Football: Waitakere and Wanderers win in Premiership

Waitakere players celebrate Jake Butler's three goals against Tasman. Photo / Photosport
Waitakere players celebrate Jake Butler's three goals against Tasman. Photo / Photosport

The competition in the Stirling Sports Premiership has remained tight, with the top seven teams separated by only four points after the final games of round six were completed today.

Canterbury United, who were undefeated from their opening five games, tried to make up ground on the leaders in their clash against Hamilton Wanderers, but were upset 2-1.

Wanderers opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Raymond Gunemba pounced on a fumble from Canterbury United keeper Danny Knight from a strong shot. Gunemba showed good pace to get to the ball and finish.

As expected Canterbury came back into the game and Stephen Hoyle, who was prominent throughout the match, got his team back on level terms after 34 minutes.

Hoyle, the hero from last week's injury-time draw with Hawke's Bay United, was given a double chance from a corner. His header was well saved but it fell straight back to his feet and he tapped home for his second goal in as many games.

It remained 1-1 at the break and Canterbury had the favour of a strong wind in the second half but it was Wanderers who would take the lead through a penalty after Brock Messenger was adjudged to have pushed a Wanderers player in the box. Bailey Webster stepped up and dispatched his penalty to the bottom left to defeat Knight, and Wanderers held on for the important win.

Meanwhile further north at Trafalgar Park in Nelson, Tasman United were looking to get their first home win but it was Waitakere United who went home with all three points after a 3-1 win in the rain.

The five-time champions, who have by their own admission not been at their best so far in 2016, clicked in round six with captain and former All White Jake Butler netting a hat-trick as they moved into fourth place on the table.

Auckland City share top spot with Eastern Suburbs on 13 points, with Team Wellington (10), Waitakere United (10), Wellington Phoenix U-20s (10), Canterbury United (9) and Hamilton Wanderers (9) making up the chasing pack.​

- NZ Herald

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