Drama, suspense as Royals push Chch United

The Dunedin City Royals pushed league leaders Christchurch United all the way in thriller at the Logan Park Turf.

United eventually won out to remain perfect in the league, with a 4-3 victory.

Trailing 1-2 at the break, with Eddie Wilkinson bagging a brace for United and Ben Stanley replying for the Royals, the game burst into life in a dramatic 10-minute spell early in the second half.

Connor Neil equalised for the Royals from the penalty spot in the 48th minute and United retook the lead three minutes later when Daniel MacLennan scored.

Ollie Petersen scored his sixth goal of the season two minutes later to level the scores again.

McLennan scored his second of the game on 58 minutes, to make it 4-3 to United with four goals scored in a breathless 10 minutes.

McLennan was then shown a red card at 68 minutes for a two-footed studs-up challenge.

United showed its quality in keeping the Royals at bay and, despite the man advantage, the home side could not find an equaliser.

Cashmere Tech remained in second place following a 3-1 win away to Nelson.

The home side took an early lead, McPhee scoring after nine minutes, however three goals from Cashmere in a seven-minute spell in the second half saw Cashmere move eight points clear of the third-placed team.

That is now Ferrymead Bays, following a 4-0 win over Mosgiel.

Michael White pounced on some defensive lapses to claim a second half hat-trick. Green Island also came away empty-handed from its trip to Christchurch, losing 5-0 at Nomads and, with the victory, Nomads move ahead of Mosgiel on the table.

Selwyn United claimed all three points in a remarkable match against its Christchurch rival Coastal Spirit.

Selwyn was leading the match 3-2 when Cameron Rean equalised for Coastal in the 93rd minute only for Luke Jerkovic to get the winner a minute later in the fourth minute of injury time.

While the top two positions for the National League at this stage look to be cemented for Christchurch United and Cashmere Tech, the fight for the relegation spot is heating up.

Selwyn’s three points see them move to seven points on the table, and the bottom five teams are now only separated by five points.

In the Southern Women’s Premiership, Emma Black and Holly White both scored twice as Roslyn Wakari beat Green Island 4-1 at Ellis Park.

Megan Leslie pulled back a late consolation goal from the penalty spot for Green Island.

Lauren Murray’s hat-trick helped Queenstown to a 7-0 win over Northern at Forrester Park, Danielle Anderson scoring two goals and Keely Osborne adding one.

On Thursday, Jess Fuller’s 62nd-minute goal gave Otago University a 1-0 win over Green Island at the Logan Park Turf.

In the ODT Southern Premiership, the Royals continued their winning way with a 4-1 victory away to Wanaka.

Roslyn-Wakari remains in second spot with a 3-2 win at home to Queenstown and Northern is in third with a 3-0 victory over University.

David Mwangi’s late goal for Queens Park secured a 2-1 victory over Northern Hearts and gave the Invercargill team its third win of the season, in what is probably New Zealand’s longest road trip for a football match, over 800km return.

Taylor Donaldson’s hat-trick for Mosgiel secured a 5-1 victory in the local derby over Green Island.

--  Neville Watson



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