By Jack Sharp
The margins of error are fast disappearing as clubs jostle for a place in next month’s Grand Final of the Men’s National League.
With only nine points left to compete for, challengers such as Auckland United, Birkenhead United and Cashmere Technical can ill afford to lose or draw as the fixture schedule nears its end.
Main photo: Auckland United head coach Jose Figueira … his side must win on Saturday. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
One club, at least, will falter in the title race when Auckland United host Cashmere Technical at Keith Hay Park on Saturday.
A loss would scuttle remaining hopes of reaching the final, while a draw could wreck the chances of both sides.
It makes for entertaining football, with so much at stake.
Birkenhead United head for Napier City Rovers, a team hard to roll on their home turf, and United badly need three points to stay in touch with Wellington Olympic and Auckland City.
Olympic and the Navy Blues are both favourites to win again, as they face sides in the bottom half of the table.
Here’s the schedule for the weekend:
Games to be played on Saturday November 12, 2022
Christchurch United v Auckland City
Christchurch Football Centre, Christchurch, 1.30pm
Auckland United v Cashmere Technical
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 3pm
Miramar Rangers v Melville United
David Farrington Park, Wellington, 3.30pm
Games to be played on Sunday November 13, 2022
Wellington Phoenix v Wellington Olympic
Fraser Park, Wellington, 12pm
Napier City Rovers v Birkenhead United
Bluewater Stadium, Napier, 2pm