Chatham Cup comes to Cambridge this weekend

Chatham Cup comes to Cambridge this weekend

Cambridge play their biggest game of the season so far when they host Auckland’s Western Springs in football’s oldest cup competition on Saturday.

The Chatham Cup, sponsored by ISPS Handa, is New Zealand’s premier knockout competition and has been contest since 1923.

It creates the opportunity for clubs such as Cambridge to cause upsets against bigger clubs who play at a higher level.

On Saturday, Western Springs will visit John Kerkhof Park (2pm kick off) as one of the leading teams in the Northern League first division, a competition two tiers above the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership in which Cambridge plays.

Springs are coached by former All Whites assistant coach Neil Emblen and contain several players with national league experience, as well as New Zealand U-20 international George Debenham.

Cambridge have a decent record in the cup, having performed well against top Auckland clubs such as Birkenhead United who struggled to beat the Reds 4-2 in 2014, and past cup winner Central United who beat Cambridge 4-2 at Kiwitea Street last year.

Cambridge beat Tokora 4-1 in the preliminary round of this year’s cup and Saturday’s tie is one of 47 first round ties with 17 clubs receiving byes.

While the September cup final may seem a distant dream, Cambridge can focus on the challenge of setting a new club record if it can progress to at least the third round of the competition.

Since first entering the competition in the 1960s, Cambridge has reached the third round on 12 occasions but never gone one step further.

Other teams from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty have proven it is possible to reach the latter stages of competition.

Huntly Thistle (1971) and Ngaruawahia (1984) both reached the fifth rounds, while Waikato United were beaten finalists in 1992, losing 3-1 to Wellington’s Miramar Rangers.

Rotorua City – who now play in the same Loaded WaiBOP Premiership as Cambridge – lost the 1989 final 7-1 to Christchurch United.

Click here for Cambridge FC’s record in the Chatham Cup

This week's issue of RED, our club's matchday magazine, is available free here:

Other senior and youth games this weekend are:

Unbeaten Cambridge plays Tokoroa at Strathmore Park (2.45pm) in the WaiBOP Championship.

Cambridge A will look for their third win in a row when facing Ngaruawahia United at John Kerkhof Park (2.45pm).

In the Waikato B division, Cambridge hosts Putaruru Rangers at John Kerkhof Park (1pm).

The Cambridge D1 team hosts Claudelands Rovers D2 (12.30pm) while the D2 side travels to Waikato Unicol’s Hillcrest Park (12.30pm).

On Sunday, Cambridge’s women’s first team head to Tokoroa for a top-of-the-table clash at Strathmore Park (11am).

Our women’s second team plays Ngaruawahia United in the B Division (11am) at John Kerkhof Park.

In the WaiBOP Federation Youth Leagues, our U-12 side plays at home to Papamoa (10am) while the Cambridge U-14 Red side hosts Tauranga City (11am) and the Cambridge U-14 White team has a bye.

Check out our matchday sponsors RICOH

Date Added: Thursday, 11th May 2017
Link: Last weekend's results for Cambridge senior teams