Apologies once again for making you wait for this week’s round up. Going by the emails and online messages, I think some people occasionally forget that we’re all volunteers doing this for the love of the game. We all lead increasingly busy lives, seven days a week. Sunday is no exception. Welcome to the pointy end of the season. The next couple of weeks are typically when champions are found, and relegation becomes a reality. It’s business time!
There are only 22 fixtures left in this year’s Premiership calendar, with four team only have two more games left to play. Kiwi True Blues, who currently sit at the summit on a seven point cushion, are one of these four teams. AUT FC 1, who sit in eighth, are another. KTB’s narrow 2-1 win over Zamantix Rovers Deuce ensures that they will finish their season sitting on top of the pile, regardless of how many points they can add to their total over the next few weeks. On Sunday they play their penultimate game against the team that now sits in Second place, Auckland Volcanoes. KTB will end their season with a game against the defending champions, Internationale, who now sit nine points behind them in third place following their 4-1 loss at home to the Volcanoes. Once KTB’s season is complete, however, both Inter and Volcanoes still have two more fixtures to play. AUT FC 1’s 3-1 loss at Bohemian Celtic’s means that they must win their two remaining fixtures if they are to pull off the grerat escape and retain their place in the Premiership next year. The first of these games is against the team sitting directly above them in Seventh place, Independiente. Indy’s 9-1 win over Auckland Wanderers not only gives them a four point advantage over AUT , but has also ensured that the Wanderers, who have three games remaining, are only a point above them, sitting level with Boh’s on eleven points. In sum, only five points seperate the bottom four teams, two of which face off this sunday. Wanderers host Inter and Zamantix host Boh’s Celtic.
There are 26 games still to be played in the Championship, with all but two of the teams having five more fixtures. Leaders HNK certainly look Premeirship bound, having opened up a ten point gap with a 12 demolition of United FC. The fight for second, however, appears to be going down to the wire, with only three points separating the next four teams. Last weekend’s 1-1 draw against third placed FC Eagles means that Boh’s Celtic 2 sit top of that pile thanks to a superior goal difference of only four. Khukuri’s 5-2 win over the University of Auckland puts them in fourth place, two points behind Boh’s and the Eagles and one in front of United FC. Out of the four teams, the Eagles only have two more games to play, one of which is against HNK this weekend. Khukuri still have four to play, starting this weekend away against fifth placed United (who still have five fixtures to play, and could therefore still finish in second spot). Boh’s, the early pace setters and only team to have taken 3 points off HNK, will be looking to secure three more points this sunday against UoA.
There ia still plenty of football to be played in League 1, but it’s hard to see anyone catching Dalian at the top. Their 5-1 win over the Spermwhales gives them an eleven point lead over second placed Nixon Park, who only managed to take a point away from their fixture with Double Rum Greenhithe in an entertaining 3-3 draw. The Whale’s loss to Dalian leaves them ten points adrift of Nixon, but they have played one games less. Third placed Zamantix Force have played two more than the whales, and are only five points behind Nixon following their 6-1 win over AUT FC 2. Kamarak’s impressive 5-3 win over Zamantix Rovers Return has probably secured their place in League 1 next year, although the Western Wanderer’s 9-0 thrashing of City Fringe means they can still need to secure a couple more wins to be safe. Much like their sister team, AUT FC 2 have a must win (6 pointer) this sunday against the team sitting directly above them. The outcome of DRG’s game against the Wanderer’s will also be of interest to AUT and their oppenent’s City Fringe. Elsewhere, Kamarak host the Whales and Dalian host the Force. Nixon and Zamantix Rover Return have the week off.
In a break from the norm, there were only eight goals scored in the three League Two fixtures played last weekend, with two of the fixtures ending up as 2-1 home wins. Congratulations to Auckland Unicorns for securing their first win of the year (2-1 against Aotea Sport Eastern). Viet Stars’ 2-1 win over Albany Green Machine saw them reclaim third spot, whilst Saigon’s 2-0 away win over leaders Waitakere Rangers ensures that the battle for the title, let alone the two promotion spots, looks set to go all the way to the end. Six points seperate the top three, all of whom have four games left to play. All Red had the bye last week. This week, it’s Rangers turn to have the weekend off and watch the two teams immediately below them – Saigon and Viet Stars – face off in a battle that looks set to reduce their lead at the top even further (ff Saigon win, for example, that lead will be only 1 point). Elsewhere, All Red and the Unicorns, the two bottom teams meet each other (both of whom are on zero points due to penalties awarded for poor administration). AGM play ASE in the other fixture.
21 goals were scored in the Masters Conference last weekend, including two 5-1 wins. Four points seperate the top four teams with the defending champions Old Fellas now back on top of the pile, following their 5-1 win over Serious FC. Waiheke Old Fullas drop to second, two points behind, suffering a rare home loss at the hands of third place Zamanatix Old Boys (1-3). Greenhithe City had a good day at the office, beating Viet NZ 5-1, whilst U-Striker returned to winning ways with a 4-1 win of the Korean Tigers. The top two play each other this coming weekend, with Waiheke travelling west to the home of the Old Fellas. Third placed Zamantix will be hoping this ends in a goalless draw, and that they are able to take all three points against bottom placed Viet NZ. Such an outcome would see them end the week in second place, two points off the summit with a game in hand. Greenhithe host the Korean Tigers and U-striker host Serious in the other fixtures.