After a couple of weeks of cup and catch up games, Sunday saw the second half of the 2017 ASFA season get back into full swing with 15 games resulting in 71 more goals being scored across all five divisions. Before I provide a summary of the results from last Sunday, however, I’d like to re-iterate the messages being sent out via email and Facebook, regarding the unacceptable number of teams failing to follow the simple rules that were agreed to upon your registration into the 2017 competition (3 months ago).
We currently have 7 teams who have a (w) next to their name, indicating that they have received a warning, having failed to submit a correctly completed Match card at some stage this year. Excluding the Patriot, who you will have seen have been withdrawn with immediate effect, seven ASFA teams have been stripped a total of 20 points so far, and we’re only half way in the season. There were also a couple of no shows in League 2 this week that resulted in two teams having to go another week without a game. Sure, they get a 3-0 win to show for it, but I am sure that they would much rather have played another 90 minutes of football and earned the three points!
Those unsure of how it works, or why the number of points shown on the official ASFA league tables doesn’t reflect the number of points your team has earned on the field of play, should first ask your team manager why they’ve not been phoning in the result by 7pm and/or sending in a correctly completed match card immediately after EVERY game. If your manager doesn’t know, then you should ask them to read the emails they’ve been sent which explains what they are require to do. Failing that, all the answers can be found within the FAQ section of this website.
Teams struggling with player recruitment or retention should follow KTB’s lead and stick an announcement onto our Facebook page (we are constantly being contacted by people looking to join teams and our default answer is to stick something on FB and wait for a response). Auckland Volcanoes were very proactive in this space over the summer and would appear to be reaping the rewards on a Sunday afternoon. There may also be a number of players from the 2016 Premiership champions looking for a new team following their removal from the competition, although this season’s transfer deadline day is fast approaching!
Thank you to all the managers reading this who are able to do as required each week. You’ll note that there have been no warnings issued in the Masters Division this season… long may that continue!!!
To mix things up, I am going to start with the Over 35s Masters League, which continues to deliver both on and off the field and is already attracting interest from new teams looking to enter in 2018. The game of the round took place on the Island of Waiheke, where the Zamantix Old Boys became the first ASFA team to take 3 points home with them on the return ferry journey, following their 5-4 away victory over the Old Fullas. Leaders Old Fellas FC remain 3 points clear of the Old Boys however, having safely overcome the bottom-placed Boys to Men down away in Pukekohe with a comfortable 4-0 win. Greenhithe City got their season back on track with a 2-0 away win over Serious FC. It’s first versus second at Bill McKinley Park on Sunday, kicking off at 4pm, and third versus fourth at Onetangi Sports Complex, 1pm, meaning the table will inevitably look a lot different this time next week (assuming both games don’t end in a draw).
In League 2, their would appear to be a four-way battle for the two promotion spots with Viti occupying top spot for another week, despite not having to kick a ball in their 3-0 default win over Massey-Albany. Likewise, Double Rum Greenhithe hold on to second spot, albeit on goal difference, after their opponents failed to field a team (gifting them a 3-0 default win). Third placed Zamantix Force were made to earn their 3 points against Auckland Unicorns, winning 2-1 away from home, whilst U-Striker were able to improve their goal difference with a 6-0 away win against bottom-placed All Red. Let’s hope we get all eight teams playing football this Sunday!
In League 1, leaders HNK safely dispatched the Uni of Auckland Reserves with a 6-0 win, whilst second placed Auckland Wanderers 2 proved too strong for Nixon Park, securing a 2-0 victory which makes this Sunday’s top of the table clash the first six pointer of the season for both teams. HNK go into the game with a 3 point advantage over the Wanderers, but have a goal difference advantage of 26. in the other two games, third-placed Zamantix Rovers Return were beaten 3-2 by Dalian FC, leaving them eight points behind the top two teams, whilst Kamarak safely navigated the challenge of playing bottom-placed AUT FC 2, handing the students their first defeat of the month.
In the Championship, the highly anticipated battle of the leaders was postponed, allowing AUT FC 1 the opportunity to leap frog KTB into second place and close the gap on United FC to only two points. The students were made to work hard for it, but eventually took this opportunity with a 2-1 home win over Khukuri. The fourth placed University of Auckland FC were unable to take advantage of the postponement, however, being held to a 1-1 draw against SudAmerica (the only draw of the round). The stalemate, along with City Fringe securing their first win of the season at home to Kingsland Athletic (3-2), means that SudAmerica’s next game against United FC is not a top versus bottom clash. The top four teams are now separated by five points with AUT FC 2nd, 15 points) and KTB (3rd, 13 points) still to face off this season and having games in hand on those around them.
Finally, in the Premiership, Leaders Zamantix Rovers maintained their 3 point advantage over Auckland Wanderers with a narrow 3-2 away win over Bohemian Celtic’s 1. Wanderers overcame Bohemian Celtic’s second side 4-2 and remain the only unbeaten side in the league, with two games in hand over the league leaders and a bye next week. Third-placed Auckland Volcanoes suffered a 5-1 loss at the hands of fourth-placed Independiente, whilst Internationale picked up a 3-0 default win as a result of the Patriot’s inability to continue in the competition. Top plays third next week, whilst I’m sure the Wanderers will be looking around for a friendly game to keep them fit. Incredibly, they’ve only played 5 league games this season as we enter round nine.
that’s all folks… until next week!