Relegation threat worsens as Manukau United hit with bans and player moves

posted in: News, Northern League

Manukau United’s hopes of Northern League survival have taken a double blow with the suspension of three players and loss of two players to other clubs.

United are bottom of the Northern League table with nine rounds to go, and are in a three-club struggle likely to determine the two to be relegated to next year’s Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship.

But June has turned into horror month to cap a run of 11 league and cup games without a win.

In their latest game, a 4-3 home loss to West Coast Rangers, United finished the game with only eight players on the pitch as three were sent off in stoppage time.

Captain Sameehg Doutie, Ricky Singh and Calvin Mitchell were sent off in an eventful period of added time, which also saw Rangers’ Miles Palmer and Kieran Deegan given red cards.

Doutie, a former South African professional who came out of retirement to join Manukau, and Singh have been given three-match suspensions.

READ MORE: Former South African pro comes out of retirement to sign for Manukau United >>>>

Main photo: Sameehg Doutie has scored twice for Manukau since arriving from South Africa, and is the side’s leading scorer.

Doutie contacted Friends of Football, saying he felt his red card was unfair as he was trying, as captain, to intervene during an altercation between rival players.

“I merely tried to pull all the players away from one another and instead, it seemed as if I was pushing and shoving them away from one another, which resulted in me receiving a red card.

“I feel this was highly unfair, as I was not physically involved in any fight and as a captain, I know my duties towards the game, the team and the league, and I would never want to jeopardise such a leading opportunity.”

Mitchell (26) was making his debut for Manukau after moving from Central League club North Wellington. He came off the bench in the 35th minute, was given a yellow three minutes later, and then was sent off for a second caution five minutes into stoppage time.

He cops a suspension for Manukau’s next match, at third-placed Auckland United on Saturday (July 1).

Manukau’s problems have worsened with the loss of experienced goalkeeper Fernando Orduna (33) who has returned to Mount Albert Ponsonby, for whom he played last season.

Winger Boon Ozawa (25) has moved up the road to join neighbours and Northern League rivals Manurewa.

Veteran striker Horace James (38), who signed from Manurewa, has not played since May.

Manukau United have managed one win from 13 games in the Northern League, and they crashed out of the Chatham Cup, losing 6-0 to Lotto NRFL Championship side Tauranga City.


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