Football: Favourites falter in SS Premiership

By Niall Anderson

Godwin Darkwa scored for Hamilton Wanderers. Photo / Photosport
Godwin Darkwa scored for Hamilton Wanderers. Photo / Photosport

It was a day for the underdogs in the Stirling Sports Premiership, with several surprising results contradicting the form guide.

Hamilton Wanderers claimed the biggest victory of the day, sweeping past Eastern Suburbs by a 4-0 margin. Rated as $9 outsiders at the bookmakers, Wanderers proved that to be well off the mark with a dominant display, aided by a first-half red card to Suburbs midfielder Sam Burfoot.

Godwin Darkwa, Raymond Gunemba, Rossi Nkoy and Jack Salter all found the net for Mark Cossey's side as they moved into the top four, with Suburbs suffering their first defeat of the campaign.

Last season's champions Team Wellington have picked up their first points of the season, with two late goals sealing a 4-2 win over Hawke's Bay United. Goals from Ben Harris and Tommy Jackson were levelled by two strikes from United's Saul Halpin in a game which had plenty of drama in the final moments.

In fact, five goals were scored after the 70th minute, but the two most important efforts were netted by Wellington, with Nicholas Zambrano and Cameron Howieson sealing the win in the dying stages.

Southern United also upset the form guide by claiming their first point of the season, holding Waitakere United to a 2-2 draw. Skipper Jake Butler put Waitakere ahead, but Southern capitalised upon the recent fortune of the Irish, as goals to Irish duo Danny Ledwith and Andy Mulligan saw Southern hold a shock lead coming into the final five minutes.

However, a chance for a rare win was halted by Waitakere's Scott Hilliar, who struck late to rescue a point for his side.

Waitakere's crosstown rivals were also held to a point, with Auckland City playing out a 0-0 draw with Canterbury United. In a league where goals are plentiful, the scoreless draw was the first of its kind in 203 games.

The results give the ladder a congested look, with Auckland and Waitakere leading on seven points, but having played an extra game than their competition. Hamilton Wanderers and Eastern Suburbs sit a point back through three contests, with Canterbury occupying fifth with five points.​

- NZ Herald

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