A solid first half performance got Northland FC over the line yesterday during a fiery encounter at Morningside Park in the Lotto NRFL Division Two competition.
Northland FC took out a chippy encounter against Onehunga Mangere United 2-1 as both sides ended the contest with 10 players on the park.
Assistant coach Owen Liiv said he and coach Dan Johnston knew it would be a rough encounter.
"DJ and I went to watch them in preseason and we knew they would try to intimidate us, but the boys stood strong and delivered," he said.
"It's 10 points from a possible 12 for us now and we need to keep this momentum going."
Central Brown's Thomas Fahey opened the scoring with a fine volley from the edge of the area. It was his first goal at senior level for Northland and he was a constant menace in the first 10 minutes.
However his day was cut short following a horror tackle from Benjamin Marumaru who incredibly was allowed to stay on the field.
This began a series of full-blooded challenges for the ball across the pitch.
Northland continued their dominance in the first half and doubled their lead through Finn Diamond, rising to convert a Max Thomas cross to give the home side a 2-0 lead at the break.
The two goal deficit lasted all of three second half minutes when Diamond brought down Sangster Crawford inside the box, conceding a penalty.
Stefan van der Heijden slotted the ball past Shane Stanners, who guessed the right way but was beaten by power.
The rest of the match saw little in the way of goalmouth action but plenty of flared tempers which culminated in a red card for Northland's Johnston and Onehunga Mangere's Tom Knight with 20 to play, but Northland held on for a gritty win.
Northland are back on the road next week against Te Atatu.
Meanwhile Onerahi continued their impressive winning run in the Northland Premier Division, beating Bream Bay United 4-0.
The win was their sixth straight in the competition, solidifying their spot on the top rung of the ladder.
Kerikeri aren't letting them get away though after beating Tikipunga 4-2 in an exciting encounter at Tikipunga Sports Park.
The win kept the visitors just two points behind Onerahi.