Cambridge lost their first game of the Northern League season on a day the players will quickly want to forget.
Little seemed to go right for the Reds and visiting Papakura City took full advantage, beating Cambridge 3-0 for their first win of the Lotto NRFL second division season.
Cambridge were missing some of their first team regulars, including skipper Patrick Woodlock, Kieran Hills and Jamie Woodlock, but gave a debut to former Stoke City striker Wayne Teague and had the return of midfielder Marcelo Sosa.
The opening stages of the game were scrappy, with neither team taking the initiative, but Papakura then found a way through to take the lead through Cory Mackay in the 33rd minute.
A few minutes’ later, Cambridge’s task became more difficult when Teague retaliated after a tussle for the ball with a Papakura defender, and he was red carded.
After half-time, Cambridge reshaped and reorganised, and for the next 20 minutes or so, had the better of the game.
But the Reds didn’t take their chances and Papakura bided their time.
Twice they counter-attacked and punished Cambridge with goals in the last quarter of an hour, first through Kevin Singh (71 mins) and lastly through Mackay (82 mins).
While Cambridge will be disappointed with the result, the team will take some consolation from knowing the final score flattered Papakura.
Images courtesy of Cambridge FC’s official photographer Louis Roberts.
Lotto NRFL Second Division Results
Takapuna remain the only team with a 100% record and lead the table with nine points after three rounds. Cambridge are in fourth place on six points, behind Franklin United and Bucklands Beach (both on seven points).
Franklin Utd 1-1 Onehunga Mangere Utd (HT: 0-0)
FRA: Kartik Kumar 52′
OMU: Sangster Crawford 50′
Albany Utd 2-0 Northland (HT: 1-0)
ALB: Gareth Clark 16′, Jack Hadfield 56′
Te Atatu 0-7 Claudelands Rovers (HT: 0-3)
CLA: Bailey Webster 16′ 85′, Owen Comber 24′, David Smith 34′, Luke Wassenaar 47′, Henry Stephen 72′ 88′
Takapuna 6-1 Ngongotaha (HT: 4-0)
TAK: Tommy Miller 19′ 23′ 25′ 44′ 54′ 75′
NGO: Yamil Casas 72′
Cambridge 0-3 Papakura (HT: 0-1)
PAP: Cory Mackay 33′ 82′, Kevin Singh 71′
Bucklands Beach 3-3 Metro (HT: 1-2
BUC: Lucas Stead 22′, Scott Foster 52′, Joshua Smith 65′
MET: David Rayner 29′ 49′(Pen), Jonathan Workman 32′,