Derby match gives Reds the chance to take back initiative in title race

posted in: Men, News, Northern League

The race for Northern League football’s second division title has turned into a five-way battle with Cambridge among the contenders.

After latest results, Cambridge and their four nearest rivals are within two competitions of each other as the Lotto NRFL enters the second half of its season.

This Saturday, the Reds travel to Galloway Park, home of Hamilton rivals Claudelands Rovers, who are also among the divisional pacesetters.

Whoever wins this local derby will remain in touch with the leaders so much is at stake.

Both Cambridge and Claudelands go into this match having lost three games in a row.

The Reds have lost by the barest of margins to top Auckland sides Manurewa (4-3), Metro FC (3-2) and, in the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup, to Glenfield Rovers (5-4 after extra time).

By comparison, Claudelands have tripped up in their title campaign, losing to Metro FC (3-0), Unimount Bohemian Celtic (1-0) and to Melville United in the cup (7-0).

Surprisingly, after having had the tightest defence in the competition, Cambridge have conceded 12 goals in their three losses while Claudelands have failed to find the net, despite being the leading scorer in the competitions.

The last encounter between Cambridge and Claudelands Rovers ended in a 1-1 draw with Rovers grabbing an equaliser from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game at John Kerkhof Park.

The derby kicks off at 3pm on Saturday, with the two clubs’ reserves teams meeting at 12.30pm.

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