A hat-trick in only five minutes by Bay Olympic skipper Thomas Boss consigned North Shore United to the day’s biggest loss as the new Northern League season got underway.
Bay Olympic beat North Shore 4-0 at Allen Hill Stadium but the game-defining action all took place between the 17th and 22nd minutes of the first half.
Boss, a 30-year-old midfielder who has been on the books of Glenfield Rovers, Onehunga Sports and Birkenhead United before finding his way to Bay Olympic last year, became a one-man scoring machine, netting what must be one of the quickest hat-tricks for many years.
His efforts killed the game as a contest, with the sides changing ends with Bay Olympic 3-0 to the good.
Shore brought on substitute Jaslin Diedericks on the hour and within three minutes, he put through his own goal to extend the visitors’ lead to 4-0.
There’ll be better days ahead for new Shore coach Valerio Raccuglia while Bay Olympic’s newly-appointed coaching duo of Liam Mulrooney and James Pritchett might wait a while to experience a better five-minute spell than they witnessed at Devonport.
Takapuna celebrate return to top tier with upset win
Newly-promoted Takapuna AFC caused the upset of the day, tipping over the ambitious Eastern Suburbs 1-0 at Taharoto Park.
The teams played out a goalless first half.
Sam Robertson (21), who crossed the harbour last year to join Taka from Fencibles United, scored in the 53rd minute and was substituted three minutes later.
The game turned further in Takapuna’s favour when Suburbs’ Tyler Lissette was given a straight red in the 67th minute for denying the home side a goalscoring opportunity.
From there, Takapuna coach Chris Milicich made good use of his bench and the Taharoto Park faithful were able to celebrate their return to the region’s top competition.
Manukau claim comfortable win against league’s new boys
The Northern League’s other promoted side, Waiheke Island, fared not so well.
They hosted Manukau United and the South Aucklanders took control in the first half, scoring twice through Thomas Golding, a 21-year-old who signed from Birkenhead United last year, after spells with Bucklands Beach, Bay Olympic, Waitakere United and Auckland City.
Golding netted in the 27th minute and again on the stroke of half-time.
After turning around 2-0 up, United completed Waiheke’s misery when coach Rudolf Mozr introduced Keegan Linderboom in the 72nd minute, for him to add his side’s third goal within five minutes.
On the strength of their opening day result, Waiheke may be in for a long period of adjustment to this higher level.
Navy Blues do enough to repel Melville’s challenge
Auckland City had to work hard for their 2-1 win against Hamilton’s Melville United at the Croatian Cultural Club grounds in Te Atatu South.
The Navy Blues took the lead in the 11th minute through last season’s top goalscorer, Angus Kilkolly.
Melville struck back after 25 minutes when Oliver Colloty found the equaliser.
With eight minutes remaining till the break, Dylan Manickum put City back in front and the sides went into the break at 2-1.
Using the new competition rules, both teams went big off the bench with City’s head coach Albert Riera using four second-half subs, while Melville’s Sam Wilkinson utilised all five of his allowed changes during the game.
For all the rotations, the sides could not be separated in the second half and City claimed the three points.
Birkenhead leave it late to topple Auckland United
A late goal gave Birkenhead United a 1-0 victory at Auckland United‘s Keith Hay Park.
It came from 18-year-old Luke Allport who switched to United after playing last season at relegated Northern Rovers.
After the sides were scoreless at half-time, both coaches turned to their benches and Allport was introduced in the 75th minute — time enough to find the winner with a couple of minutes left to play.
Three red cards in incident-filled draw at Hamilton
Hamilton Wanderers and Western Springs returned the only draw on opening day, finishing 1-1 at Porritt Stadium.
The game was incident-filled with three red cards and an own goal.
The first half was tame enough with only a yellow card for Wanderers’ Connor Probert as the players went into added time.
On the hour, Wanderers took the lead through an own goal credited to Springs’ ‘keeper Joe Wallis.
Eight minutes later, the Chris Zoricich-coached Aucklanders levelled through Oscar Browne.
For the final stages, the busiest man on the pitch seemed to be referee Ben Norman.
He booked Wanderers’ Paul Clout and then sent him off for a second yellow card with a minute to go.
As the game drifted into added time, he marched Liam Fellowes (Wanderers) and Faiti Hamilton-Pama (Springs), both for violent conduct, and gave a yellow to goalscorer Browne for a reckless foul.
For new Wanderers coach Joe Hinds, it was a point at home but he’ll rue the suspensions facing Clout and Fellowes.
Games played Saturday March 26, 2022
Auckland City 2 (Angus Kilkolly 11′, Dylan Manickum 37′)
Melville United 1 (Oliver Colloty 25′)
Hamilton Wanderers 1 (Joe Wallis OG 60′)
Western Springs 1 (Oscar Browne 68′)
North Shore United 0
Bay Olympic 4 (Thomas Boss 17′, 20′, 22′, Jaslin Diedericks OG 64′)
Takapuna 1 (Sam Robinson 53′)
Eastern Suburbs 0
Waiheke United 0
Manukau United 3 (Thomas Golding 27′, 45′, Keegan Linderbook 77′)