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Waitakere Go Top With 2-1 Win Over Wellington

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 13 NZPA - Waitakere United moved to the top of the New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) today after a 2-1 win over Wellington as both teams finished with 10 players in a fractious encounter in Auckland.

Wellington suffered their fourth defeat of the competition thanks to two goals within sixty seconds of each other from Waitakere pair Neil Sykes and Allan Pearce.

A spirited comeback led to an opportunistic goal from Chris Davies in the 82nd minute but it was too little too late for Wellington.

Further drama occurred within one minute of the restart when influential Waitakere midfielder Jeremy Christie was sent off by referee Antony Riley for a dangerous tackle.

Wellington's Cole Peverley followed soon after when Riley showed him a second yellow card in the 88th minute.

The win was enough to put Waitakere top of the table on 12 points with previous leaders Auckland City absent on Club World Cup duty in Abu Dhabi.

Manawatu are third on goal difference after a 1-0 win over Hawke's Bay United today at Palmerston North.

Vanuatu international striker Seule Soromon's sixth goal of the season midway through the second half earned Manawatu victory.

Hawke's Bay gave Manawatu a scare when Joachim Rande hit the post in the 73rd minute and another effort struck the top of the crossbar in injury time.

Victory provided a special memory for Manawatu skipper Adam Cowan who became the first player in NZFC history to play 100 competition matches.

In Ngaruawahia, a last minute Stu Kelly goal gave Otago United a 1-0 victory over Waikato FC.

Kelly's goal gave Otago their second win of the season and lifted the southerners into fourth place on the table.

Waikato were just seconds away from climbing off the bottom of the table but were denied by Kelly's strike.

Auckland City have a game in hand and return to NZFC action next weekend when they host to Manawatu.

NZPA WGT pm

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