Cambridge almost salvaged an unlikely draw as the reserves finished in storming fashion with two late goals, going down to visitors Manurewa by 3-2.
After trailing 2-0 at the break at John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge looked vulnerable but the side gradually improved through the second half to finish the better of the two teams.
Logan Dixon gave Manurewa the lead after 20 minutes before Keagan Harker added a second in the 40th minute.
Harker pushed the lead out to 3-0 with another goal in the 71st minute.
From there, Cambridge found the energy and team spirit to give the visitors a shake.
First, Juan Alvarez scored with a diving header from a free kick in the 89th minute.
Two minutes later, Alex Mukaka ran onto a through ball and kept his nerve to nudge it past the ‘keeper and into the net.
Next weekend, the reserves have no fixture due to the Reds’ participation in the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup (Cambridge v Glenfield Rovers, 2pm, Saturday June 1, at John Kerkhof Park).
Lotto NRFL second division reserves results
Cambridge 2-3 Manurewa
Oratia United 3-4 Northland FC
Franklin United 1-6 Onehunga Mangere
Greenhithe Catimba 0-3 Albany United
Ngongotaha v Unimount Bohemian Celtic (result to come)
Claudelands Rovers 0-3 Metro
Cambridge lost 4-3 to Manurewa in the main game at John Kerkhof Park.