West Ham leads football premiership
The 2018 Loaded WaiBOP Premiership is a bookie’s nightmare as Saturday’s results thrust another side to the summit following the results of several pivotal matches.
West Hamilton United, who briefly tasted life at the top earlier in the season, dispatched Te Awamutu 2-0 at Weka Street for their fifth win in eight games and have nudged themselves a point clear of previous leaders, Tauranga Boys’ College, and Flying Mullet Papamoa.
Matthew Palmer and Nathan Holten scored the goals for the Hamiltonians, one in each half, to secure an important result for their club.
Te Awamutu loomed as tricky opponents, having won their last two, and with the incentive of a derby victory in their nostrils, but West Hamilton proved to be the masters on the day.
Across town, Waikato Unicol provided the largest of favours for West Hamilton, and themselves, as they handed Boys’ College their first defeat since the opening day of the season.
Unicol was relentless, taking advantage of their visitors’ heavy recent schedule of school encounters to run out 4-0 winners. Riku Soejima was again to the fore, grabbing a double, and he was helped on the goal scoring front by Reed Fisher and Kieron Payton.
After a slow start to the season, during which Unicol lost two of their first three matches, they’re now back in the sort of groove that had them listed preseason as one of the title favourites.
Papamoa was another team favoured to do well, but they have found scoring goals a tough thing to do in recent weeks.
Saturday’s match against Melville United, however, proved something of a respite as they ran out 3-1 winners.
Strauss Boom had Papamoa in front early then a Campbell Higgins header pushed the men in yellow back in front after Melville had briefly restored parity.
Dean Styles made the points safe in the final minute and pushed his side a point off top spot with a game in hand.
Further down the table, Comag Matamata Swifts beat Hamilton Wanderers 4-0.
Goals from Jamie Baxter, Kody Nowell and Bjorn Vossen had the Swifts three up at half time, then Dayne Willemsen completed the scoring after the break.
Otumoetai secured their first win against a non-Wanderers
West Hamilton’s Rowan Beaumont Bell runs clear of Te Awamutu’s Thomas Watts during Saturday’s game at Weka Street in Hamilton.
Nathan Holten goes on attack for West Hamilton.