The Northern League’s top five teams all won their latest games to keep the heat on the race to qualify for National League football.
Auckland City won 4-0 despite being down to 10 men for most of the game against Takapuna, while Birkenhead United, Melville United, Auckland United and Hamilton Wanderers all won.
To demonstrate the gap between the top five and rest, they collectively scored 21 goals and conceded only one.
Here’s our round-up of round 13:
Navy Blues cruise to 4-0 win despite first-half red card
Auckland City lost leading goalscorer Angus Kilkolly to a first-half red card but barely skipped a beat as they overcame Takapuna 4-1 at Taharoto Park.
City took the lead after eight minutes through Liam Gillion and were heading towards half-time with the 1-0 scoreline.
But in the 39th minute, referee Ashley Wilson gave a straight red to Kilkolly for violent conduct.
The 10-man handicap might have given Takapuna supporters some hope but that was quickly dashed in the second spell.
Gillion scored his second of the day in the 59th minute and then substitute Dylan Manickum stretched the lead to three goals in the 68th minute.
Any remaining hopes for a Takapuna revival were ruined in the 70th minute when skipper Nicholas Smith was sent off for a second yellow card.
City punished Takapuna with another Manickum goal four minutes later.
Still unbeaten, and nine points clear, City fans must soon start asking whether their side can keep their unbeaten run for the rest of the competition.
Main photo: Auckland City (wearing white strip) about to take three more points at Takapuna.
Richards hat-trick helps Melville to big win at Bay Olympic
Melville United bounced back from last week’s loss to Auckland City by routing Bay Olympic 5-0 at Olympic Park.
Kieran Richards led the way, opening the scoring in the 26th minute before Stafford Dowling added Melville’s second just before the break.
Richards then completed his hat-trick with goals in the 56th and 58th minutes.
Jerson Giraldo finished the scoring with Melville’s fifth in the 80th minute.
Auckland United shake off Manukau challenge
Fourth-placed Auckland United beat mid-table Manukau United 4-1 with two goals in each half at Keith Hay Park.
Ignacio Machuca opened the scoring for United in the 12th minute, and Regont Murati doubled their lead after 33 minutes.
Manukau pulled back a goal in the second half through Somali international Mohamed Awad.
That signalled a potential fightback but United shook off the challenge, scoring almost immediately after the restart through Jonah Pastiroff.
Substitute Oliver Middleton put the result beyond doubt with United’s fourth, a minute from full time.
Tieku double enough to sink Suburbs
Hamilton Wanderers captain Derek Tieku went equal top in the Northern League’s Golden Boot with two goals that consigned Eastern Suburbs to a 2-0 defeat at Porritt Stadium.
Tieku scored a goal in each half to ensure Wanderers stays in contention for a top four placing, and qualification for the National League later in the year.
He’s now scored nine goals, putting him level with Auckland City’s Angus Kilkolly — sent off today and facing suspension — and Melville’s Oliver Colloty who was not among his side’s scorers in their 5-0 win at Bay Olympic.
Waiheke not going down without a fight
Struggling Waiheke United won’t drop out of the Northern League without a fight, evidenced by a 1-1 draw against Western Springs at Onetangi.
While Waiheke haven’t won a game this season, this was their fifth draw, demonstrating they can compete and might be able to scrap their way to safety.
The islanders took the lead through Eyob Tekalion in the 42nd minute, a lead they took into half-time.
Springs found an equaliser from Oscar Ramsay in the 78th minute to deny Waiheke their first victory.
Sorry Shore under the pump again
North Shore United’s poor season continued with a 6-0 defeat at Birkenhead United’s Shepherds Park.
United have now shipped 58 goals in 13 games and look favourites for bottom spot and relegation.
Birkenhead shared the goals around, with Corban Piper and Chase Taylor giving the home side a 2-0 lead at half-time.
In the second spell, Jordan Toy (52′) and Cameron Mackenzie (55′) pushed the lead out to four goals.
Then substitute Luke Allport finished things off with goals in the 73rd minute and added time.
Games played Saturday June 11, 2022
Auckland United 4 (Ignacio Machuca 12′, Regont Murati 33′, Jonah Pastiroff 56′, Oliver Middleton 89′)
Manukau United 1 (Mohamed Awad 54′)
Auckland City 4 (Liam Gillion 8′, 59′, Dylan Manickum 68′, 74′)
Birkenhead United 6 (Corban Piper 25′, Chase Taylor 38′, Jordan Toy 52′, Cameron Mackenzie 55′, Luke Allport 73′, 90+1′)
North Shore United 0
Bay Olympic 0
Melville United 5 (Kieran Richards 26′, 56′, 58′, Stafford Dowling 43′, Jerson Giraldo 80′)
Hamilton Wanderers 2 (Derek Tieku 20′, 75′)
Eastern Suburbs 0
Waiheke United 1 (Eyob Tekalion 42′)
Western Springs 1 (Oscar Ramsay 78′)
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