Wellington Olympic were the weekend’s big winners — in fact, they were the only winners — when they moved into third spot on the Men’s National League table.
Olympic beat Cashmere Technical 3-0 to provide the only three-pointer of the round, with all the remaining games ending in draws.
Four of the 10 teams remain unbeaten after three rounds of competition in a league that’s proving to be tight, with the top half of the competition only two parts apart.
Here’s our round-up of Sunday’s games:
Main photo: A relieved Olliver Colloty is congratulated by teammates after scoring his Melville side’s first goal of the season to earn a draw with Wellington Phoenix.
Melville scramble draw with penalty in stoppage time
New Zealand U-19 striker Oliver Colloty scored a stoppage-time penalty to secure Melville United a 1-1 draw with the Wellington Phoenix reserves at Sky Stadium in Wellington.
Colloty sent young goalkeeper Alby Kelly-Heald the wrong way from the spot to cancel out Adam Supyk’s opening goal.
The left-back gave the reserves a deserved lead in the 66th minute after the hosts took control of the match in the second-half.
Head coach Chris Greenacre named an unchanged XI, rewarding the side that started the 2-2 draw with Auckland United last Sunday.
There were a few goalscoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes. A long-range shot from midfielder Fin Conchie in just the sixth minute was one of the brightest moments for the reserves, while Kelly-Heald reacted well to deny Melville United from a tight angle midway through the first half.
Greenacre was forced to make a change before halftime, with forward Josh Tollervey suffering a head knock and replaced by Kaelin Nguyen in the 37th minute.
The reserves made a much brighter start to the second-half, with Riley Bidois heading narrowly off target before Supyk had a shot blocked in the box just moments later.
Melville ‘keeper Max Tommy also made a great reflex save to deny the reserves the opening goal in the 53rd minute.
There was nothing Tommy could do to stop Supyk’s strike from the edge of the area midway through the second-half.
Melville threw everyone forward as the clock ran down and they were duly rewarded when they were awarded a penalty for a mis-timed tackle. Colloty duly converted.
Colloty sends Phoenix ‘keeper Alby Kelly-Heald the wrong way to score from the spot.
Wellington Phoenix reserves: 1. Alby KELLY-HEALD (gk), 3. Adam SUPYK, 4. Lukas KELLY-HEALD, 5. Isaac HUGHES (c), 6. Dan MCKAY, 7. Noah KARUNARATNE (18. Ben WALLACE 87th), 9. Riley BIDOIS (2. Joseph CHIARI 87th), 10. Charlie BEALE (17. Sebastian BARTON-GINGER, 90th), 13. Matthew SHERIDAN, 14. Joshua TOLLERVEY (11. Kaelin NGUYEN 37th), 16. Fin CONCHIE. Unused substitutes: 20. Callum KENNETT (gk)
Melville United: 1. Max TOMMY (gk), 3. Aaron SCOTT (c), 4. Luke SEARLE, 5. Campbell BROWN (7. Harry CHRISTENSEN-ROSE 70th), 8. Liam HAYES, 9. Ryen LAWRENCE, 10. Jerson LAGOS GIRALDO (19. Raheem HUNTER 87th), 12. Oliver COLLOTY, 14. Sean LIDDICOAT, 15. Stafford DOWLING (11. Quinton KIPARA 46th), 17. Joshua GALLETLY, Unused substitutes: 20. Conor JAMIESON (gk), 2. Braeden QUILTER-PHIPPS
Olympic cruise into third spot with 3-0 win against Cashmere Tech
An impressive Wellington Olympic moved into third place on the national league table with a well-constructed 3-0 win against Cashmere Technical at English Park.
The sides largely matched each other in the first half until Olympic got the vital breakthrough in the 43rd minute.
Goalkeeper Scott Basalaj unleashed a long clearance that found Jesse Randall in space. He was able to advance with speed, tack left and send a devastating ball across the face of the Cashmere goal.
It was met at the far post by Jack-Henry Sinclair and the visitors went into the half-time break with their 1-0 lead.
Cashmere Technical were competitive in the second half until Olympic took charge for the last quarter hour.
In the 78th minute, Randall set up substitute Sam Mitrakas for a shot from 35 metres that rattled the crossbar before falling to safety.
A minute later, Kailan Gould fed Sinclair who was wide on the right. His inch-perfect cross was met by Gianni Bouzoukis whose header flew into the net, his fourth goal of the campaign.
Olympic’s third goal was a classic example of how the Wellington side can win possession, re-set their shape and then pounce.
Having played half a dozen passes around their defenders, a 40-metre ball was fired over the Tech rearguard, allowing Sinclair to dart in and slot the ball home from an angle.
It was 3-0, and Olympic had become the weekend’s only winners.
Games played on Sunday October 16, 2022
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Adam Supyk )
Melville United 1 (Olliver Colloty 90′ pen)
Cashmere Technical 0
Wellington Olympic 3 (Jack-Henry Sinclair 43′, 84′, Gianni Bouzoukis 79′)
Games played on Saturday October 15, 2022
Birkenhead United 2 (Sam Burfoot 4′, Nicholas Forrester 49′)
Auckland City 2 (Sam Brotherton 82′, Emiliano Tade 90+4′)
Napier City Rovers 2 (Own goal 4′, Christian Leopard 84′)
Miramar Rangers 2 (James Murdoch-Gibbs 87′, Sam Mason-Smith 90+4′ pen)
Auckland United 1 (Hiroyoshi Kamata 61′)
Christchurch United 1 (Eddie Wilkinson 65′)