Red cards and early goals played a big part in deciding key fixtures in the Northern League’s Good Friday programme.
Auckland City moved into first place on the table with an easy win while previous leaders Birkenhead United slipped up, losing at home to Melville United.
Here’s our round-up of Good Friday games:
Navy Blues slip into top spot on the table with easy win
Auckland City took a one-point lead at the top of the Northern League table with an emphatic 4-0 win against bottom-placed Waiheke United at Kiwitea Street.
Veteran striker Emiliano Tade, now 34, opened the scoring after five minutes, his 123rd goal for the club.
Waiheke were able to stem the flow for the rest of the half, going into the break 1-0 down.
But two minutes in the second half, the islanders bowed to the inevitable as Angus Kilkolly (47′) and Dylan Manickum (62′) effectively sealed the win with their goals.
Substitute Sam Brotherton finished off the rout with a goal in the 86th minute, as Waiheke goalkeeper Sebastian Ciganda and skipper Alan Llunes lost their cool and copped yellow cards.
Waiheke goalkeeper Sebastian Ciganda was Player of the Day after a string of saves that kept the scoreline respectable, including a penalty save from Kilkolly in added time.
While the league table has the familiar look of Auckland City in top spot, there are clear signs that Waiheke United, the only team in the competition without a win, could soon become adrift at the foot of the ladder.
Teenagers on the scoresheet as Auckland United and Suburbs draw
Two up and coming teenagers shared the goals as Auckland United and Eastern Suburbs settled for a 1-1 draw at Keith Hay Park.
The Lilywhites went into the lead through 17-year-old Ralph Rutherford in the 34th minute and they held the lead at half-time.
Five minutes after the break, 18-year-old Jonah Pastiroff found the equaliser for United.
The draw better suited United, keeping the side in touch with the league leaders, while Suburbs will be concerned they have taken only four points from a possible 12.
Birkenhead struggle for goals as Melville take the points
Birkenhead United suffered their first loss of the campaign when they succumbed 1-0 to Waikato’s Melville United.
Having topped the table going into the round, Birkenhead conceded only their second goal of the season when Melville scored after only 10 minutes. The goal was officially credited to 19-year-old defender Campbell Brown but the Melville camp say the scorer was Oliver Colloty.
Melville’s defence were then up to the task of holding out Birkenhead who have struggled to score goals since the departure of last year’s top goalscorer, Alex Greive.
Despite their advanced position in the league, Birkenhead have scored a mere four goals and they will need to find someone soon who is capable of filling the void.
Red card turns game in Bay Olympic’s favour
A straight red card turned the game in Bay Olympic’s favour as Manukau United lost 3-2 at Murdoch Park.
Olympic took the lead through Darren White in the 15th minute before United levelled through Somali international Mohamed Awad on the half-hour.
With the game in the balance, Jade Mesias was sent off by referee Riley Greenbury for a bad tackle in the 38th minute.
Bay Olympic immediately took advantage, scoring through Jacob Woolford in the 40th minute to send the sides into the break with the visitors 2-1 ahead.
Scorer Woolford was substituted at half-time and his replacement, Tinashe Marowa, scored within three minutes of his introduction, extending Bay Olympic’s lead to 3-1.
To their credit, Manukau made four second-half substitutions, trying to remain positive, and they were awarded a penalty four minutes into added time, which sub Keegan Linderboom converted.
Wanderers remain unbeaten after 2-2 draw at Takapuna
Takapuna and Hamilton Wanderers shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Taharoto Park with all the goals coming in a 20-minute spell in mid-game.
The sides were locked scoreless for 40 minutes before Jack Anderson put the home side ahead.
Straight after the break, Jordan Lamb levelled for Wanderers.
A few minutes later, Anderson scored his second.
With a 2-1 lead and almost an hour gone, Takapuna should have been looking to consolidate but Nicholas Smith was sent for an early shower after referee Allan Wilson ruled he had deprived Wanderers a goalscoring opportunity.
Wanderers levelled from the spot through Joe Harris, a player who missed last season through injury, and has returned to first team play in good form.
Wanderers ‘keeper Matt Oliver helped his side earn their point with a penalty save, while Wanderers’ Derek Tieku notched up his 100th appearance for the club.
The draw — Wanderers’ third of the season — means the Hamilton side joins Auckland City as the only remaining teams as yet unbeaten.
Video highlights – Takapuna v Hamilton Wanderers
Springs hit five as Shore continue to struggle
Western Springs struck form with a 5-1 win against a struggling North Shore United.
Shore were without forward Andrew Abba and regular goalkeeper Silvio Rodic, both through COVID, meaning a recall for veteran ‘keeper Ben Wall who played his 149th game for the club.
Playing at the alternative venue of Crum Park, Springs effectively won the match with a blistering start.
Teenager Oscar Browne opened the scoring after five minutes and veteran Kayne Vincent doubled the lead in the 12 minute.
Browne added his second in the 33rd minute and skipper Josh Margetts found a fourth for his side in the 38th minute.
With Springs ahead 4-0 at half-time, Shore could have easily capitulated but to their credit, they held Springs to an even second half, despite the home side going 5-0 up through Wade Molony on the hour.
Five minutes into the second spell, Springs’ Niko Steinmetz was judged to have handled in the area.
However, goalkeeper Joe Wallis dived to his left to save the Shore penalty.
Jaslin Diedericks pulled back a goal for Shore to at least save some face for a side that is struggling so far this campaign.
Main photo: Oscar Browne (right) … two goals. File photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Results of games played on Friday April 15, 2022
Auckland City 4 (Emiliano Tade 5′, Angus Kilkolly 47′, Dylan Manickum 62′, Sam Brotherton 86′)
Waiheke United 0
Auckland United 1 (Jonah Pastiroff 50′)
Eastern Suburbs 1 (Ralph Rutherford 34′)
Birkenhead United 0
Melville United 1 (Campbell Brown 10′)
Manukau United 2 (Mohamed Awad 31′, Keegan Linderboom 90+4′)
Bay Olympic 3 (Darren White 15′, Jacob Woolford 40′, Tinashe Marowa 49′)
Takapuna 2 (Jack Anderson 40′, 52′)
Hamilton Wanderers (Jordan Lamb 46′, Joe Harris 59′)
Western Springs 5 (Oscar Browne 5′, 33′, Kayne Vincent 12′, Josh Margetts 38′, Wade Molony 60′)
North Shore United 1 (Jaslin Diedericks 79′)
Easter Monday fixtures
North Shore United v Auckland City
Allen Hill Stadium, Auckland, 3pm
Takapuna v Auckland United
Taharoto Park, Auckland, 3pm
Hamilton Wanderers v Waiheke United
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton, 3pm
Birkenhead United v Western Springs
Shepherds Park, Auckland, 3pm
Bay Olympic v Eastern Suburbs
Olympic Park, Auckland, 3pm
Melville United v Manukau United
Gower Park, Hamilton, 3pm