I’d like to start with an acknowledgement to all the people who ensured that plenty of football was played yesterday, despite the wet-wintery conditions.
Queen’s Birthday weekend offers the ASFA an opportunity to reduce some of the league fixture back-log caused by early season postponements and Chatham cup clashes, and ensure that we enter the second half of the season with equal number of teams in our knock-out cup and plate competitions.
There were two Premiership fixtures played, with league leader’s Kiwi True Blues securing a 4-2 victory over Zamantix Rovers Deuce and Auckland Volcanoes beating AUT FC 1 5-2. KTB’s win extends their lead at the top of the table to 6 points, whilst Volcanoes’ victory sees them join three other teams in equal second place, all on ten points. As with second-placed Inter, however, Volcanoes have two games in hand over KTB. Things will definitely look different this time next week with all eight teams back in action on the 10th; KTB playing Auckland Wanderers, Inter playing AUT FC, Indy playing Boh’s 1 and Zamantix playing Volcanoes.
There were two games played in the Championship, with United FC’s scheduled home fixture against league leaders Bohemian Celtic 2 being the only game to fall victim to the weather gods. For the second time in seven days FC Eagles missed out on the opportunity to claim top spot, thanks to arguably one of the best bits of sportsmanship ever seen in the ASFA. As noted on Facebook, the Eagles manager conceded that one of their four goals against the University of Auckland should not have been awarded, despite it being recorded in the match card. This turned a 4-4 draw into a 4-3 win for the bottom-placed students, who are now only 1 point behind Khukuri, who lost 8-2 to third-placed HNK Auckland. HNK are now only points behind Boh’s Celtic 2 with two games in hand, one of which will be played next week against United FC.
Dalian FC maintained their 100% record in League One with a 7-3 victory over AUT FC 2, who now find themselves sitting at the bottom of the ten-team division following Western Wanderers surprise 5-1 win over the previously unbeaten Spermwhales. Congratulations to the Wanderers for securing their first 3 points of the season and showing that anyone can beat anyone in the ASFA. Next week, they face AUT FC 2 for the first time in what should be a cracking encounter and a real six-pointer (only 3 points seperate the bottom five teams). Elsewhere next week, Dalian will be looking to extend their lead over second-placed Nixon Park to nine points when the two teams face off at Valonia Reserse. The two rivals have also been drawn to play each other in the 3rd round of the L1, L2, Masters Cup.
There were no league fixtures played in either League Two or the Masters Conference over the weekend, with many of those teams taking the field in Cup and Plate games.
No real shocks to report on in either the second round of the L1, L2 and Masters cup competition, with League One’s Nixon Park and League Two’s Albany Green Machine both proving too strong for their more experienced opponents from the Masters Conference Korean Tigers (5-2) and Waiheke Old Fullas (6-1). Zamanatix Rovers Return and Zamantix Force, both from League 1, both secured their places in the next round by overcoming League 2 opposition; All Red (4-2) and Saigon FC (3-2).
Finally, in the L1, L2, Masters Plate, League One’s City Fringe comfortably overcame Greenhithe City from Conference 7-1, whilst Viet Stars (L2) and Kamarak (L1) both recorded 3-0 wins over U-Striker (M) and Auckland Unicorns (L2).
The draw for the next round has been posted onto our facebook page, along with the fixtures for next week and the updated league tables. The league tables and cup fixtures can also be found within the relevant pages of our website.