The first ISPS Handa Premiership’s matchweek of 2020 had interesting matches, showing the best of what football has in the country. Auckland City won the Super City Derby against Waitakere United without any fight from the local side, Team Wellington smashed Hawke’s Bay United at David Farrington park and Tasman collected valuable three points at they beat the defending champions Eastern Suburbs.
The warm up match for the Wellington Phoenix clash at SkyStadium saw the Reserves side to score first in the initial part of the game through a good Byron Heath’s efforts. The young side of Phoenix managed to control the match in the first half, but the visitors of Southern United could collect a away point as the young Andrew Cromb found the equalizer for the team form Dunedin.
The Super City Derby – the name of clash between Waitakere United and Auckland City FC – was completely dominated by the current top-placed side of the national league in New Zealand. Dylan Manickum was the top goalscorer of the encounter with a brace, as Maro Bonsu-Maro, Cameron Howieson, Clayton Lewis and the top goalscorer of the competition so far, now with 10 goals, Myer Bevan all adding one goal to the scoresheet. The Cook Islander Bonsu-Maro scored his first goal of the season.
To reduce the margin for the local side, the talented Dane Schnell scored for his side in the first half and in the final part of the game Rayhan Carlson-Du Toit scored his first goal in ISPS Handa Premiership to give final numbers to a very important victory of Auckland City: 6-2.
In Christchurch at English Park, Canterbury United received Hamilton Wanderers. After a goalless first half, George King found the nets for the home side to open the scoreline at the 68th minute of play.
What seemed to be more one more loss to the team coached by Kale Herbert ended up with a massive comeback. The Englishman Derek Tieku found the nets to put the game levelled already inside the 80th minute mark, but the brace of Tommy Semmy gave the win to the visitors in the final minutes of the clash. Hamilton, after a very bad start of season, is now in a fantastic streak with three wins a row, sitting 4th in the league.
The strong striker Hamish Watson is back to his goalscoring days as he notched two against Hawke’s Bay United at David Farrington Park. Team Wellington kept the difference only in three points from Auckland City as both sides won in the round.
The Englishman Sam Mason-Smith, former HBU player, scored another for the home side as the winger Nati Hailemarian gave final numbers to the scoreboard in favour of Team Wellington. A strong performance for the team coached by Scott Hales – a 4-0 giving no chances to the good side from Napier.
Tasman United were desperate to win after some frustrating defeats; they had a very hard challenge to play against the current champions of the league Eastern Suburbs. The Saxton Field saw the New Caledonian international Jean-Philippe Saïko to score his second goal of the season to open the scoreline in favour of the home side.
The young local forward Lachie Brooks finished the day for Tasman United scoring his first goal for the club and giving final numbers for the clash in Nelson: 2-0.
The bad moment of Eastern Suburbs continue as they did not win any of their last six matches in the season so far. The club will travel to Papua New Guinea in February to compete for the OFC Champions League group phase and will certainly need to improve their performances.
You can check the full results and table of ISPS Handa Premiership by clicking here.