Auckland City’s 31-match unbeaten streak is over after the Navy Blues were beaten 2-0 at Auckland United’s Keith Hay Park.
Going into the last Northern League game of the season, City were two games away from ending their winter season undefeated, if they could also win next weekend’s Chatham Cup final.
But the tag of being dubbed the unbeatable slid away as Auckland United beat them with a goal in each half.
Here’s our round-up of the Northern League’s last weekend:
United get confidence boost with win against Navy Blues
Auckland United got a timely confidence boost ahead of next month’s start of the National League by beating competition favourites Auckland City 2-0 at Keith Hay Park.
The win was built on the platform of a clean sheet, with a goal in each half to kill off the Navy Blues.
The match was deadlocked at 0-0 a minute before the interval when Oliver Fay put the home side ahead, giving them the boost of a 1-0 half-time lead.
City, who rested key players such as Emiliano Tade, Dylan Manickum and Gerard Garriga, also had goalscorer Angus Kilkolly on the bench.
In the 78th minute, United doubled their lead through Regont Murati, creating the very real prospect of a rare defeat for City.
Kilkolly came off the bench to help the search for a two-goal finish.
But it was not to be. City’s long unbeaten run was over.
Colloty gets winner before heading to Tahiti
Striker Oliver Colloty scored a late winner for Melville United who beat Hamilton Wanderers 3-2 in an entertaining Waikato derby at Porritt Stadium.
Due to leave with the national squad for the OFC U-19 Championships inTahiti on Monday, the goal was the perfect way to end a breakthrough domestic season for Colloty since his move north from the South Island this year.
But Melville had to work hard for their win, with tackles flying in despite the game having no influence on the Northern League’s final placings.
Wanderers had the early advantage and had the first goalscoring opportunity in the 5th minute when Joe Harris whipped a free kick over a five-man wall but past the post.
The home side took the lead after 12 minutes when Connor Probert sent a free kick into a crowded box for Dylan Morris to steer the ball into the net with a glancing header.
Melville fought back and levelled midway through the half when Wanderers failed to clear a free kick and Campbell Brown lobbed the ball back into the danger zone, for Ryen Lawrence to turn it past goalkeeper Matt Oliver.
In the 36th minute, Oliver produced a decent save but a minute later, he was picking the ball out of his net.
A corner was not dealt with and the ball fell to Hayes who was able to pass it through an inviting gap and into the net.
In typical derby fashion, a flare-up between Wanderers’ Brock Messenger and Melville’s newly-named U-20 international Oliver Colloty led to referee Nick Waldron giving both players yellow cards, and having to urge both teams to keep their calm.
The sides turned around with Melville ahead 2-1.
In the 64th minute, Wanderers levelled the score after an excellent six-player move that saw the side play out from the back and set up leading scorer Derek Tieku who struck it sweetly from the edge of the area for his 17th goal of the season.
The winner came with 10 minutes to go when Colloty headed the winner from an inswinging corner.
Main photo: Colloty (12) and teammates celebrate the winning goal.
In added time, Messenger got a second yellow card for a bad tackle on Quinton Kipara and was sent off.
Springs continue goalscoring form with 4-1 victory
Western Springs continued their free-scoring form with a 4-1 win against local rivals Bay Olympic.
Playing at Seddon Fields, Springs won the game with a strong second half performance.
In the second half of the season, Springs have found their goalscoring touch.
But the sides played out a scoreless first half.
Oscar Browne opened the scoring in the 57th minute.
Ten minutes later, Kayne Vincent added a second from the penalty spot.
Then Browne added another, making it 3-0 with twenty minutes left.
Bay Olympic pulled back a goal through Leon van den Hoven in the 75th minute.
However, substitute Jacob Zussman finished the job for Springs, scoring in the last minute.
Birkenhead come from behind for home win
Birkenhead United trailed Manukau United before fighting back for a 2-1 win at Shepherds Park.
Manukau went ahead in the 27th minute through Thomas Golding and the South Aucklanders took their 1-0 leading into half-time.
Four minutes after the restart, Alex Connor-McClean levelled for Birkenhead.
He then scored his second of the day to put Birkenhead 2-1 up on the hour.
Coach Paul Hobson then worked his bench, bringing on five outfield players to freshen up his side, and they shut out Manukau for the last half hour, making sure of a final three points for the season, and second place on the table.
Takapuna beat Waiheke 6-0
A 3-0 win to Takapuna consigned Waiheke United to their 16th loss of the season.
A clean sheet and three different goalscorers gave Takapuna a satisfying last day to their first season in the Northern League since winning promotion last year.
Connor O’Malley put them ahead at Onetangi with a goal in the 17th minute.
That was how the sides turned around and Takapuna doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half when Antonio Bonkovich scored from the penalty spot.
Substitute Daniel Semp made sure of the win when he added Takapuna’s third goal in the 68th minute.
For Takapuna, the planning starts for another Northern League campaign; for Waiheke United, it’s a return to the Lotto NRFL first division.
Own goal gets North Shore a point as sorry season ends
North Shore United’s difficult season ended on a positive note when they forced a 2-2 draw in their home fixture against Chatham Cup finalists Eastern Suburbs.
After conceding 90 goals in their season leading to their last game, Shore had little to play for except pride, and they gave the Lilywhites a decent shake.
Dylan Burns put Shore ahead in the 8th minute and Shore took the 1-0 lead into the changing rooms at Allen Hill Stadium.
Suburbs came back in the second spell, levelling through Adam Thurston in the 56th minute.
Then, in the 74th minute, Tyler Lissette put Suburbs ahead.
However, the game had one last twist. With a few minutes left, newly-selected New Zealand U-20 international Aaryan Raj, a substitute, put into his own net to level the scores.
Games played Saturday September 3, 2022
Hamilton Wanderers 2 (Joe Harris 12′, Derek Tieku 65′)
Melville United 3 (Ryen Lawrence 23′, Liam Hayes 37′, Oliver Colloty 81′)
Waiheke United 0
Takapuna 3 (Connor O’Malley 17′, Antonio Bonkovich 55′, Daniel Semp 68′)
Auckland United 2 (Oliver Fay 44′, Regont Murati 78′)
Auckland City 0
North Shore United 2 (Dylan Burns 8′, own goal 86′)
Eastern Suburbs 2 (Adam Thurston 56′, Tyler Lissette 74′)
Western Springs 4 (Oscar Browne 57′, 70′, Kayne Vincent 67′, Jacob Zussman 90′)
Bay Olympic 1 (Leon van den Hoven 75′)
Birkenhead United 2 (Alex Connor-McClean (49′, 60′)
Manukau United 1 (Thomas Goldings 27′)
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