Hibiscus Coast have taken the lead in the Lotto NRFL second division by the barest of margins — a superior goal difference of one — as their main title rivals dropped points in drawn games.
And at the bottom of the table, improving Oratia have made ground on their nearest rival after getting their second win in three weeks.
Main photo: Norhland’s Finn Diamond … his two goals helped fire his side to a 4-2 win. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Here’s our round-up of latest games:
Dickinson continues to haunt Cambridge
Hibiscus Coast striker Adam Dickinson scored a double to spearhead a 4-0 win against Cambridge at Stanmore Bay Park.
He must enjoy taking on the Reds, having scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture in the season opener on Good Friday.
For almost all the first half, Cambridge were in the contest but they conceded two minutes before the break through an own goal, credited to Josh Nooijen.
But after the break, the damage was quickly done by Dickinson who scored in the 52nd and 56th minutes to stretch Coast’s lead to 3-0. Ten minutes later, his job done, Dickinson was subbed, giving him a break.
Substitute Taine Bracken added Coast’s fourth goal in the 78th minute.
The win lifted Coast into top spot on the table, ahead of Ngaruawahia by a single goal on goal difference.
Top-of-the-table clash ends in stalemate
Ngaruawahia United went into the day as the division leaders, facing the improving West Auckland at Centennial Park.
It would be a decent test of the two sides promoted to the competition this year.
As it turned out, the game was an arm wrestle with neither able to find a way through.
Ngaruawahia coach Kyle Park utilised his entire bench of five — all experienced players capable of a place in most other sides’ starting line-ups — but still the goal would not come.
The Green Machine slip into second place on the table, despite being the only unbeaten side … and proof that draws (four from 10 games) can prove costly.
Beach share points with Franklin in 2-2 draw
Bucklands Beach blew a 2-0 lead to drop two points and give ground in their chase for the divisional title.
Playing at Elsmore Park, the home side looked likely for the win when they took a 15th minute lead through Lyle Jones.
Four minutes later, Sander Waterland doubled the lead from the penalty spot.
Bucklands Beach gave Franklin the chance to get back into the game when they gave away a penalty five minutes into added time for the first half.
Franklin’s inspirational captain, Henry Fa’arodo, scored to send the teams into the break with the score 2-1.
In the second half, Franklin’s Dillon Lazarus scored the equaliser after 65 minutes.
The clock ran down, with neither side helped by a draw.
Home supporters spent a few nervous minutes at the end when their side were reduced to 10 men after Kwanhyun Hong was sent off for a second yellow card.
Oratia bag second win of season with late goal
Oratia United’s revival continues after the side grabbed their second win of the season, thanks to a last-minute goal by Sean Atherton.
After a scoreless first half, Oratia took the lead just after the hour when Rayn Walden scored.
Henry Thompson levelled for Rovers in the 77th minute.
Then, with time almost up, Atherton managed the winner to put Oratia within reach of catching their nearest rivals, Beachlands Maraetai.
Rovers, meanwhile, can take solace from one oddball statistic from the day’s football. While Melville United, Hamilton Wanderers, Ngaruawahia United and Cambridge could not find a goal between them, Rovers were the only Waikato side to score.
Northland secure win with strong finish to first half
Northland beat Beachlands Maraetai 4-2 at Te Puru Park, due mainly to a deadly 15-minute spell just before half-time.
With 30 minutes gone, and the match scoreless, Northland took control.
Reuben Nicholl put his side ahead in the 30th minute.
Within a minute of the restart, Finn Diamond doubled Northland’s lead. Then, Diamond scored again, on the stroke of half-time.
The home side found themselves coming out for the second half, three goals adrift.
It got worse four minutes into the second spell when captain Mikael Munday stretched the lead to 4-0.
Beachlands Maraetai got some respectability into the final score, picking up consolation goals through Liam Brown and Ben Culpan in the game’s final two minutes.
The result leaves Beachlands Maraetai struggling in second-to-bottom spot, only a point above the improving Oratia United.
Games played Saturday July 9, 2022
Beachlands Maraetai 2 (Ben Culpan 89′, Liam Brown 90′)
Northland 4 (Reuben Nicholl 30′, Finn Diamond 31′, 45′, Mikael Munday 49′)
Hibiscus Coast 4 (Own goal 43′, Adam Dickinson 52′, 56′, Taine Bracken 78′)
Bucklands Beach 2 (Lyle Jones 15′, Sander Waterland 19′ pen)
Franklin United 2 (Henry Fa’arodo 45+5′ pen, Dillon Lazarus 65′)
Claudelands Rovers 1 (Henry Thompson 77′)
Oratia United 2 (Rayn Walden 62′, Sean Atherton 90′)
Ngaruawahia United 0
West Auckland 0
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