Melville United made sure of their place in this year’s National League with a 3-0 win against bottom side North Shore United.
The win means Auckland City, Birkenhead United, Auckland United and Melville will represent the Northern League in the national competition that starts in October.
Main photo: Melville United’s squad celebrate their qualification. Source: Melville United AFC.
Meanwhile, Birkenhead and Auckland United had big wins, while Takapuna and Western Springs shared a 4-4 draw.
Here’s our round-up of the latest Northern League games:
Relief at Gower Park as Melville make the cut
Melville United needed a draw or better against North Shore United to make sure of a spot in this year’s National League, and they got their with a 3-0 win at Gower Park.
The home side eased their supporters’ nerves in the 28th minute when Harry Christensen-Rose put the side ahead.
That was enough to give them a 1-0 half-time lead while 8kms away, nearest rivals Hamilton Wanderers were drawing 1-1 with Manukau United.
But rather than rely on a Wanderers slip-up, Melville forced the pace in the second half, looking to make sure of their fate.
Christensen-Rose scored his second goal in the 58th minute when he played through the box and slipped the ball into the net.
Any lingering doubts were dismissed in the final minute of the game when referee Andrew Lamberth awarded a penalty after a Shore defender manhandled a Melville player.
Top scorer Oliver Colloty stepped forward and casually slotted the spot kick to the right of the ‘keeper.
The scoreboard showed 3-0. The home fans were happy. And up the road, Wanderers were losing.
Wanderers hopes fizz at Porritt Stadium
Hamilton Wanderers put up a bold fight but lost 2-1 at home to Manukau United to end their slim hopes of qualifying for the National League.
Wanderers knew they had to win the game for their hopes to stay alive and they were positive in their approach from the start.
Their energy paid off after half an hour when Paul Clout scored one of the best goals of the season.
Taking possession in the middle of the park, he glided between two Manukau players and lined up a vicious long-range shot which he struck into the top corner of the net, giving ‘keeper Nathan Garrow no chance.
The goal encouraged the Blue Army but the visitors pulled level after 38 minutes when Teddy Tadesse scored for Manukau.
The sides went into half-time at 1-1, while, across town, rivals Melville were ahead 1-0 against North Shore United.
Manukau set Wanderers back on their heels six minutes into the second spell when captain Keegan Linderboom put the visitors ahead.
Manukau were content to soak up pressure from there and Wanderers kept going forward till the end, forcing a series of late corners.
But in the end, a season that showed league and cup promise fizzed into a campaign with no prize.
Instead, Wanderers have one last chance to take something from the season — a local derby against Melville United in their final fixture next weekend.
Takapuna and Springs share eight-goal thriller
Spectators at Taharoto Park got plenty of entertainment as Takapuna and Western Springs shared a 4-4 draw.
The home side were forced to fight back from being 4-1 down after 40 minutes to claw their way back, scoring their equaliser in stoppage time.
Takapuna had taken the lead after only six minutes through Antonio Bonkovich but the lead was short-lived.
Western Springs levelled through Oscar Browne after 17 minutes and then Caspar McGavin gave Springs the lead four minutes later.
Dawson Straffon made it 3-1 after 35 minutes; Wade Molony got in on the act five minutes later, stretching the lead to 4-1.
As the teams were about to head to the interval, Takapuna pulled back a goal through Jack Taylor. Half-time, it was 4-2.
In the second spell, Takapuna’s defence was more resolute and the home side looked to mount its fightback.
Bonkovich scored on the hour; it was now 4-3 to Springs.
Two minutes into added time, Springs were reduced to 10 men when substitute Hari Adlard was given a second yellow.
And as the game went into its third minute of added time, Sam Robertson scored from the penalty spot to lock the game up at 4-4.
Birkenhead take control in first half to beat Waiheke
Birkenhead United exerted their dominance in the first half to run out comfortable 4-0 winners against relegated Waiheke United at Onetangi.
Alex Connor-McClean put Birkenhead 2-0 ahead with goals in the 10th and 33rd minutes.
Dane Schnell stretched the lead to 3-0 just before half-time.
In the second half, Schnell scored his second of the day, in the 70th minute, to ensure United keep in a winning mood as their planning shifts from Northern League to National League.
Auckland United beat Bay Olympic 5-0
Auckland United had a comfortable 5-0 win against Bay Olympic at Keith Hay Park.
William Stephen gave United the lead after 26 minutes and a few minutes later, Josh Redfearn doubled the advantage.
That’s how the score remained at half-time.
In the second spell, United coach Jose Figueira worked his subs’ bench, introducing five fresh sets of legs.
They rewarded his decision with substitute Nic Zambrano scoring twice and Guy-frank Essome Penda grabbing a goal.
The win keeps United in third place and in good form ahead of their participation in the National League.
Games played Saturday August 27, 2022
Hamilton Wanderers 1 (Paul Clout 31′)
Manukau United 2 (Teddy Tadesse 38′, Keegan Linderboom 51′)
Melville United 3 (Harry Christensen-Rose 28′, 58′, Oliver Colloty 89′ pen)
North Shore United 0
Takapuna 4 (Antonio Bonkovich 6′, 59′, Jack Taylor 45′, Sam Robertson 90’+3′)
Western Springs 4 (Oscar Browne 17′, Caspar McGavin 21′, Dawson Straffon 35′, Wade Molony 40′)
Auckland United 5 (William Stephen 26′, Joshua Redfearn 30′, Nicolas Zambrano 66′, 90’+3′, Guy-frank Essome Penda 81′)
Bay Olympic 0
Waiheke United 0
Birkenhead United 4 (Alex Connor-McClean 10′, 33′, Dane Schnell 42′, 70′)
Game to be played on Wednesday August 31, 2022
Western Springs v Auckland City
Seddon Fields, Westmere, 7.30pm
Games to be played on Saturday September 3, 2022
Hamilton Wanderers v Melville United
Porritt Stadium Hamilton, 3pm
Waiheke United v Takapuna
Onetangi Sports Complex, Waiheke, 3pm
Auckland United v Auckland City
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 3pm
North Shore United v Eastern Suburbs
Allen Hill Stadium, Devonport, 3pm
Western Springs v Bay Olympic
Seddon Fields, Westmere, 3pm
Birkenhead United v Manukau United
Shepherds Park, Birkenhead, 3pm
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