Three goals by Cambridge’s Woodlock brothers helped the Reds to a vital win that will help the club’s fight to clear the Northern League’s relegation zone.
Despite going a goal down, Cambridge built in confidence and endeavour as the game progressed to come away with a 3-1 win against Franklin United.
The win was especially satisfying as it helped eradicate the painful memories of the 8-1 defeat Cambridge suffered in the reverse fixture at Pukekohe earlier this season.
Cambridge started brightly on a damp John Kerkhof Park and could have scored a couple of times in early skirmishes.
However Franklin found the net first when Charlie Heather scored from close in the 34th minute.
Cambridge bounced back three minutes later when skipper Patrick Woodlock powered home a header from a corner.
The sides went into the interval level at 1-1.
Within 30 seconds of the restart, Cambridge took the lead when Jamie Woodlock raced after a long ball and Franklin goalkeeper Brody Turkington failed to clear it, giving Woodlock an open goal.
In the 59th minute, Cambridge forward Josh Clarkin dribbled into the Franklin box but was ruled to have been taken down by a defender.
Jamie Woodlock calmly slotted the ensuing penalty past Turkington to give the Reds a valuable 3-1 lead.
Instead of parking the bus, Cambridge built in confidence and created the best of the chances in the remaining half hour.
Coach Paul Richardson brought two strikers on as substitutes, a clear signal that the Reds were not going to sit on their lead.
When the final whistle came, and the Reds had secured three points from their final home match of the campaign, the players celebrated, knowing Cambridge’s future in the Lotto NRFL second division lies in their hands.
The side’s remaining games are all away – at Northland, Te Atatu and runaway leaders Takapuna.
The division is extremely tight but it Cambridge can reproduce their match-winning confidence, they will strengthen their position on a crowded table in which a single point separates five teams.
Lotto NRFL second division results
Papakura City FC 2 (Cory Mackay 35′, George Winship 57′)
Northland FC 0
Claudelands Rovers 10 (Jake Bayliss 7′ 19′, Owen Comber 31′ 37′, Jono Viviani 49′ 67′ 90+2′, Lewis Donald 57′ 64′ 70′)
Onehunga Mangere United 2 (Stefan Van der Heijden 74′, Alex Witteveen 80′)
Cambridge FC 3 (Patrick Woodlock 35′, Jamie Woodlock 46′ 76′ [PEN])
Franklin United 1 (Charlie Heather 33′)
Takapuna AFC 3 (Tommy Miller 7′ 51′, Matthew Chant 70′)
Albany United 2 (Marc Porter 21′ 32′ [PEN])
Te Atatu 1 (Zen Baatjes 30′)
Bucklands Beach 2 (Ben Culpan 31′ 80′)
Ngongotaha 3 (Sean Kim 31′, Mitch Miller 33′, Luke Barker 58′)
Metro FC 4 (Yusuke Takai 25′, David Rayner 37′ 53′ (PEN), Leo Shin 39′
These images were captured by our club’s official photographer Louis Roberts:
In the early game, the Reds beat Franklin United’s reserve team 3-1in their Lotto NRFL second division reserves fixture.
Support the team
The final match of the season will see Cambridge play Takapuna at their McFetridge Park ground on September 1.
Cambridge is taking a full-sized bus to Takapuna for the Northern League double header which will end the season.
Seats are available for supporters on a first served basis – click here for details.