Rovers v Geon Dale, Fed Cup soccer final
As strikers go, he's no big rig in the mould of Marty Akers of yesteryear or Jarrod Smith of Central League title-winning fame this winter but it's no secret Hawke's Bay Today photographers' zoom lenses find him equally irresistible.
So what makes Chris McIvor such a tough varmint on the soccer pitch?
For a 33-year-old, the Geon Taradale captain has agility and what soccer pundits will argue something not even physically imposing Akers had or Smith has - guile.
Just as the photographer senses a promise of a money shot for the sports pages through the allure of McIvor, so do the defenders in opposition teams detect a hopeless inevitability about conceding goals if they don't follow him like a bad smell.
Last Saturday, the Promotem Napier City Rovers beefeaters made a hash of marking McIvor in the Hawke's Bay Knockout Cup match in their 5-3 loss but today they will endeavour to "put things right" from 2pm in the Federation Cup (knockout) final at Marewa Park, Napier, if centreback Mark Henderson's prediction is anything to go by.
"We could see it [McIvor's threat] but we just couldn't stop it," Henderson said after Dale had the match sewn up in a burst of five minutes in the first half before McIvor bagged a hattrick of goals, following two quick goals from the Rovers.
"We've talked about it at training and we're working on it at training so we'll try to redeem ourselves."
Effectively, McIvor is of the kick-and-chase species, something that veteran midfielder Perry Cotton will attest to with his timely through balls that will have the striker turning defenders around.
Incidentally, McIvor will tell you former midfield maestro Jimmy Cudd did that with aplomb, too.
The head of sport at Woodford House, McIvor is ambidextrous and can be innately selfish as strikers tend to be.
If he is feeling the heat too much, he's capable of weasling his way behind the defenders to stand on the ball until the cavalry arrive.
He is also persuasive enough to lure defenders out wide before curling in well-timed crosses to Dean Johnston with pinpoint accuracy to push past young Jonty Underhill in goal for the Rovers.
While the Warren Gilbertson and Robbie Parker co-coached Dale like to adopt a passing game, having McIvor make darting runs on counterattacks offers them another dimension.
"We like mixing it up because there's a time when you can play a passing game so having that up the sleeve can be useful when the old legs need a rest."
His other plus is pulling defenders out of their comfort zones before a group of soccer-savvy ex-National League types zero in for the kill.
Anyone who has tried playing with another foot after years of dormancy will tell you it isn't just a physical adjustment but a huge ask from the mental reservoir, although McIvor is an animal who thrives on fresh challenges.
"I was always a right-footed player but, in 2000, Charlie Howe [a former Napier City Rovers coach] gave me a chance to play on the left midfield, so for four or five years I persevered.
"Now my left foot is as good as my right, if not better, so we're benefiting from that.
"Sometimes it's ugly but after playing with my left for so long it's got better."
The Kinetic Electrical Hawke's Bay United assistant coach will be the first one to admit he's no Cristiano Ronaldo.
"I do silly things at training and find myself falling over the ball doing funny things."
Don't let his receding hairline fool you, because he's equally adept at using his noggin to find the net.
"I like to finish with the head rather than the feet but my teammates always have a crack at me for missing sitters but I certainly score a higher percentage of goals with my head."
His eyes are as sharp as they were in his heyday, which helps immensely in finding angles in the mind's eye, too.
He isn't shy about putting referees in a spot so as to have them second guessing, almost in the mould of former Wallaby halfback/captain George Gregan.
What McIvor lacks in brute strength, he makes up for with ... let's say, gamesmanship.
He habitually grabs defenders in a clamp-like fashion with his back to them while shielding the ball, when he isn't fending them off rugby-like with one hand.
That should have players screaming bloody murder to the whistle blowers and flag wavers and asking McIvor to go play rugger but whether the howlers find traction with the officials is another story.
Reflecting on whether his tactic is controversial, McIvor replies: "Yes and no, I use my arms to wrap around them but it is a bone of contention."
Henderson agrees McIvor is a handful but stops short of labelling him a cheat.
In fact, the 45-year-old employee of a Hastings electrical wholesaler believes the striker does what most elite players do in Europe.
"He uses his arms well and he's gone. He can run all day because we all know he's aerobically fit," says Henderson, an Englishman who arrived in New Zealand 14 years ago from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, about 40 minutes' drive north of London, after wife Fiona scored a teaching job.
He came from Nelson to Napier five years ago and Fiona is now the deputy principal of William Colenso College.
He has his reservations about McIvor's influence over referees, though, putting it down to his "reputation" as a quality player that gives him the edge.
"Everyone likes Chris, so it's not a dirty thing."
Having played for Taradale, Havelock North and Napier Marist with Gilbertson, Henderson says aspiring young strikers should watch McIvor in action before trying to emulate his prowess.
He says if his fellow Rovers defenders keep a healthy metre distance from McIvor they will be able to negate some of his guile.
"It's possibly illegal but if we drop back a little because if you go too close before you know it he'll spin you around to the other side and he'll be gone."
While not lanky, McIvor, he says, is lean and mean and strong on the ball.
Rovers captain Nick Matheson will return to the midfield after an injury, with cup-tied Central League players Matt Hastings and Patrick Pilz out.
Henderson says it's an opportunity for the youngsters on the bench to make an impact to help the Blues clinch the winners medal to avoid a Dale whitewash.
If the Rovers showed Dale too much respect last Saturday they won't today with Josh Anstis returning after secondary school commitments.
For Dale, Cotton is expected to recover from an injury but young leftback Corey Charlton is cup tied.
McIvor reckons the Rovers will return much wiser after last weekend's loss. "Our challenge is to step it up another notch."
The other challenge for the Rovers was to behave themselves at the club's prize-giving ceremony last night before today's game.