What a week of football it’s been… first Liverpool, then Tottenham… and several days before these epic encounters was AUT FC versus Double Rum Greenhithe, a game that finished 3-3, earning both teams their first point of the season. It wasn’t particularly pretty, but both teams gave it everything, and left nothing behind. Both teams did themselves, their league and the ASFA proud. AUT took the lead early only for DGR to equalise before the end of the first half. AUT scored a stunner not long after the break, only for DRG to equalise with around 15 still to play. DRG then took the lead with 10 to play, only for AUT to equalise at the end. It finished 3-3 (it could have easily been 8-8). As if that wasn’t enough of an advert for the ASFA, on the field next to this fixture, a team containing several former AUT FC players helped last year’s league two champions Albany Green Machine beat Kamarak 5-3 in another barnstorming fixture that had plenty of talking points, plenty of pushing and shoving (handbags at dawn) and a player crawling off the field to be sick on the sidelines. The two return fixures involving these four teams are games not to be missed (sadly they won’t be played on the same field, meaning you’ll have to pick one). Elsewhere in League 1, Leaders Zamantix Force made it 4 from 4 with a 3-0 win over Waitekere Rangers and Western Wanderers returned to action after two weeks off to make it 2 from 2 with a 4-1 away win against Zamantix Rovers Return.
Turning to the Premiership Challenge, it was another good day for the away teams with all but one securing at least a point. Bohemian Celtics replaced Auckland Volcanoes at the top of the league with an impressive 2-0 away win in one of the three top of the table clashes played last Sunday. Volcanoes first defeat of the year has seen them drop to third, a point behind Boh’s and second placed FC Eagles, who were pushed all the way in their 3-2 away win at the University of Auckland. Internationale occupy fourth place, a point behind Volcanoes and a point ahead of HNK Auckland, the team that they shared a point with in a tightly contested 1-1 draw. Auckland Panthers’ 8-0 win over Dalian was the only home win in the division but wasn’t the biggest winning margin of the day. Independiente secured their first 3 points of the season in impressive fashion, beating Zamantix Rovers 6-2 away from home. FC Khukuri beat the Spermwhales 2-1 in the other game.
Viet Stars are now the only unbeaten team in League Two, following their 3-1 win against second-placed CJC Eagles. Asian Auckland United and Exit Trials played out a rare 0-0 draw, whilst there were away wins for Sigatoka FC (2-1 against Viti All Stars) and Ghurka FC (5-1 against All Red).
In the Conference, the top of the table clash between Foods4less Oratia and Old Fellas finished 1-1, allowing Korean Tigers the opportunity to move into second place as a result of their 5-3 win over Flatbush United. There were 14 goals in the early kick off at Rosedale Park, Hougarden United versus Waiheke Old Fullas, with the visitors from New Zealand’s third most populated Island scoring 12 of them. Zamantix Old Boys beat Greenhithe City 8-2 in another high scoring encounter, whilst the second 0-0 of the weekend was played out between U-Striker and Serious FC.
Looking ahead to the weekend, ASFA involvement in the first round of the Chatham Cup means that there are three postponements in the Premiership and three teams (Eagles, Volcanoes and Inter) with the opportunity to knock Boh’s off the top of the league. Eagles host Panthers, Volcanoes travel to play Dalian and Inter play Indy in a local Seddon Fields derby game that is always worth watching should you find yourself at a loose end this Sunday. In League 1, the two unbeaten teams square off with Western Wanderers hosting Zamantix Force. Only 1 fixture at Rosedale Park this week, but i’m still expecting to see plenty of goals with the high flying CJC Eagles hosting winless All Red.