A stunning strike by Argentine striker Emiliano Tade topped a 2-0 win for Northern League leaders Auckland City while the fates of struggling Waiheke United and North Shore United look sealed after more losses.
These were among the somewhat predictable results in a round that saw all top four teams win.
Here’s our round-up of games in round 14 of the competition:
Navy Blues end Wanderers’ winning run
League leaders Auckland City ended Hamilton Wanderers’ five-match winning streak, beating them 2-0 at Kiwitea Street.
Wanderers, with Jordan Lamb making his 50th first-team appearance, started well and forced a couple of saves from City ‘keeper Conor Tracey.
But the home side took the lead in the 17th minute when Reid Drake stroked the ball into the corner of the Wanderers net.
City took the 1-0 lead into half-time.
With five minutes to go, City wrapped up the game when substitute Emiliano Tade controlled the ball on the edge of the box, and struck a sweet volley past ‘keeper Matt Oliver.
Main photo: Emiliano Tade … sweet strike. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
86’ | 2-0
GOAL!!!, Emiliano Tade
— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) June 25, 2022
Birkenhead stay on track for top four spot
Birkenhead United remained on track for National League qualification with a 3-0 win against Bay Olympic at Shepherds Park.
Jackson Woods gave United an early lead and they went into half-time good for their 1-0 margin.
Cameron Mackenzie was introduced from the bench at the start of the second half and the move paid off when he scored in the 55th minute.
Woods picked up his second goal of the game in the 69th minute and Birkenhead’s points were as good as in the bag.
Awad hat-trick ensures big win for Manukau United
Bottom-placed North Shore United defied gravity for the first half of their game at Manukau United’s Walter Massey Park but caved in to lose 6-0.
Having kept Manukau scoreless for 45 minutes, Shore might have hoped for better.
But Somali international Mohamed Awad got the breakthrough two minutes into the second half.
Captain Shulab Khan doubled the home side’s lead after 51 minutes before substitute Maro Bonsu-Maro extended the lead to 3-0 just after the hour.
Awad struck twice more, in the 79th and 87th minutes, to complete a hat-trick.
Bonsu-Maro go the sixth and final goal in added time.
The result leaves Manukau comfortably in mid-table.
For Shore, the problems continue in defence. Having conceded 64 goals in their 14 games, it’s entirely possibly they will have 100 in the against column by season’s end.
Waiheke United’s survival hopes take major blow
Waiheke United’s hopes of remaining in the Northern League next year look slim after losing 2-1 to Eastern Suburbs at Madills Farm.
Victory would have closed the gap to three points but the loss now leaves the islanders seven points adrift of safety.
And it all could have been so different but for a couple of key moments in the game.
The first came on the stroke of half-time — or, more accurately, four seconds after the 45-minute mark — when Eyob Tekalion thought he had scored, robbing ‘keeper Joseph Knowles and poking the ball into the net.
But referee Mazhar Batoor had blown his whistle for the break as Tekalion controlled the ball, and he ruled no goal, ensuring the half remained scoreless.
The second key moment was in the 56th minute when Waiheke were awarded a penalty.
Juan Canay hit the ball firmly up the middle but Suburbs’ Joe Knowles parried the ball, and it was cleared to safety.
Suburbs then took charge, scoring twice in quick succession, first through substitute Brooklyn Baker and then through Daniel Champness.
A late charge by Waiheke, which saw Nicolas Vanina head home from a corner in added time, wasn’t enough.
It’ll now take a miracle for Waiheke to avoid relegation.
Games played Friday June 24, 2022
Melville United 2 (Josh Galletley 60′, Kieran Richards 90+5′)
Western Springs 1 (Kaea Rangihaeata 90′)
Auckland United 3 (Ross Haviland 41′, Matthew Conroy 71′, Nicolas Zambrano 88′)
Games played Saturday June 25, 2022
Eastern Suburbs 2 (Brooklyn Baker 80′, Daniel Champness 80′)
Waiheke United 1 (Nicolas Vanina 90+5′)
Auckland City 2 (Reid Drake 17′, Emiliano Tade 85′)
Hamilton Wanderers 0
Manukau United 6 (Mohamed Awad 47′, 79′, 87′, Shulab Khan 51′, Maro Bonsu-Maro 62′, 90+1′)
North Shore United 0
Birkenhead United 3 (Jackson Woods 7′, 69′, Cameron Mackenzie 55′)
Bay Olympic 0
Our coverage of Northern League and Lotto NRFL men’s football is made possible through the support of our partners at Cube, specialists in print, design and signage. We encourage clubs and businesses to consider Cube when looking for professional help in their branding and promotional planning.