Cambridge’s Under 23s reserves side almost achieved an unlikely draw after being reduced to 10 men for the last quarter of their game against local rivals Claudelands Rovers.
With the scores locked 1-1 and only one bench exchange left, Cambridge lost their goalkeeper Wade Vincent to a red card in the 73rd minute when he was judged to have stepped outside of his area with ball in hand.
The sending off triggered an onslaught of Rovers attacks and the young Cambridge defence did well to hold out till two minutes from the end.
The game’s ending belied the early enterprise of Cambridge who went a goal up through Willem Dikmans in the 13th minute. Rovers defended in numbers – see main photo – whenever Cambridge threatened their goal.
Rovers levelled a minute before half-time, through Inga Matiwane.
The early stages of the second half got messy with three players shown yellow cards before Vincent was given his early shower.
The latter stages of the game were frantic and substitute Sebastian Salinas bundled the ball home for his later winner.
Again, the U-23s showed plenty of energy and player-coach Colin Coster is helping provide opportunities for young players to show what they can do and to catch the eye of head coach Paul Richardson.
Already, players like Aston Hurd and Tom O’Leary have been elevated from the U-23s after strong displays for the reserves.
The U-23s’ next game is at South Auckland’s Papatoetoe next Saturday (April 17) when the U-23 sides kick off at 12.30pm.
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Northland 1, Hibiscus Coast 1
Franklin United 6, Beachlands Maraetai 2
Onehunga Mangere United 1, Oratia United 1
Cambridge 1, Claudelands Rovers 2
Fencibles United 11, Papatoetoe 1
In the main game, Cambridge beat Claudelands Rovers 2-1.