A very important weekend of football has ended in New Zealand with the current the top-tabled side with the same margin they had in the start of the week. Auckland City could not score any, but also prevented to suffer any goals in their decisive clash for the season against Team Wellington at David Farrington Park. Eastern Suburbs finds their balance as they beat Hamilton Wanderers in Auckland and Hawke’s Bay United suffered shock defeat imposed by Phoenix Reserves.
In the first clash of the round, Southern United faced Canterbury United in Dunedin. The things were not well for both sides, as the teams came from 5-goal margin defeats in the previous round. The story of the game was not good at the starting for Southern as the good George King once again found the nets for Canterbury United in the season putting the visitors upfront after a well-taken free kick.
The things changed in the second half when the defender Danny Ledwith tried from long distance; he hit the bar and the ball rebounded inside the goal, after some seconds of hesitation the referee awarded the goal for the home side. The subtitute James Pendrigh was sent-off after a hash tackle in Garbhan Coughlan, what allowed the home side to pressure to find their winning goal. Southern got their so needed goal after a corner, that Andrew Cromb the rounded and scored the winning goal in the 85th minute of play.
The defeat made Canterbury United to drop in the table, being now the last-ranked team with just nine points. Southern recovered from their 5-0 defeat against Tasman in the last weekened and keep pursuing the top-four position.
Waitakere United had another win in the season and is back to the top-four of the table, but they had once again to battle to confirm their victory. The things did not start when Tasman United scored the first goal with just three minutes of game through Jean-Phillipe Saïko – his 4th goal in the league this season.
Waitakere controled the rest of the first half looking for an equalizer, it came just before the half time break through the Spaniard Gerard Garriga Gibert. The 1-1 was the final scoreline in the first 45 minutes, but the story was not much different in the final part: once again Ben Watson scored a thunderbolt free kick at the 49th minute of game to put Tasman again in the lead. The team from Nelson could not celebrate for long their advantage as Jack Porter put the home side again leveled at Seddon Fields just four minutes later their goal.
The winner would come through the captain Sam Burfoot; the former Auckland City player scored the third for Waitakere at the 72th minute to give the final numbers to the clash, giving his team the second victory in a row.
Hawke’s Bay received at Bluewater Stadium the Phoenix Reserves and did not have the result they expected. The team coached by Bill Robertson and Chris Greatholder could not perform as they did usually – putting them now three points away from the four best four-placed teams.
The second half had all goals of the match: the good performer so far in the season Ahmed Othman scored for his side at the 55th minute of the match and Ben Old ended the account with a goal in the 64t minute of play. The result kept Phoenix Reservers out from the bottom spot in the standings, being now Canterbury United the last ranked team.
Martin Bueno was crucial once again for Eastern Suburbs as the top-striker scored a brace for his side in their 3-0 win over Hamilton Wanderes in Auckland. Bueno scored early for his side with a well-taken penalty. Adam Thurston scored his third goal in two matches with a fantastic free kick just in the edge of the box to double their advantage.
The attacking duo of Hamilton seemed not effective as usual, with Derek Tieku losing a penalty a in second half and Tommy Semmy not creating so much opportunities as usual. It was Bueno who scored again in the second half – his 7th in the season – to give final numbers to the clash.
Eastern Suburbs now seem to be back on track as they record their second win a row – the club is now back to the top-four with 16 points in the 3rd place. Hamilton dropped one position and sits now 5th.
For the fourth time in the season Auckland City had a draw, being three of those draws goalless. The match marked the return of Emiliano Tade and Tom Doyle to the Navy Blues, but either of the players or his teammates were able to break the deadlock in David Farrington Park.
Team Wellington knew a defeat would put them nine points away Auckland in the run; they created opportunities to score but all of them were wasted, with the goalkeeper Conor Tracey in a good afternoon.
The margin that separate the two teams in the competition stands the same – 6 points – being now Team Wellington chased closely by Eastern Suburbs that is only three points away of them in the 2nd place spot in the ladder. To check the update standings, top goalscorers and all the results of the season, visit our session of the ISPS Handa Premiership.