Ngaruawahia United’s unbeaten run continues with the Waikato side now five points clear at the top of Lotto NRF division two.
Hibiscus Coast and Bucklands Beach are stalking the leaders but West Auckland dropped two valuable points in a draw at Franklin United.
Here’s our round-up of round 13:
Striker scores against former club to keep Green Machine rolling
Ngaruawahia United’s lead in the Lotto NRFL second division is five points after they beat bottom-placed side Oratia United 3-1 on the road.
But it wasn’t always easy for the league leaders who fell behind after only five minutes at Parrs Park when Harry Cuthbert put Oratia ahead.
Midfielder Federico Marquez levelled in the 12th minute — his third goal in as many weeks — and the sides went into the break tied at 1-1.
Ngaruawahia hit the ground running as soon as the second half got underway, going ahead through Marko Memedovic in the 47th minute.
Then the game-killing goal came from striker Mark Withers, scoring against his former club in the 51st minute.
The win keeps Ngaruawahia unbeaten after 13 rounds; Oratia are still eyeing their nearest rivals, two points above them on the ladder.
Main photo: Striker Mark Withers … former Oratia player scored against his old club for the leaders. File photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Hibiscus Coast come out on top in high-scoring game
Hibiscus Coast won the day’s top-scoring match 4-3 at home to lowly Beachlands Maraetai.
Coast took the lead through an own goal, credited to Callum Hamilton in the 32nd minute.
But as the first half went into added time, Ben Culpan found an equaliser for the visitors at Stanmore Bay Park.
Beachlands took the lead early in the second half through Aaron Parry.
Coast’s seasoned striker Adam Dickinson levelled in the 58th minute, from the penalty spot.
Five minutes later, Cameron Martin put Coast into the lead at 3-2.
Dickinson added his second of the day in the 68th minute, and the lead was 4-2.
Beachlands sub Will South pulled back a goal in the 82nd minute, forcing Coast to carefully manage the game’s dying minutes for a win that keeps them third.
Bucklands Beach continue to find the goals
Bucklands Beach are the division’s highest goalscorers and a 4-1 win against Claudelands Rovers provided more evidence of their ability to find the net.
They took a 2-0 first half lead and were never in doubt of the result thereafter.
Jack Allen put the home side ahead after only six minutes and captain Joshua Smith doubled their lead 10 minutes later.
That’s how the score stayed till the hour mark when the division’s top scorer, Sander Waterland, increased the lead to 3-0 from the penalty spot. It was his 14th goal in 13 rounds.
Junho Hong made it 4-0 with 20 minutes to go and the win was as good as sealed.
Henry Thompson pulled back a goal in the 77th minute but Bucklands Beach’s points were safe: they are second in the table, poised to take advantage of any slip in Ngaruawahia’s form.
Franklin and West Auckland share the points in 1-1 deadlock
Franklin United and West Auckland split the points with a 1-1 draw at Tuakau’s Dr John Lightbody Reserve.
West Auckland’s Jordan Hearn was both hero and villain, with his side’s goal in the 27th minute and a dismissal for a second yellow card midway through the second half.
Hearn had given his side a 1-0 lead at half-time but Franklin came back with an equaliser from Tim Richardson just short of the hour mark.
It was Richardson’s 11th goal of the seaon.
Both sides introduced three players off their bench but neither team could find a way through for the winner.
The draw suited neither side, and West Auckland slipped two points behind third-placed Hibiscus Coast.
Reds suffer home defeat to Northland
Cambridge lost 1-0 at John Kerkhof Park to midtable Northland.
The sides were goalless at the break.
With about 15 minutes to go, Jackson West found a winner for Northland.
The result keeps them firmly in midtable while Cambridge are third from the bottom.
Games played Saturday July 30, 2022
Oratia United 1 (Harry Cuthbert 5′)
Ngaruawahia United 3 (Federico Marquez 12′, Marko Memedovic 47′, Mark Withers 51′)
Northland 1 (Jackson West)
Bucklands Beach 4 (Jack Allen 6′, Joshua Smith 16′, Sander Waterland 62′, Junho Hong 70′)
Claudelands Rovers 1 (Henry Thompson 77′)
Franklin United 1 (Tim Richardson 58′)
West Auckland 1 (Jordan Hearn 27′)
Hibiscus Coast 4 (Own goal 32′, Adam Dickinson 58′, 68′, Cameron Martin 63′)
Beachlands Maraetai 3 (Ben Culpan 45+1′, Aaron Parry 52′, Will South 82′)
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.