Cambridge’s last match of the Northern League football season could have a major bearing on who the Reds will meet in next year’s competition.
While the Reds are assured of fifth or sixth place on the Lotto NRFL second division table, Saturday’s fixture against second-placed Metro FC will almost certainly decide whether the Aucklanders get promoted to the first tier.
If Metro beat Cambridge at John Kerkhof Park (3pm kick off), they will likely join Albany United in next season’s first division.
Third-placed Manurewa can overhaul Metro with a win at Oratia United, giving an edge to the last round of competition.
Albany United clinched the second division title with a 1-0 win against Oratia on Tuesday night.
Cambridge’s opponents next year will include four new teams. Auckland clubs Fencibles United and Hibiscus Coast will join them after relegation from the first division, while Beachlands-Maraetai and either Papatoetoe or Te Atatu will be promoted from the Auckland Conference.
Dropping out of the division will be bottom-placed Ngongotaha and either Franklin United or Northland FC who meet in the last round.
A win to Franklin or a draw will consign Northland to relegation, saving Cambridge a 600km round trip next year.
A Northland win will relegate Franklin.
The games that will decide promotion/relegation
Saturday August 31
Cambridge v Metro FC
Greenhithe Catimba v Onehunga Mangere
Claudelands Rovers v Unimount Bohemian Celtic
Ngongotaha v Albany United
Franklin United v Northland FC
Oratia United v Manurewa
Here’s our matchday magazine for the Reds v Metro FC match: