Ngaruawahia United went within a whisker of losing their season’s unbeaten record when a stoppage time goal rescued them a draw in their Waikato derby with Claudelands Rovers.
The draw — United’s fifth of the season — keeps them at the top of the Lotto NRFL second division table but are being stalked by Hibiscus Coast and West Auckland, both winners in the 15th round of games.
Fourth-placed Bucklands Beach fell off the pace, losing 4-0 at Cambridge where Josh Clarkin scored all the goals, cutting loose at the top of the division’s Golden Boot table.
Main photo: Josh Clarkin … a four-goal haul for Cambridge.
Here’s our round-up of latest games:
Cole gets late winner to keep unbeaten record intact
Ngaruawahia United have substitute Alfie Cole to thank for keeping their season-long unbeaten record intact when he scored four minutes into stoppage time to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Claudelands Rovers.
Rovers almost caused the upset after taking the early initiative when midfielder Levi Clark scored in the 2nd minute.
Rovers took their 1-0 lead into the interval.
Ngaruawahia brought on four outfield players off their bench in search of an equaliser and the game started to swing their way when Rovers captain Bailey Webster was sent off in the 80th minute for a second yellow card.
Rovers almost hung on for the win but substitute Cole grabbed his equaliser in the dying seconds to earn what could prove to be a crucial point.
As well as keeping United’s unbeaten run going, the point maintains a three-point buffer from second-placed Hibiscus Coast, who they meet in a fortnight.
Coast keep on leaders’ tail with comfortable win at Oratia
Hibiscus Coast recorded their 10th win of the season, comfortably beating bottom-placed Oratia United 4-0 at Parrs Park.
Striker Adam Dickinson gave Coast the lead in the 37th minute, with his 15th goal in as many matches.
That ensured Coast turned around with their 1-0 lead.
Conor Felstead then stretched the lead to 3-0 with a double, scoring in the 56th and 66th minutes.
Substitute Julian Stevenson wrapped up the win, scoring Coast’s fourth goal in the 86th minute.
West Auckland maintain pressure on leaders with win at Northland
Third-placed West Auckland stay in reach of the division’s top sides with a 2-0 win against Northland.
Northland continued their poor record at their Trigg Arena home ground, losing to West Auckland who were promoted to the division this season.
The visitors secured their victory with goals either side of half-time.
Nathan Rollinson put the Aucklanders ahead in the 36th minute.
Anthony Lockton doubled their lead in the first minute of the second spell.
Importantly, the three points keep West Auckland in with a chance of the title, though they depend on other results and coming out on top when they play Hibiscus Coast in the last game of the season.
Goal-happy Franklin trounce Beachlands Maraetai
Franklin United have become the free-scoring team of the second division, and they knocked up five goals in their latest win, against Beachlands Maraetai.
United left Beachland’s Te Puru Park with a 5-1 win, achieved mainly through a strong first half.
They took the lead in the 7th minute through captain Stephen Ashby-Peckham.
In the 21st minute, Beachlands Maraetai levelled when Ben Culpan scored from the penalty spot.
But Franklin regained control when Chris Abbott scored a double, finding the net in the 31st minute and again in added time for the first half.
United went into half-time 3-1 ahead, and were not in danger of losing their advantage in the second half.
Tim Richardson scored Franklin’s fourth in the 63rd minute and added the final goal in stoppage time.
Richardson now has 15 goals for the season and is tied with Adam Dickinson (Hibiscus Coast) and Sander Waterland (Bucklands Beach) in second place on the division’s Golden Boot table.
Clarkin collects four as Cambridge see off Bucklands Beach
Striker Josh Clarkin rattled up four goals as Cambridge beat Bucklands Beach 4-2 at John Kerkhof Park.
He opened the scoring as the first half went into added time, ensuring the Reds went into the interval with a 1-0 lead.
Within three minutes of the restart, Clarkin doubled the home side’s lead.
Sander Waterland responded for Bucklands Beach with a goal in the 50th minute.
Carl Burgoyne then levelled for the visitors in the 58th minute.
But Clarkin wasn’t finished — he completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute, helping the Reds regain the lead.
In the 77th minute, the home supporters acknowledged the contribution of captain Patrick Woodlock as he was subbed off, having completed his 300th first team appearance for the club.
Fittingly, he was replaced by substitute Nathan Claridge who has played 26 years as a Cambridge player, having started at the club as a four-year-old.
Two minutes after the substitution, Clarkin resumed his one-man onslaught, scoring his fourth of the day.
Clarkin now leads the division’s Golden Boot race, with 17 goals gathered in Cambridge’s 15-match campaign.
Games played Saturday August 13, 2022
West Auckland 2 (Nathan Rollinson 36′, Anthony Lockton 26′)
Beachlands Maraetai 1 (Ben Culpan 21′)
Franklin United 5 (Stephen Ashby-Peckham 7′, Chris Abbott 31′, 45’+1′, Tim Richardson 63′, 90’+4′)
Cambridge 4 (Josh Clarkin 45’+2′, 48′, 68′, 79′)
Bucklands Beach 2 (Sander Waterland 50′, Carl Burgoyne 58′)
Oratia United 0
Hibiscus Coast 4 (Adam Dickinson 37′, Conor Felstead 56′, 66′, Julian Stevenson 86’0
Ngaruawahia United 1 (Alfie Cole 90+4′)
Claudelands Rovers 1 (Levi Clark 2′)
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