near the top of their leagues a close game was expected.
But in the end Manawatu would have been happy to escape conceding only six goals as it could have been double, with the Olympic side showing a quality not usually seen in the central federation.
Oympic played the game at a pace greater than Manawatu would have encountered this season, with Jeff Sole and his fellow defenders rarely called into action.
The Manawatu defence was often left chasing shadows, with Olympic's powerful strikeforce of Geoff Brown, Mikey Haliakis and Anthony Neonakis creating havoc.
Down 2-0 at the break and with the writing on the wall, the fans that headed out the gate would have been pleased they had, with the second half even more one-sided. Olympic appeared to be cruising and seemingly could have stepped up another gear if it had needed to.
Steven Old returned from the debacle of the All Whites' loss to Vanuatu to score a golden-goal winner for Palmerston North Marist in its 3-2 victory over Waterside-Karori on an awful Karori Park pitch, to propel Marist into the fifth round of the Chatham Cup.
Marist coach Colin Tuaa said it was an ugly game, but he was impressed with how his side had twice come back from a goal behind.
Before Old's fifth minute extra-time goal, Japanese student Yuki Tomomatu made it 2-all with a wonder goal. A long cross fell to Tomomatu with his back to the goal on the edge of the goalbox and in one movement he volleyed over his shoulder into the top corer.
"It would be one of the best goals I've seen," said former All White striker Tuaa.
Red Sox made it consecutive 1-0 wins when grabbed an improtant victory, beating third-placed Team Taranaki at Skoglund Park. A win that puts it back in the hunt for top place finish.
Queen Elizabeth College sixth former Richard Wood, who stepped up three grades to play federation league, scored the only goal early in the first spell.
Both Taranaki and Red Sox created scoring chances, but it wasn't until the final desperate minutes that either side went close with Red Sox defender Kevin Whitta, who had another outstanding game, sliding in from outside the upright to kick a shot off the line as Taranaki celebrated a goal. Taranaki put the ball in the net in the last minute, but the Hawke's Bay referee ruled Red Sox goal-keeper Nawaf Beidas had the ball taken out of his hands.
Massey University's fruitless season continued when it lost its ninth straight game 4-2 at Taradale, slipping six points behind the second bottom team. Andy Silver and Chris Unwin scored for Massey.