Cambridge have extended their winning run with a 4-1 victory at Papatoetoe in the Lotto NRFL second division.
It’s the first time since August 2018 that the Reds have won three back-to-back games and their good form has lifted them into third place on the league table.
Cambridge went into the game without regular goalkeeper Fraser Nicholls, promoting Wade Vincent to the first team spot.
The Reds took control early on a wide pitch with a stiff cross breeze, with two early half-chances falling to forward Michael Cosgrave who forced fine saves from goalkeeper Shivnesh Chetty.
Cambridge’s dominance finally earned a reward when centre back Jack Portegys got on the end of a Jamie Woodlock whipped cross and headed the ball into the bottom of the goal after 18 minutes.
Eight minutes later, winger Josh Nooijen doubled the Reds’ lead, dinking the ball over the ‘keeper.
The home side were backpedalling and Cambridge drove home their advantage in the 33rd minute when a Kieran Hill corner was steered into the net by defender Daniel Clarkin.
Within a minute, Papatoetoe pulled back a goal through Kuyama Toma Kanon.
As half-time approached, Marc Glenister crossed for Ewan Donald to control, bring down the ball and score with the best goal of the day with a crashing dive into the corner.
The half-time score of 4-1 put Cambridge in the box seat and coach Paul Richardson was able to rest Woodlock and Nooijen for the last half-hour, bringing young substitutes Jasom Khatkar and Tom O’Leary into the game.
Youngster Aston Hurd continued to impress, though he missed a late chance to keep up his impressive goalscoring record (he’s scored five goals for the first team and U-23s so far this season).
Again, the Reds showed excellent discipline, completing the game without any cautions.
The Reds’ next game is at Auckland’s Fencibles United next Saturday (April 24) when the sides kick off at 3pm. Fencibles are in second place, and three points ahead of Cambridge.
If Cambridge can extend their winning run to four games, it will be the first time that has been achieved by the club in more than a decade.
The following images are available courtesy of Phototek and Northern Regional Football. Cambridge played in their black away strip against Papatoetoe (in red kit). Please click on image to open to full size.
Second division results
Beachlands Maraetai AFC 1 (Mark Giles 14’)
Fencibles United 3 (Josh Harford 4’ 41’, Luke Bulay 41’)
Oratia United 0
Franklin United 2 (Ashley Gower-Rudman 47’, Henry Fa’arodo 80’)
Greenhithe FC 3 (Marvin Youhana 7’ 57’, James Gollogly 68’)
Onehunga Mangere United 4 (Gilberto Souza 26’, Maksim Manko 42’, Alex Witteveen 76’, Josh Chemis 90’)
Hibiscus Coast AFC 3 (Daniel Cyra 34’, Nathan Canton 83’, Adam Windelburn 88’)
Uni-Mount Bohemian AFC 2 (Dillon Lazarus 56’, Rory Bohea 58’)
Claudelands Rovers 5 (Bailey Webster 4’ 22’ 90+4’, Harry Christenen-Rose 19’ 21’)
Northland FC 1 (Sam Nimmo 66’)
Papatoetoe AFC 1 (KT Kanon 33’)
Cambridge FC 4 (Jack Portegys 18’, Josh Nooijen 26’, Daniel Clarkin 33’, Ewan Donald 41’)
In the U-23s reserves game, Papatoetoe beat Cambridge 6-0.