Cambridge erased their worst memories of last season when the Reds won their Lotto NRFL second division season opener 2-1 at Franklin United.
Last May, the Reds suffered their worst defeat of the 2018 season, tumbling 8-1 to the south Aucklanders.
But Paul Richardson’s 2019 squad – containing seven survivors of that losing line-up – were not about to lie down without a fight in this year’s fixture.
The teams met at the ground of Drury United, one of the feeder clubs to Franklin United.
The match got off to a rocky start with Franklin taking the lead through Kartik Kumar 25 minutes into the game.
Cambridge fought back and the pressure paid off ten minutes before the interval when midfielder Fabbian Munoz found the equalizer with his first goal since joining the Reds from Claudelands Rovers.
After the break, Cambridge went in search of the winner and it came from substitute striker Dylan Blair who scored with an impressive header on the hour mark.
The Reds defence then held firm till full-time, giving the visitors the best possible start to the season.
Next Saturday, Cambridge host Oratia United who tumbled 3-0 at home in their opener against Claudelands Rovers.
In today’s other games, newly-promoted Unimount Bohemian Celtic and Greenhithe Catimba both won their opening games.
Lotto NRFL second division results
Franklin United 1, Cambridge 2
Scorers: Franklin – Kartik Kumar 25′; Cambridge – Fabbian Munoz 35′, Dylan Blair 60′.
Albany United 6, Onehunga Mangere United 1
Scorers: Albany – Milan Elie 23’, Marc Porter 29’, Jack Beguely 43’ 81’, Thomson Nkoy 62’, Alex McTiernan 88’; Onehunga Mangere Utd – Alex Witteveen 67′.
Oratia United 0, Claudelands Rovers 3
Scorers: Claudelands – Jono Viviani 9’ 41’, Bailey Webster 15’ (pen).
Unimount Bohemian Celtic 2, Northland FC 0
Scorers: Unimount – Eoghan Murphy 53’, Sean Patterson 58’.
Greenhithe Catimba 2, Metro FC 1
Scorers: Greenhithe – Luca Ortali 6’, Luiz Garcia 15’; Metro – Mario Aroca 77′ (pen).
Ngongotaha 0, Manurewa 3
Scorers: Manurewa – Philip Paul 9’, Michael Hough 33’, Izak Papa 76’.
Cambridge reserves got their season off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory in the early game against Franklin United.