A Friday fixture under lights heads an exciting weekend of football for those in the North.
Western Springs host Auckland United at Seddon Fields (7.15pm) to launch a weekend in which the Northern League and Lotto NRFL fixtures pitch games at both ends of the various league tables.
Our neutral’s guide to the weekend
Here’s our tips for the most entertaining games of the weekend:
Western Springs (4th) meet Auckland United (3rd) in a crucial Northern League match in Meola Rd.
With a 7.15pm start, and floodlit atmosphere, it should get the weekend off to a flying start.
Main photo: Western Springs’ Wade Malony works the touchline. Image courtesy of Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
On Saturday, at 3pm, Birkenhead United (5th) host Melville United (2nd) in a replay of the 2018 ISPS Handa Chatham Cup final.
Both clubs are making early claims for a spot in the Northern League’s top-four that leads to participation in the National League, and this game at Shepherds Park could be vital when end-of-season rankings are finalised.
In Division 1 of the Lotto NRFL, leaders East Coast Bays meet Tauranga City (5th) at Bay City Park (3pm).
At the opposite end of the division, Ellerslie host Bucklands Beach at Michaels Ave with both sides winless and having conceded 42 goals between them this season.
Here’s the chance for one of them to grab three points and give themselves a lifeline as they scramble to avoid the drop to Division 2.
In the second division, Cambridge (4th) host Northland (3rd) at John Kerkhof Park (3pm) with the winner able to stay in reach of divisional leaders Onehunga Mangere United and Fencibles United.
Papatoetoe and Uni-Mount Bohemian Celtic, the division’s bottom two sides, meet at Murdoch Park (3pm).
In the women’s Premier Division, runaway leaders Western Springs will protect their 100% winning start to the season with a home game against second placed Northern Rovers.
Game starts at 1pm.