Waitakere United slipped to their lowest ASB Premiership league position in over nine years after suffering their third consecutive loss today to Team Wellington.
The champions dropped out of the top-four for the first time since 2005 and now sit in fifth, after a 3-1 loss in a fiery encounter at Dave Farrington Park which featured seven yellow cards.
After conceding early in their shock loss to struggling Southern United last weekend, the champions were desperate for a good start but were rattled after 14 minutes when Wellington striker Joel Stevens scuffed a shot home from close range.
Wellington doubled their lead with a superb free-kick from former All White Cole Peverley on 60 minutes, before Jordan Lowden pulled one back for the visitors two minutes later.
A new-look Waitakere side that included the recall of the league's all-time top goalscorer Allan Pearce, former Auckland City midfielder Adam McGeorge and former WaiBop frontman Maksim Manko, failed to gel and were beaten in the battle by a fired up Wellington outfit.
Hamish Watson secured the points and pushed Wellington into third place with a sharp twist and turn on the edge of the box before firing home in the 86th minute.
Canterbury United moved level with Auckland City at the top of the table after cruising to a 2-0 win over Wanderers SC in Christchurch.
A goal either side of halftime from Russell Kamo and Michael White was enough to earn Keith Braithwaite's side their third win on the trot.
A trying week for Hawke's Bay United ended in a resounding 6-1 win over Southern United at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.
After having three points deducted for playing an unregistered player against Wanderers SC, and subsequently falling from second to fifth on the league table, six goals from Aaron Jones, Nathaniel Hailermariam (2), Tom Biss, Bill Robertson and Harley Rodeka put their play-off push back on track.
In Hamilton a late first-half free kick from Emiliano Tade and a last-minute clincher from Darren White was enough to give Auckland City a deserved 2-0 win over a plucky WaiBop United side.