Unbeaten sides set to go head-to-head in third round of Central League

By Luke Austin

The weekend’s football action starts with a bang on Good Friday as the Wellington Phoenix Reserves host Wellington Olympic.

Both sides have taken maximum points from their first two games and are considered by many to be the favourites to fight out this year’s title.

In an equally intriguing fixture at the opposite end of table, North Wellington make the journey to Whanganui Athletic on Saturday.

Wembley Park has seen 12 goals in the opening two games of the season, and with both sides desperate to earn their first points, this will be a game to keep an eye on.

Saturday also sees Karori host Stop Out, and Western Suburbs travel to Petone.

Napier City Rovers are celebrating their 50th Anniversary on Sunday, and the festivities will no doubt be enhanced if they are able to beat Miramar Rangers in their early afternoon meeting.

Game of the week

With so many keenly-balanced games on offer this week, it is difficult to highlight only one.

However, the quality on display in the Phoenix v Olympic game is enough to set it apart.

The Phoenix will have to make do without striker Josh Tollervey, who already has five goals this season. He will be suspended due to his red card after the final whistle in last week’s game against Whanganui, in which he also scored four goals.

Bold prediction

Despite scoring five goals in their opening two fixtures, Whanganui have failed to register any points this season. Expect this to change on Saturday – I’m predicting that they will kickstart their season with a win against fellow early strugglers North Wellington.

Wellington Olympic striker Hamish Watson … ready to open his 2023 account? Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.phototek.nz

Player to watch

Last year’s Golden Boot winner, Hamish Watson, is yet to score in the Central League this season.

He is a proven goalscorer at this level and it will be only a matter of time before he starts to find the back of the net again.

Chances are he will do just that for Wellington Olympic against the Phoenix Reserves on Friday afternoon.


Game to be played on Friday April 7, 2023

Wellington Phoenix Reserves v Wellington Olympic
Fraser Park (Turf), Lower Hutt, 3pm

Games to be played on Saturday April 8, 2023

Waterside Karori v Stop Out
Karori Park, Wellington, 2.30pm

Whanganui Athletic v North Wellington
Wembley Park, Whanganui, 3pm

Petone v Western Suburbs
Petone Memorial Turf, Lower Hutt, 3.30pm 

Game to be played on Sunday April 9, 2023

Napier City Rovers v Miramar Rangers
Bluewater Stadium, Napier, 2pm


Luke Austin

Luke Austin is a Wellington-based football fan and volunteer, who plays for Island Bay, and follows the Central League.

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