Central end rival’s run
A sensational comeback by ASB Chatham Cup holders Central United at Shepherds Park on Saturday has significantly tightened up the title race in the Lotto Northern Men’s Premier League.
Table leaders Birkenhead United were 3-0 up and cruising after 27 minutes and well on course to maintain their unbeaten start to the season but Central had other ideas.
The Sandringhambased side managed to triumph 5-4 and have given themselves a real shot at toppling the current leading teams off of their perch.
The roller-coaster encounter kicked off with Sam Jenkins supplementing Elijah Neblett’s double-strike for Birkenhead in the opening half hour.
But the outstanding Emiliano Tade and Joshua Morrison dragged the visitors back into it before halftime and a brace of Milos Nikolic goals allied to another effort from Tade had the central side, which boast just three ASB Premiership players, up 5-3 two minutes before the final whistle. Sam Margetts struck a stoppage time consolation for the home team to bring about the final 5-4 result to end Birkenhead’s 30-match unbeaten run in Northern League football.
In other action, Onehunga Sports and Three Kings United were both held to draws at home.
Rory Kelly’s late equaliser earned ‘‘The Green Machine’’ a 1-1 draw with Hamilton Wanderers at Waikaraka Park.
First-half goals from Jarrod Colligan and Mikhail Bredeveldt were not enough to beat Ellerslie at Keith Hay Park.
Reigning champions Bay Olympic have dropped into the relegation zone after putting through their own net to afford Manurewa their goal resulting in a 2-1 loss.
Saturday’s second division derby was one-way traffic, with leaders Western Springs mauling Onehunga-Mangere United 5-1 at Mangere Domain.
In the women’s competition, ASB National Women’s Knockout Cup holders Three Kings United made it through to the last 16 of the competition on Sunday after winning their second round tie.
Three Kings scored five goals in the last 10 minutes as they overcame Ellerslie 7-1 at Michaels Ave.
After a scoreless first half, Martine Puketapu helped herself to a hattrick while Tessa Berger, Sam Hayr, Jessie Mathews and Jasmine Pereira also chimed in.
Close contest: Ellerslie’s Ahmed Al-Jawad, left, and Three King’s Mikhail Beredvelt fight for the ball.
Go to centralleader. co.nz and click on Latest Edition for more photos of Three Kings United’s clash with Ellerslie.