A poor start cost Cambridge as they lost 4-2 their Northern League match at the home of Auckland’s Bucklands Beach.
Playing in windy conditions at the start of the match, Bucklands Beach showed why they are in second spot on the Lotto NRFL second division table, as they raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening third of the match.
However, a fightback from Cambridge saw the Reds have the better of the final hour as wind turned to rain, followed by a short-lived burst of sun before the wind made conditions difficult again at Lloyd Elsmore Park.
With the score 0-3, the Reds found the net in the 33rd minute when Callum MacLeod sent over a corner for Daniel Clarkin to convert from close – one of several the defender has scored from set plays this season.
The home team found another goal to go into the interval 4-1 up.
In the second half, another set-piece led to Cambridge’s second goal in the 65th minute.
MacLeod struck a free kick into the goalmouth and into the net, after a touch from Clarkin again.
Cambridge return to John Kerkhof Park next Saturday (August 4) for their final home fixture of the season, when Franklin United make the trip to the Waikato.
Lotto NRFL second division results
Metro FC 0, Takapuna AFC 3 (Tommy Miller 42′ (PEN) 73′ 75′
Northland FC 2 (Own Goal 34′, Kyle Levell 75′) Franklin United 1 (Kartik Kumar 90+2′)
Bucklands Beach AFC 4 (Daniel Culpan 6′, Josh Kingston Smith 8′ 43′, Ben Culpan 30′)
Cambridge FC 2 (Daniel Clarkin 33′, 65′)
Papakura City FC 0, Claudelands Rovers 9 (Lewis Donald 13′ 19′ 58′, Owen Comber 26′, Jono Viviani 68′ 79′, Jake Bayliss 74′, Daniel Ngungambili 89′, Jackson Houlihan 90+1′)
Onehunga Mangere United 2 (Alex Witteveen 16′, Max Kwan 34′), Ngongotaha AFC 0
Albany United 0, Te Atatu 3 (Nick Haggo 5′, Zen Baatjes 54′, Colin Bourke 70′)
Cambridge’s reserves maintained their lead of the Lotto NRFL second division reserves table with a 0-0 draw at Bucklands Beach.