The men’s Central League leaders are positioning themselves well across the Easter double-header weekend, with Stop Out and Team Taranaki unbeaten on seven points.
In the first of the local derbies on Good Friday, Lower Hutt would have been feeling upbeat off the back of a win against Palmerston North Marist last weekend and started strongly against Stop Out at Fraser Park, but it was the vistors who grabbed the first goal through Andrew Abba.
As with most local derbies, tensions were running high throughout the match as Lower Hutt levelled the scores going into halftime.
Abba was denied a second early in the second half when he was adjudged to be offside, but regained the lead for Stop Out shortly after when he pounced on an error from the Lower Hutt keeper to tap the ball home.
The experience of the Stop Out lineup showed late in the game. After an earlier equaliser from Lower Hutt had it 2-2, Micky Malivuk followed up a corner volleying the ball into the back of the net 15 minutes from time to earn his side the 3-2 win.
In the other local derby of the day, Wellington United looked as though they were on their way to a resounding win over Olympic when finding themselves up 4-1.
But Olympic weren’t about to give in, coming back to dominate the remainder of the game, breaking down the United defence to score three goals of their own, with the equaliser in the final play of the game.
Up in New Plymouth, Team Taranaki kept Miramar Rangers winless and pointless this season with a 1-0 triumph thanks to a Damien Mosquera penalty.
Palmerston North Marist also remain stuck on zero points with Miramar after they were beaten 4-2 by Napier City Rovers.
Napier dominated the match, with Angus Kilkolly scoring a hat-trick and his 50th goal for Rovers in 60 matches.
Western Suburbs travelled to Masterton to face Wairarapa United, but were unable to counter a strong Wairarapa side losing 2-1.
In Monday’s action, Olympic host Taranaki, Napier face Wairarapa, while Miramar and Palmerston North look to get their first points of the season against Lower Hutt and Stop Out respectively. The match of the round shapes as the clash of the academies, as Wellington United and the Phoenix Academy take on Western Suburbs and the Ole Academy at Endeavour Park.
The women’s W-League took a break this week with the first round of the Kelly Cup, with the leading W-League teams dominating. Upper Hutt won 20-0 against Wairarapa, Wellington United beat Kapiti Coast United 11-0, Palmerston North beat Upper Hutt’s second team 9-0 and Stop Out beat Island Bay 7-0.
Men’s Central League results
Stop Out 3 (Andrew Abba 2, Micky Malivuk) Lower Hutt 2 (Sekou Diane, Jared Cunniff)
Wellington United 4 (Thomas Rainbault 3, Jack-Henry Sinclair (pen)) Wellington Olympic 4 ( Christian Johnson 2, Manny Alcoh, Blake Weston)
Napier City Rovers 4 (Angus Kilkolly 3, Josh Stevenson) Palmerston North Marist 2 (Robbie Yule, Adam Cowan)
Team Taranaki 1 (Damien Mosquera (pen)) Miramar Rangers 0
Wairarapa United 2 (Paul Ifill (pen), Sam Mason-Smith) Western Suburbs 1 (Callum McCowatt)
Standings as at 15/4/17
Stop Out 7, Team Taranaki 7, Wairarapa United 6, Wellington Olympic 5, Napier City Rovers 4, Western Suburbs 4, Wellington United 4, Lower Hutt City 4, Palmerston North Marist 0, Miramar Rangers 0