Fifteen goals kept spectators entertained as Birkenhead United and Melville United won Sunday’s fixtures in the Men’s National League.
Birkenhead won 5-3 against Cashmere Technical to stay within two points of league leaders Wellington Olympic.
Main photo: Dane Schnell scored a hat-trick for Birkenhead United in their win against Cashmere Technical. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Melville beat Christchurch United 5-2 to move off the bottom of the table with their first win of the season.
Here’s our round-up of Sunday’s games:
Schnell hat-trick gives Birkenhead edge in eight-goal thriller
Birkenhead United stayed among the title contenders with an exciting 5-3 win against Cashmere Technical at Shepherds Park.
The visitors took the lead in the sixth minute when U-19 international Kian Donkers made a clever turn to get his shot on target.
Birkenhead responded in the 13th minute when Dane Schnell scored the first of a hat-trick, curling his shot into the far corner of the net from the edge of the area.
The home side went ahead in the 23rd minute when Luke Jorgenson converted from the penalty spot after Cashmere had handballed while defending a free kick.
Almost immediately after, Schnell scored his second of the day, taking advantage of a fast break and a slow Tech defence.
Alex Connor-McClean kept up the momentum for Birkenhead, striking from the edge of the penalty area in the 28th minute.
Birkenhead’s three goals in a five-minute spell had given them a 4-1 lead.
Cashmere pulled back a goal in the 36th minute when Lyle Mattysen found the target with a shot from 20 metres.
The sides went into the break with Birkenhead leading 4-2.
The second half saw a more even battle with Birkenhead happy to control the game’s pace, and to force Cashmere to take risks.
With 12 minutes to go, Birkenhead made sure of the win, when Schnell completed his hat-trick.
Garbhan Coughlan managed to score a consolation goal on full-time when he scrambled a ball inside the near post from a cross.
Melville get first win with 5-2 goal-fest in Christchurch
After scoring only twice in their opening four games, Melville United found their touch with a vengeance, smashing five goals against Christchurch United.
In doing so, Melville registered their first win of the national league season, winning 5-2 in an entertaining game which saw several spectacular goals.
Melville took the lead after six minutes through Ryen Lawrence.
The 19-year-old double his side’s lead on the half-hour when he struck a beauty from 20 metres.
In the 35th minute, Melville stretched their lead to three goals when Raheem Hunter headed home a Quinton Kipara corner when left unchallenged.
U-19 international Oliver Colloty made it 4-0 in the 42nd minute when he broke clear and scored against his former club with a shot from an angle, with the goalkeeper stranded.
After turning around with their four-goal lead, Melville did not sit back and made it 5-0 in the 52nd minute when Josh Galletly smashed a free kick into the net from 25 metres.
Christchurch gradually worked themselves into the game, forcing saves from Melville ‘keeper Max Tommy, hitting the bar and going close with chances.
The home side finally pulled back a goal when Dan MacLennan was first to react in a crowded goalmouth when Melville failed to clear a corner.
With 10 minutes to go, Christchurch were rewarded for their efforts with a spectacular goal from captain Matt Todd-Smith. He threw himself high to meet the ball with a semi-bicycle shot that flew into the net.
As the game wore on, Melville had to do plenty of defending but they managed down the clock, including five minutes of stoppage time, to secure the three points.
Games played on Sunday October 30, 2022
Birkenhead United 5 (Dane Schnell 13′, 23′, 78′, Luke Jorgenson 23′ pen, Alex Connor-McClean 28′)
Cashmere Technical 3 (Kian Donkers 6′, Lyle Mattysen 36′, Garbhan Coughlan 90′)
Christchurch United 2 (Dan MacLennan 56′, Matt Todd-Smith 80′)
Melville United 5 (Ryen Lawrence 6′, 29′, Raheem Hunter 35′, Oliver Colloty 42′, Josh Galletly 52′)
Games played on Saturday October 29, 2022
Auckland United 3 (Nic Zambrano 5′, Oliver Fay 62′, Guy-frank Essome Penda 80′)
Auckland City 2 (Emiliano Tade 44′, 75′)
Napier City Rovers 2 (Fergus Neil 21′ pen, Leaford Allen 68′)
Wellington Olympic 5 (Connor Gaul 28′, Gianni Bouzoukis 31′, Jessie Randall 53′, Jonty Roubos 78′, 88′)
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Riley Bidois 50′, Ben Walace 90+6′))
Miramar Rangers 3 (Jorge Akers 7′, Samuel Mason-Smith 19′, 44′)