Top-six spot within reach for United
Ngaruawahia United's strong late-season form may yet see them finish in the top half of the Northern League division one table.
The hosts battered Metro 4-0 at Centennial Park on Saturday and if they win their three remaining matches, Norm Rose's side should finish in the top six.
Rose admitted his team were only just starting to hit their straps and play to the best of their ability now that the pressure was off after falling into a relegation battle earlier in the campaign.
Dylan Greene netted twice for Ngaruawahia, Nicky Sikongo also scored while evergreen midfielder Jason Chewins capped a fine display with a well-taken penalty.
Both sides finished short of a full complement of players, after an 80th-minute scuffle saw two Metros players sent off while Herve Kadiya also got his marching orders for Ngaruawahia.
"I actually thought they [Metro] played pretty well, and have some good players," Rose said.
"But we opened the play up well, and got the ball wide and into the danger areas sharply like we've been looking to do all year."
In division two, Matamata Swifts fell 3-0 away to promotion-chasing Mangere United but coach Duncan Lowry could take some solace from the effort of his inexperienced side.
Without captain Jon Allen, leading scorer Jack McNab, first-choice goalkeeper Tom Pamment and Stu Watene, the visitors turned in a spirited performance with goalkeeper Jonathan Crook, striker Andrew Carter and midfielders Dwayne Signal, Scott Parsonage and Mackenzie Smith all featuring.
Swifts are 11th in the 12-team league with one match to play but safe from the drop into non-league football.
Yesterday's premier division local derby between Melville United and Hamilton Wanderers at Gower Park was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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