50 and counting: Angus Kilkolly scores 50th goal in 60 games for Napier City Rovers.
Angus Kilkollly was on target against Palmerston North Marist yesterday, netting a hat-trick and scoring his 50th goal for Napier City Rovers in the 4-2 win.
The striker, who made his debut for Rovers in 2014, and is now in his fourth season, reached the half-century mark in his 60th Blues appearance.
The 20 year-old achieved the feat in the second-half of the match at Memorial Park after he converted from the penalty spot to complete a hat-trick.
It was a robust performance from Rovers after a shaky start to the 2017 Central League campaign.
The Blues started strong, but it was Palmerston North Marist who took the lead within the first 20 minutes after they scored against the run of play.
Kilkolly equalised five minutes later and a classy Rovers side continued to boss the game.
Josh Stevenson put the Blues ahead when he netted number two, and Kilkolly took the goal tally to 3-1 just before half-time.
In the second-half Kilkolly scored from the penalty spot to reach his milestone and take the score line to 4-1
Marist managed to pull one back with less than 10 minutes on the clock, but they were never a real threat to Rovers’ lead.
Kilkolly said it was a much needed win for the Blues, after a draw and a loss in the opening games of the Central League campaign.
“We need to be winning these sort of games really. It was massive, the boys are stoked. If we didn’t win today we were going to run into trouble at the start of league.
“It was all really about getting the result after the first two games. Today was all about result over performance really.
“We were 1-0 down and me and a few of the boys made eye contact and we knew we had to get out of this hole.
“They scored against the run of play and after that it was all us. The boys created a lot of chances and we probably could have had a few more.”
Having boss Bill Robertson’s presence was a major lift for the team, says Kilkolly.
“It’s always good to have him on the side-lines. He’s our leader, and to have that experience on the side is always encouraging.”
The striker says he set himself a target before the game, and winning and scoring a trio was top of his agenda as he pursued the 50 goals in 60 games milestone.
“The hat trick brought up 50 goals for Rovers which is obviously something I am really proud about. It’s a pretty good achievement."
“It’s been on my mind all week. I was doing the maths at work and said to my workmates, I’m on 47 at the moment, if I score three I’ll get there in 60 games.
“And, obviously I’m 21 on Tuesday so I wanted to do it before my birthday.
“It’s my fourth term at the club, I’m still very young but I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a couple of very good teams at Rovers. I’ve had lots of chances and obviously contributed lots of goals.
“As a striker you sort of hope to score a goal a game, or near that, and my aim is really to get to a goal a game ratio now.”
Head coach Bill Robertson says it was satisfying to bag the first three points after the first two games had slipped away from them.
“The boys played well. It was good to get the first win.
“We’ve had reasonable performances over the last two games. Lower Hutt away we could have easily won the game, but we only got a draw. From what I saw last weekend we had enough chances to win that as well, some good periods of play. So, it’s good to get some rewards for our good performances.”
The Blues Boss says he was pleased with how the team played, and the power they asserted on the park against Marist.
“We dominated for long periods, had a really good start, and we probably should have been ahead before they scored, but we conceded on a free-kick.”
“But, from there we responded really well and controlled the game. So, comfortable really from our end.
“We conceded a sloppy goal in the second-half, but that was at 4-1.
“Overall we really deserved to win the game. We created lots of chances and probably should have had a couple of more goals.”
Robertson says the whole team stepped up, with pleasing performances in all areas.
“Everyone performed pretty well. Our whole back four were very solid, including Josh Hill in goal. Everyone stood up today, and overall it was a good team performance.
“Angus with three goals, and bringing up 50 goals was a huge performance. 50 goals in 60 games, it’s some record."
Robertson adds that the huge emphasis on youth development remains at the forefront, with youngsters Brad Perks and Ethan Ladd coming on, and Jorge Akers in the starting line-up once more for Rovers.
“All the young lads have come on. Brad’s come off the bench, Ethan’s come off the bench and Jorge started again.
“In terms of our youth policy and bringing the youngsters through, then they’re all getting game time."
Robertson says he is confident moving into Monday’s game despite being without Fergus Neil, Matt Bruin and Jim Hoyle.
“We’re missing three starters, and three very experienced players for Monday.
“But what it does is give an opportunity for the youngsters to come in and have their chance to do well at Central League level. So yeah, were looking forward to it.
“We want to provide opportunities for these young players, and what better an opportunity than at home against Wairarapa, who have obviously recruited a good side and are at the top end of the table. And it’s a home game, so it’s a great opportunity for them.”
Conroy Removals Napier City Rovers take on Wairarapa United on Easter Monday, Bluewater Stadium, kick-off 2pm