New signing Matthew Banks scored the only goal of the game to keep West Coast Rangers top of the Lotto NRFL Division 1 with three wins from as many games.
Ellerslie and Onehunga Mangere United maintained their pressure on the leaders while Mount Albert Ponsonby dropped vital points in added time for the second week in a row.
Here’s our round-up of first division games:
Banks maintains his goal-a-game record
Matthew Banks scored the all-important goal for West Coast Rangers against East Coast Bays, grabbing the winner in the 57th minute at Whenuapai’s Fred Taylor Park.
The 22-year-old joined Rangers this season after three years with Oratia United, and he’s been an instant success.
He came off the bench to score for Rangers last weekend and was rewarded with a start in midweek against Fencibles United, scoring again.
He’s now got three goals from three appearances has quickly become one of Rangers’ danger men, though he marred his latest performance with a late booking for time-wasting.
Ellerslie snatch a late point as MAP slip up late again
The Ponies maintained their unbeaten start to 2022, snatching a draw in added time at Mount Albert Ponsonby’s Anderson Park.
MAP were heading for a 2-1 win as the game entered its third minute of referee’s time and for the second week running, they let the three pointer slip from their grasp when substitute Rowan Corbett found the leveller for Ellerslie.
Ellerslie had taken the lead in the game’s fourth minute through Ermal Fusha, a goal contested by the home side players whose claims the ball had not completely crossed the goal line were over-ruled by the assistant referee.
MAP came back strongly as the half progressed.
Captain Lewis Black scored an equaliser on the half hour and Timothy Sudmann gave his side the lead just before the break.
Both teams worked their benches in an even second half and MAP should have been wary after coughing up a two-goal lead a week earlier to East Coast Bays.
But, no, they blew their lines again, and Corbett punished them.
In-form Harford leads the way for Fencibles
A double by Josh Harford spearheaded Fencibles United’s 4-1 win at Northern Rovers’ Becroft Park.
It’s been a good week for 21-year-old Harford who scored twice in midweek against West Coast Rangers and is leading United’s attack with efficiency.
Main photo: Josh Harford … has quickly found goalscoring form. File photo courtesy Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Zachary Tobin put Fencibles ahead after four minutes before Harford doubled their lead in the 23rd minute.
Jack Pirie pulled back a goal for Rovers after 25 minutes and the sides turned around with the home side trailing 1-2.
Harford extended Fencibles’ lead to 3-1 soon after half-time and his skipper, Harrison McDowell, extended the lead further in the 55th minute.
The only wobble for Fencibles was losing Jaymis Grubjesic to a second yellow card with 10 minutes to go.
Fencibles made four late substitutions to ensure fresh legs compensated for being a man down, and the side ran down the clock for a comfortable win.
Mountain Men in a mood to celebrate
Promoted Onehunga Mangere United did enough to beat bottom-placed Metro 2-1 on Mangere Mountain.
All the goals came in the second half in a fractious game that saw seven yellow cards, of which the home team received four.
Osman Rostagar, one of United’s leading scorers in last season’s promotion run, gave the Mountain Men the lead in the 68th minute.
His captain, Glen Lewis, was credited with an own goal in the 75th minute and copped a caution for dissent.
United regrouped and with five minutes to go, Scott Lewis scored the winner.
Onehunga Mangere United belatedly celebrate their centenary this year and their first team appears keen to give supporters plenty to cheer.
At last … fancied Manurewa get off the mark with win at Waitemata
Manurewa, one of the competition’s pre-season favourites, finally got their first win with a 2-1 victory at Waitemata’s McLeod Park.
All the goals came in the first quarter of the game.
New signing Horace James put ‘Rewa ahead in the 14th minute and the visitors doubled their lead when Waitemata’s Jordan O’Neill own goaled.
Waitemata bounced back immediately, scoring through Arnold Kochasira in the 22nd minute.
The win comes as a welcome relief for Manurewa as they leave East Coast Bays and Metro as the division’s only sides without a win.
Tauranga join Rangers at the top
On Sunday (April 10), Tauranga City beat Albany United 2-1.
Results of games played on Saturday April 9, 2022
Mount Albert Ponsonby 2 (Lewis Black 29′, Timothy Sudmann 41′)
Ellerslie 2 (Ermal Fusha 4′, Rowan Corbett 90+3′)
Northern Rovers 1 (Jack Pirie 26′)
Fencibles United 4 (ZacharyTobin 4′, Josh Harford 23′, 52′, Harrison McDowell 55′)
Onehunga Mangere United 2 (Osman Rastagar 68′, Scott Lewis 85′)
Metro 1 (Own goal Glen Lewis, 75′)
Waitemata 1 (Arnold Kochasira 22′)
Manurewa 2 (Horace James 14′, own goal Jordan O’Neill 21′)
West Coast Rangers 1 (Matthew Banks 57′)
East Coast Bays 0
Result of game played on Sunday April 10, 2022
Albany United 1 (Jack Beguely 31′)
Tauranga City 2 (Marko Brinkmann 29′, Braxton Fisher-Vanerveen 67′)