Some important results were achieved at both ends of the Lotto NRFL first division table, and with Manurewa’s 10-match unbeaten run finally coming to an end.
Waitemata registered an important win in their efforts to get off the bottom of the table, while West Coast Rangers extended their lead to five points.
Here’s our round-up of the latest games:
Leaders do enough to stay in control
West Coast Rangers continue to win games with their superb defence — another clean sheet the platform for their 1-0 against lowly Albany United.
Rangers last week drew with nearest rivals Manurewa, ensuring a two-point lead going into their game against Albany at Fred Taylor Park.
To keep the pressure on Rewa, Rangers needed to win and after a scoreless first half, the question was whether Rangers would find the goal needed to take the points.
It came with six minutes left, when Josh Jones broke the deadlock.
Main photo: Josh Jones … scored the winner for Rangers. File photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Rangers weren’t going to lose it from there with a defence that has conceded only 10 goals in 17 games. When you have the clean sheet, you only need one goal to win …
Manurewa lose unbeaten record to East Coast Bays
After 10 games unbeaten — the second-longest streak in northern football’s top three men’s divisions this year — Manurewa finally came unstuck, losing 2-0 at their Jellicoe Park home to East Coast Bays.
Both goals came in the first half, with Samuel Wilson opening the scoring for the visitors after 19 minutes.
Teenager Keegan Kelly, quiet on the goalscoring front of late, rediscovered his mojo with Bays’ second goal in the 40th minute, his 10th of the season.
The sides went into half-time with Bays leading 2-0.
Manurewa, who were without leading scorer Monty Patterson, could not find a way to reply and the streak was broken.
The loss meant Rewa dropped five points behind leaders Rangers, while Bays moved into third place, jumping Tauranga City.
MAP continue improvement with 3-0 win against Tauranga
Mount Albert Ponsonby must surely be regretting their early season inconsistency after finally finding a run of form that’s taken them to fifth place, and their latest win, a 3-0 victory against Tauranga City.
MAP’s win at their Anderson Park, demonstrated their change in fortunes, and consigning Tauranga to their lowest league placing of the season so far.
Jade Mesias inspired the win with a first-half double, scoring in the 16th and 27th minutes.
The teams turned around with the home side ahead 2-0.
Striker Jared Colligan stretched MAP’s lead to 3-0 within six minutes of the restart.
And then Tauranga blew any chance of a revival losing captain Campbell Higgins to a second yellow card in the 62nd minute.
The clean sheet was also significant for MAP, with significant improvement in their rearguard since the arrival of goalkeeper Fernando Orduna in midseason.
Ponies rise above Metro with 3-0 home win
Ellerslie leap-frogged Metro on the division table with a 3-0 win at Michaels Ave Reserve.
Ellerslie took the lead 26 minutes into the game, through Rowan Corbett’s sixth goal of the season.
That was enough to give the Ponies a 1-0 half-time lead.
Alex Clark doubled Ellerslie’s lead midway through the second spell.
And the result was capped when substitute Ryan Morrow scored from the penalty spot in the 87th minute, only two minutes after coming off the bench.
Neither side have much left to play for this season but Ellerslie needed the points to create a buffer from the division’s bottom pair.
Waitemata boost chances of clearing division’s bottom spot
Waitemata’s hopes of avoiding the first division wooden spoon got a boost with the side’s 2-1 win against Fencibles United at McLeod Park.
All the goals came in the first half.
Arnold Kochasira put the home side ahead midway through the half.
Fencibles captain Sione Fa’apoi levelled from the penalty spot in the 45th minute, his seventh goal of the season.
Two minutes into added time, Scott Sellar restored Waitemata’s lead with what turned out to be a gamewinner.
The second half was fruitless for both teams, despite the introduction of nine substitutes, and Waitemata clinched the win.
The points take them level to Albany United, separated only by a difference of two goals.
Games played Saturday July 30, 2022
East Coast Bays 2 (Samuel Wilson 19′, Keegan Kelly 40′)
Mount Albert Ponsonby 3 (Jade Mesias 16′, 27′, Jared Colligan 51′)
Tauranga City 0
Ellerslie 3 (Rowan Corbett 26′, Alex Clark 69′, Ryan Morrow 87′)
Waitemata 2 (Arnold Kochasira 23′, Scott Sellar 45+2′)
Fencibles United 1 (Sione Fa’apoi 45′)
West Coast Rangers 1 (Josh Jones 84′)
Albany United 0
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