Cambridge have lost their second Northern League match by a 3-2 margin in four days after succumbing to an efficient Bucklands Beach side at John Kerkhof Park.
Coming off a 3-2 loss to Albany United on Anzac Day, the Reds were keen to rediscover winning form.
And when Cambridge led Bucklands Beach 2-1 after an hour, it certainly looked as though a home win was likely.
Cambridge continued to push forward and resisted the temptation to go into defensive mode. However, Bucklands Beach exploited the gaps this left and scored twice to take the Lotto NRFL second division points.
Playing in light rain for most of the match, Cambridge lined up without central defender Kieran Hills and holding midfielder Nathan Claridge, reshuffling the side that travelled to Albany in midweek.
Certainly, the game started well for Cambridge with midfielder Bradley Rea opening the scoring after seven minutes with a fierce shot, his first goal of the season.
But within a couple of minutes, Bucklands Beach levelled through Ethan Butler when Cambridge failed to clear from a corner.
That’s how it stayed till half-time.
Again, Cambridge came out of the dressing room firing, and top scorer Josh Clarkin headed home from a corner to put the Reds 2-1 up.
It wasn’t enough. Bucklands Beach came back with well-taken goals by Scott Forster in the 64th and by Patrick Cabasaq in the 78th minute and then the visitors parked their own bus, slowing the game and running down the clock.
Cambridge get the chance to find a win next Saturday when they travel to Franklin United.
Cambridge 2-3 Bucklands Beach (HT:1-1)
Cambridge: Bradley Rea 7′, Josh Clarkin 55′
Bucklands Beach: Ethan Butler 9′, Scott Forster 63′, Patrick Cabasag 76′
These images are from our official club photographer Louis Roberts:
Lotto NRFL second division results
Te Atatu vs Albany – Match Postponed
Franklin United 2-4 Northland FC (HT: 1-1)
FRA: Rinal Prasad 30′, Cody Rickard 50′; NOR: Caleb Russ 32′ 53′ 90+4′, Finn Diamond 78′
Ngongotaha 3-4 Onehunga Mangere United (HT:2-3)
NG: Josh O’Sullivan 3′ 50′, Andrew Gibbs 7′; OMU: Myron Manickum 5′, Tom Knight 29′ Stefan Van Der Heijden 31′, Sangster Crawford 53′
Claudelands Rovers 2-0 Papakura City (HT: 1-0)
CLA: Jacob Robb 2′ 56′
Takapuna 1-1 Metro FC (HT:0-0)
TAK: Warren Pinto 68′; MET: Josh Dayal 60′
In the early game today, Cambridge beat Bucklands Beach 1-0 to remain top of the reserves competition.