Firstly, congratulations to HNK Auckland who secured their spot in the first round of the Chatham Cup for the first time on Saturday with a 2-0 away win over the Bay of Plenty’s Plain Rangers, both goals scored by Bartulovic. Auckland Volcanoes narrowly missed on joining HNK, losing a nine goal thriller 5-4 away against the Navy.
In the Premiership, leaders Internationale extended their unbeaten league and cup run with a 6-3 away win over Zamantix Rovers, and now sit alone at the top with a 3 point margin sepearating them from second-placed Kiwi True Blues. KTB backed up their midweek Chatham Cup win by handing Independiente their first loss of the season (3-1). A 3-1 home win was also the outcome in the Auckland Wanderers versus AUT FC fixture. The Volcanoes game against Boh’s was postponed due to the home teams involvement in the Chatham Cup. Looking forward, Inter host KTB next Sunday in a game that could have a massive impact on who is crowned Champions at the end of the season.
The FC Eagles versus Bohemian Celtics 2 was the only fixture played in the new-look Championship this week, and it finished all square at 1-1. For those unaware of the changes that have occured since last weekend, the Championship has been reduced to a six team competition, with every team playing each other three times. For more information, please refer to the post uploaded last week. Looking ahead, next week will hopefully see all six teams in action.
The Spermwhales were warmly welcomed into the newly expanded League 1 by Zamantix Rovers Return, who kindly allowed their visitors to leave Bill MacKinley Park with their first ever 3 points and a 6-0 win. Nixon Park were not as kind to the Western Wanderers and took the three points with a 6-2 away win. The fact that the Wanderers were able to compete for large parts of this game, however, would suggest that it won’t be long before they experience the joys of winning an ASFA fixture. There were plenty of goals scored elsewhere in League 1 this week, with leaders Dalian FC and Kamarak both scoring five goals in their away fixtures against City Fringe and Zamantix Force. Dalian’s 5-1 win ensures they maintain their 100% record and a two point gap at the top of the 10 team division, whilst Kamarak’s 5-2 win sees them go above Zamantix Rovers Return, AUT FC2 and the Western Wanderers into seventh spot. Double Rum Greenhithe (DGR) sit in fifth place having secured their first win of the season, winning 2-1 away at AUT. looking forward, leaders Dalian will be keen to ensure that the bottom-placed Western Wanderers’ search for their first points is extended by at least another seven days, whilst DGR will be looking to ensure that the Spermwhales’ second successive trip to Bill MacKinley Park is not as pleasant or profitable as their first.
In League 2, there was 21 goals scored in three fixture, with the league leaders Waitakere Rangers comfortably beating their fellow newbies Albany Green Machine 7-1 and Saigon FC smashing Aotea Sport Eastern 10-1. Elsewhere, second placed Viet Stars found it harder to break down a much improved defensive performance by All Red, but still came away with a 2-0 win. As with the Premiership, next week sees the unbeaten League 2 leaders face the team immediately below them in second spot. Third-placed Saigon face an away trip to All Red, whilst AGM play the Unicorns and Aotea Sport Eastern get the week off.
Things are looking pretty tight in the Masters Conference with one point seperating the top five teams, and only four points seperating the leaders, Zamantix Rovers old Boys, from the team in last place, Serious FC. The Old Boys find themselves on top of the tree, following their 3-1 home win over the defending champions, the Old Fellas. Waiheke Old Fullas sit in second place, equal of points with the Old Boys, following their 2-1 away win of the Korean Tigers. U-Striker are third on goal difference, despite suffering their first loss of the season at home to Viet NZ (4-5). Greenhithe City’s 3-2 win over Serious FC ensures they are also on 6 points, but with a game in hand. They host the team from Waiheke next sunday, whilst top plays bottom and second plays third.