Central in position to keep title
Central United are just one win away from retaining their Northern Premier Football League crown.
The reigning champs improved their chances of coming out on top after they thrashed league leaders Eastern Suburbs 4-0 at Madills Farm on Saturday.
A Milos Nikolic hat-trick and a goal from Josh Ming helped the Sandringham club get revenge on Suburbs, who defeated them 3-1 just three weeks ago.
The victory puts Central on the brink of back-to-back championships, which would give them their third premier title in five seasons.
As for Eastern Suburbs, the loss leaves them contemplating the prospect of a second or third place finish for the fourth season running after completing all their matches in the campaign.
While it is still possible for Suburbs to win the league for the first time in 42 years, they’ll be relying on Central to lose one of two catch-up games against Bay Olympic and Tauranga City in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Three Kings are staring down the barrel of relegation after they were beaten 5-1 by Central in another catch-up match last Tuesday.
And they were beaten again on Saturday, going down 3-0 to Tauranga City.
Mt Albert-Ponsonby have also been condemned to first division football in 2009, thanks to a 5-1 thrashing from Melville United.
Lynn-Avon United managed to clinch third place on the competition ladder after thumping next-door neighbours Bay Olympic 4-0.
Peter Norris and Jono Key were both on target for LynnAvon, as was Andrew Campbell, with a two goal haul.
On Friday night an injuryhit Metro squad staved off the challenge of Onehunga Sports 2-1.
In first division action, Western Springs held thirdplaced Ellerslie to a 1-1 draw, while Fencibles downed Onehunga-Mangere United 3-1.
Several local derbies take place next Saturday.
With the championship at stake, Central’s visit to Bay Olympic at Olympic Park is the key match in a round of rescheduled fixtures.
Lynn-Avon will play Three Kings at Ken Maunder Park, while Mt Albert-Ponsonby host Melville at Anderson Park and Onehunga Sports face a rematch against Metro at Waikaraka Park.
Onehunga-Mangere and Western Springs clash this Saturday as they conclude their respective first division campaigns at Mangere Domain.
All matches 2.45pm.
On attack: Central striker Milos Nikolic goes one on one with Suburbs keeper Clayton Chappell in their premier football match on Saturday.