Cambridge return home from a wet day in Auckland with their third win of the Northern League season after a 4-2 win on the side of a volcano.
Playing at Mangere mountain, the Reds – who played in their all black alternative strip – beat Onehunga Mangere United, mainly thanks to a powerful finish to the first half.
The Aucklanders took a 15th minute lead when Stefan Van Der Heijden hammered home from close when Cambridge failed to clear a ball into their area.
The play was evenly matched for the opening half-hour.
Smart play by widemen Josh Clarkin and Jamie Woodlock broke the game open when they decided to switch flanks. The move had instant impact with both giving their defenders a hard time.
The first reward came in the 37th minute when Cambridge won a corner and from the ensuing melee, Daniel Clarkin drove home from right in front.
As the ref counted down time to the break, Cambridge again worked the ball from wide and striker Dylan Blair cleverly lost his man and got into position to tap in from close.
Photo (top of page): Blair and team mates celebrate his goal.
The 3-1 half-time lead made a turnaround unlikely as Cambridge deprived the home side of chances and maintained enough possession to stay in control.
With a couple of minutes to go, Jason Walker was brought down in the penalty area and he scored from the spot to make it 4-1.
The home side found enough energy for a goal in added time, when a shot was deflected into his own net by Mason Woodall, but Cambridge headed home with the points and the confidence from a win in Auckland.
To put the win into perspective, Cambridge supporters should remember that in the club’s last two Northern League seasons (2010 and 2011) the team failed to win on the road in Auckland and achieved only seven league points in those two seasons.
Already, after only four games of the new season, Cambridge have accumulated three wins and nine points.
Highlights from the match, including goals by Daniel Clarkin and Jason Walker.
Lotto NRFL second division results
Northland 1-1 Ngongotaha (HT: 1-0)
NOR: Scott Burgess 43’; NGO: Luke Barker 61’
Metro FC 2-2 Franklin United (HT: 1-2)
MET: Jonathan Workman 20’, Isaac Deans 91’; FRA: Daniel Billot 3’ 40’
Albany United 1-3 Bucklands Beach (HT: 0-1)
ALB: Lee Robinson 85’; BUC: Daniel Culpan 22’, Keegan Bishop 55’, Josh Kingston Smith 72’
Onehunga Mangere 2-4 Cambridge FC (HT: 1-3)
ONE: Stefan Van Der Heijden 15’ Own Goal 88’; CAM: Daniel Clarkin 37’, Josh Clarkin 42’, Dylan Blair 45’ Jason Walker 86’ (pen)
Takapuna 3-1 Claudelands Rovers (HT: 0-0)
TAK: Tommy Miller 54’ 76’, Matthew Chant 56’; CLA: Dan Finlay 58’
Papakura City 1-4 Te Atatu (HT: 0-2)
PAP: TBC; TEA: TBC