Auckland City head coach Albert Riera was unhappy with his team’s performance, despite them beating Melville United 1-0 in a nail-biter Northern League clash at Gower Park.
“Our performance wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t good enough and we have to get better for next weekend.
“We dodged a bullet today and I’m not sure we deserve the three points, to be frank,” he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
Riera was referring to a penalty save by goalkeeper Conor Tracey that proved to be critical.
Here’s our round-up of latest games:
Last-minute penalty save earns City a win at Melville
League leaders Auckland City beat in-form Melville United 1-0, thanks to a penalty save by goalkeeper Conor Tracey five minutes into added time.
The match at Hamilton’s Gower Park pitched the runaway leaders against their nearest rivals who went into the fixture on a run of six wins.
The sides were evenly matched and the result came down to the game’s two key moments.
The first was when Auckland City’s Joe Lee weaved between defenders and scored in the 36th minute.
The second was when Melville were awarded their penalty in added time, and substitute Ryen Lawrence stepped forward.
He struck it well but ‘keeper Tracey got a touch and the ball rebounded off the post and back into play.
In the rush for the loose ball, a Melville shot went wide and City had their win.
Still unbeaten, the Navy Blues are now nine points clear.
Main photo: Auckland City ‘keeper Connor Tracey … a vital save. File photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Birkenhead and Auckland United share 1-1 draw
Two late goals ensured high-flying Birkenhead United and Auckland United split the points with a 1-1 draw at Shepherds Park.
Both sides are in the league’s top four, pressing to qualify for the National League later in the year, and neither could really afford to lose.
They played out a scoreless first half.
With 10 minutes to go, substitute William Stephen put Auckland United ahead.
But Birkenhead’s Jackson Woods got an equaliser two minutes later.
With Melville losing to Auckland City, Birkenhead have moved into second place on the table while Auckland United remain in the top four.
Shore ships seven to relentless Bay Olympic
North Shore United’s woes continue with a 7-0 thrashing by Bay Olympic keeping them trapped at the foot of the table.
Darren White opened the scoring at Olympic Park in the 5th minute.
Jack Duncan’s 19th-minute goal made it 2-0, a margin his team took into half-time.
Duncan scored his second in the 49th minute and two minutes later, Roussin Nkoy extended the lead to 4-0.
Nkoy scored again in the 74th minute, Leon Van Den Hoven made it six in the 85th minute and substitute Jayden Scott finished the rout in added time.
Match programme: Click on cover to read Bay Olympic match programme.
The win moved Olympic to within a point of the four-team National League qualification zone and, importantly, significantly improved the side’s goal difference. With Auckland United, Bay Olympic and Hamilton Wanderers all within three points of each other, goal difference could become a critical factor in the final scheme of things.
For Shore, the heavy loss was nothing new. The side has conceded 52 goals in their 12 games this season.
They have 48 hours to find some composure before facing Lotto NRFL second division side Cambridge in a Chatham Cup tie that looks fragile, to say the least.
Somali international Awad grabs Manukau’s oh-so-late winner
A goal five minutes into added time gave Manukau United a 3-2 win against winless Waiheke United at Walter Massey Park.
The islanders took an early lead when Nicolas Vanina scored in the 2nd minute.
Manukau struck back with two goals in a five-minute spell, midway through the first half.
First, Thomas Golding scored from the penalty spot and then Boon Ozawa put his side ahead for the first time in the game.
United kept their 2-1 lead going into the interval.
Vanina levelled for Waiheke in the 78th minute and for a while, it looked as though the side was heading for their fifth draw of the campaign.
But Somali international Mohamed Awad grabbed the winner deep into added time to decide the match.
Wanderers get back to winning form with 5-1 victory against Springs
Hamilton Wanderers bounced back from their Waikato derby loss to Melville with a 5-1 victory against Western Springs at North Harbour Stadium.
Joe Harris opened the scoring for Wanderers in the 12th minute before Jordan Lamb doubled their lead in the 25th minute.
A second Harris goal, in the 31st minute, ensured the visitors went into half-time with a comfortable 3-0 margin.
Dawson Straffon pulled back a goal for Springs in the 70th minute.
However substitute Aaron Bayliss restored Wanderers’ three-goal margin, scoring within a minute of his introduction off the bench in the 74th minute.
Captain Derek Tieku wrapped up the win with a goal in added time.
Suburbs beat Takapuna 4-0 with strong second-half display
A strong second-half performance inspired Eastern Suburbs to a 4-0 win against Takapuna at Madills Farm.
The game was scoreless till just before half-time when Lilywhites captain Michael Built found the net.
Soon in the second spell, Suburbs took control.
Finn Caughey made it 2-0 in the 49th minute.
Ten minutes later, Rayhan Carlson-Du Toit extended the home side’s lead to 3-0.
Substitute Stephen Hoyle wrapped things up with a fourth goal in the 82nd minute.
The result leaves both teams in no-man’s land … too far away from the top four but adequately clear of the table’s lower reaches.
Games Saturday June 4, 2022
Melville United 0
Auckland City 1 (Joe Lee 36′)
Eastern Suburbs 4 (Michael Built 43′, Finn Caughey 49′, Rayhan Carlson-Du Toit 58′, Stephen Hoyle 82′)
Western Springs 1 (Dawson Straffon 70′)
Hamilton Wanderers 5 (Joe Harris 12′, 31′, Jordan Lamb 25′, Aaron Bayliss 74′, Derek Tieku 90+1′)
Manukau United 3 (Thomas Golding 20′ pen, Boon Ozawa 25′, Mohamed Awad 90+4′)
Waiheke United 2 (Nicolas Vanina 2′, 78′)
Birkenhead United 1 (Jackson Woods 82′)
Auckland United 1 (William Stephen 80′)
Bay Olympic 7 (Darren White 5′, Jack Duncan 19′, 49′, Roussin Nkoy 51′, 74′, Leon Van Den Hoven 85′, Jayden Scott 90+2′)
North Shore United 0
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