There is a new frontrunner in the Stirling Sports Premiership.

Eastern Suburbs lead the way after five rounds of the competition, taking over from Auckland City who slumped to a surprise 1-0 defeat to the Wellington Phoenix U-20s.

Suburbs swept aside perennial cellar-dwellers Southern United 4-0 to move to 12 points through five games, two points clear of Auckland, who have also played a game extra.

It was the toppling of the six-time champions which got the most attention however, with Auckland dominating throughout the 90 minutes but were unable to find the back of the net thanks to a number of quality saves from Phoenix keeper Lewis Italiano. The young Phoenix outfit punished the Navy Blues in the 85th minute when New Zealand U-20 reps Sarpreet Singh and Logan Rogerson combined with Rogerson getting on the end of a ball and placing it in the bottom corner to seal the win for the 10-1 outsiders.


The defeat was Auckland's second of the season - the first time they have lost two games in the regular season since the 2010-2011 campaign. Their spot in the top four may also come under scrutiny as well in what is a tight league, with only five points separating second and ninth.

Late goals were the feature of the round elsewhere, with four of the round's five games going down to the final minutes.

Team Wellington, who got off to a slow start to the season, continued their form in recent weeks with a 2-0 win over Waitakere United to move back into the top four. Ben Harris opened the scoring for the visitors in the 63rd minute when he rifled in a free kick from the edge of the area, before Nicolas Zambrano came off the bench to finish the game for the defending champions in the 93rd minute.

Tasman United scored in injury time through Alex Ridsdale for their first win in the Premiership, beating Hamilton Wanderers 3-2, while a late goal was also required for Canterbury United, who remain ensconced in the top four after a 93rd minute Stephen Hoyle goal earned a 1-1 draw with Hawke's Bay United.