By Anendra Singh, Hawke's Bay Today
Napier City Rovers player James Hoyle (left) scored a goal in the 19th minute against Team Taranaki yesterday. Photo / File, Hawke's Bay Today
The physicality stakes were high but Napier City Rovers have beaten comeback kids Team Taranaki in New Plymouth.
"It was a very good win on the road from a long trip - it was good to come away with three points," said Conroy Removals-sponsored Blues player/coach Bill Robertson after the 4-1 victory in the Lotto Central League soccer match at Yarrow Stadium.
The visitors went up 1-0 after just two minutes from striker Jorge Akers. James Hoyle made it 2-0 in the 19th before veteran Chris McIvor extended it to 3-0 with a 35th-minute goal.
However, Wade Randle pulled one back for Taranaki to make it 3-1 five minutes before halftime.
Prolific scorer Angus Kilkolly put Taranaki out of their misery in the 75th minute after the hosts lost a midfielder for kicking the Rovers striker off the ball.
"It was a South American player and I don't know his name but it was a few minutes after the goal. He kicked out at Angus after a scuffle for the ball and got a straight red card."
Robertson gave a tick to the pitch on a clear day. That enabled them to bring the ball down and play a passing brand of game.
"I can see how they got results with a few good wins this year because they are a very physical side and took points off teams," he said. He was not concerned the Blues still sat below Taranaki on the table.
Taranaki, he said, stepped up to play the game higher in the second half in an attempt to put more pressure on the Rovers but the damage was done by halftime.
The Rovers host defending champions Wellington Olympic at Park Island in a 2pm kick-off this Sunday.
- Hawkes Bay Today