Cambridge won both their pre-season fixtures in a double header against neighbours Te Awamutu.
The Reds won the first team match 6-1 at John Kerkhof Park after the reserves had taken out the early game 4-2 against the Te Awamutu second-string side.
Both wins were important steps in the Reds’ preparation for the Northern League season which gets underway on March 30.
The reserves soon went two goals down in the midday sun but came back strongly, with James Cakebread scoring a hat-trick against Te Awamutu’s Loaded WaiBOP Championship squad.
The fourth Cambridge goal was inspired by Toby Hartley whose excellent run and cross caused problems for the visitors’ defence, leading to an own goal.
The main game was more weighted in Cambridge’s favour with five players getting on the scoresheet.
Callum MacLeod found the net twice in the 6-1 victory and other goalscorers were Josh Clarkin, Patrick Woodlock, newcomer Riley Higgs and Bradley Rea.
The Te Awamutu first team will play in this season’s Loaded WaiBOP Premiership.
Next weekend, Cambridge travel to Tauranga City United for their last round of pre-season friendlies.
Main photo: The Cambridge first team today. Back (left to right): Riley Higgs, Patrick Woodlock, Aaron Heusser, Josh Clarkin, Jack Portegys, Brandon Eaton, Daniel Clarkin, Dylan Blair, Kieran Hill, Bradley Rea. Front row (left to right): Mike Leatherbarrow, Callum Macleod, Nathan Claridge (captain), Fraser Nicholls, Luke Stephenson, Fabbian Munoz, Patrick Steele.
Meanwhile, the Cambridge women’s team beat a Te Awamutu squad 13-2 in their pre-season friendly.
Players from both clubs began their matches with a minute’s silence to respect the victims of yesterday’s mass killing in Christchurch.