Auckland City have clinched the Northern League title with four rounds left to play.
They routed bottom side North Shore United 6-0 to celebrate winning the title in the club’s 500th game since being founded in 2004.
Their path to the title was helped by results in other games as Birkenhead United dropped points.
Here’s our round-up of latest games:
🏆 #CHAMPIONEES!!! 🏆
Northern League wrapped up – challenges ahead in #ChathamCup #OFCChampsLeague #NZNationalLeague
5️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ games for City
2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ games for Tade
1️⃣ debut for Adam Bell
— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) July 16, 2022
Special day for Auckland City’s Tade
Striker Emiliano Tade celebrated his 200th game for Auckland City by scoring four goals in a day of celebrations at Kiwitea Street.
City romped to a 6-0 win against bottom side North Shore United, showing no mercy in their determination to clinch the title early.
Tade, who made his debut for the Navy Blues in September 2011, scored goals in the 17th, 36th, 58th and 73rd minutes, taking his all-time tally to 133 goals — an amazing strike rate from 200 games.
He becomes the third most-played City player, behind Angel Berlanga (224 games) and James Pritchett (203).
The day started well for City who took the lead through Matt Ellis in the 14th minute.
In contrast to teammate Tade, Ellis was making only his 11th start for City — but it was his fifth goal.
City’s sixth goal of the day was provided by Ilham Hameedi in added time.
Main photo: Emiliano Tade … 200 games as a Navy Blue. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Melville dedicate win to late ‘Stevie B’
Melville put together a proficient and passionate performance to beat Manukau United 4-0 at Walter Massey Park.
Players wore armbands and observed a minute’s silence to honour Melville’s first team manager Steve Bettis who died on Friday, aged 62. Click here to read our obituary >>>>
They took a first half lead through Josh Galletly who scored in the 25th minute.
In the second spell, Oliver Colloty broke his goal drought, doubling Melville’s lead in the 55th minute.
Stafford Dowling and Moh Reynolds added goals to round out the win, dedicated to Bettis.
Birkenhead drop points at Springs
Auckland City’s nearest challengers, Birkenhead United, dropped two points when they shared a 1-1 draw with Western Springs at Olympic Park.
Dawson Straffon gave Springs a half-time lead after his goal in the 20th minute.
Luke Allport levelled for United in the 69th minute.
It’s the late-late show at Keith Hay Park as United rescue a point
Auckland United rescued a point with two goals in added time as they drew 3-3 with Takapuna at Keith Hay Park.
Takapuna took the lead through Joss Neale in the 38th minute before Michael Den Heijer levelled from the penalty spot five minutes before the break.
In the second half, the visitors scored through a Samuel Robertson penalty (71′) and through substitute Andrew Cowell (84′) and looked to be heading for a win.
But Matthew Conroy reduced the deficit to 3-2 in added time before Den Heijer saved the day with his second penalty of the day a couple of minutes later.
Wanderers come from behind to beat cup heroes
Hamilton Wanderers had to dig deep to overhaul spirited Waiheke United 2-1 at Onetangi.
The sides played a scoreless first half.
No doubt stirred by their Chatham Cup heroics the previous weekend, Waiheke came out firing and took the lead in the 48th minute through Nicolas Vanina.
Wanderers came back strongly and scored twice through Xavier Pratt, in the 65th and 72nd minutes, for a result that keeps the Waikato side firmly in contention for a top four spot.
Eastern Suburbs head for safety with win
A couple of rounds ago, Eastern Suburbs might have been sucked into a slide too close for comfort to the bottom two spots in the competition.
But they’ve pulled to comfortable safety — respectability, even — with a 1-0 win against Bay Olympic at Madills Farm.
The winner was scored by Addison Stewart in the 75th minute.
Watch the highlights of Suburbs’ win against Bay Olympic here:
Games played Saturday July 16, 2022
Manukau United 0
Melville United 4 (Joshua Galletly 25′, Oliver Colloty 55′, Stafford Dowling 73′, Moh Reynolds 84′)
Eastern Suburbs 1 (Addison Stewart 75′)
Bay Olympic 0
Waiheke United 1 (Nicolas Vanina 48′)
Hamilton Wanderers 2 (Xavier Pratt 65′, 72′)
Auckland United 3 (Michael Den Heijer 40′ pen, 90’+3′ pen, Matthew Conroy 90’+1′)
Takapuna 3 (Joss Neale 38′, Samuel Robertson 71′ pen, Andrew Cowell 84′)
Western Springs 1 (Dawson Straffon 20′)
Birkenhead United 1 (Luke Allport 69′)
Auckland City 6 (Matt Ellis 14′, Emiliano Tade 17′, 36′, 58′, 73′, Ilham Hameedi 90’+1′)
North Shore United 0
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