Cambridge have landed their first win of the 2021 Lotto NRFL second division season with a comfortable 4-1 win at Hibiscus Coast’s Stanmore Bay Park.
The 366km round trip on Easter Monday may have been testing but the trip home would seem shorter with an impressive win to end the long weekend.
The Reds added Jack Portegys to the line-up, partnering Daniel Clarkin in the centre of the team’s defence.
The Reds got off to a flying start when young striker Aston Hurd continued his good form and found the net after only three minutes, slamming home a corner the home team failed to clear.
Winger Ewan Donald doubled Cambridge’s lead after 17 minutes when he volleyed into the roof of the net.
The Reds controlled play for the rest of the half and the teams went into half-time with the Reds 2-0 ahead.
The home side came out strongly in the second half and pulled back a goal in the 47th minute through Tyler Agiovlassitis whose hopeful shot looped into the net over a group of players. This stirred the loud home crowd who sensed a change of momentum in the game.
However, almost immediately, Cambridge bounced back with a goal from forward Michael Cosgrave who broke free of his marker and finished with power, striking the ball across the ‘keeper.
With the Reds defence holding strong, Cambridge created chances for Hurd, Cosgrave and flying winger Josh Nooijen who had a fine game out wide, as did full back Jasom Khatkar.
Coast goalkeeper Marcus Nevin did well to hold out Cambridge but the result was put beyond doubt when Hurd clinched the points with his second goal, in the 84th minute. It came from a set piece and Hurd was well-positioned to prod the ball home.
Already, the second division table has a congested look with five teams tied on three league points.
The Reds’ next game is against local rivals Claudelands Rovers next Saturday (April 10) when the sides kick off at 3pm.
Note: Cambridge are seeking a correction to the official NRFL match report which credits the fourth goal to Kieran Hill, instead of Aston Hurd.
Second division results
Franklin United 0
Fencibles United 3 (Brennan Priestley 32’, Sione Fa’apoi 54’ – PEN 72’ – PEN)
Oratia United 3 (Blake Martin 43’, Andy Kapetyn 59’, Matthew Banks 87’)
Uni-Mount Bohemian 0
Greenhithe FC 0
Northland FC 3 (Mikael Munday 9’, Rueben Nicholl 85’, Hugo Davidson 90’)
Hibiscus Coast AFC 1 (Tyler Agiovlassitis 47’)
Cambridge FC 4 (Aston Hurd 3’, Ewan Donald 17’, Micheal Cosgrave 48’, Kieran Hill 83’)
Claudelands Rovers 5 (Levi Clark 4’ 45+4’ – PEN, Thomas Mouncher 6’, Henry Stephen 37’, Jack Marden 42’)
Papatoetoe AFC 2 (Caleb Hill 18’, Vikil Prakash 90+3’)
Beachlands Maraetai 1 (Liam Brown 36’)
Onehunga Mangere United 3 (Maksim Manko 10’, Osman Rastagar 71’, Gilberto Souza 79’)
In the U-23s reserves game, Hibiscus Coast beat Cambridge 4-2.