Cambridge provided strong opposition in their Lotto NRFL U-23 match at Fencibles United before losing 5-2 due to a strong second-half performance by the Aucklanders.
Fencibles went into the reserves fixture as the competition leaders, having scored an average of six goals per game.
However, it was Cambridge who took the lead after 7′ when player-coach Colin Coster (pictured) found the net at William Green Domain.
Fencibles levelled five minutes later through Max Barkley and then took the lead through Denis Plakic (29′).
Oliver Hautain found an equaliser for the Reds in the 37th minute, with his second goal of the season.
The teams turned around at 2-2.
A three-minute spell at the hour-mark turned the game in Fencibles’ favour.
Ethan Scully put the Aucklanders ahead 3-2 in the 57th minute.
Cambridge ‘keeper Rex Fowler was booked for denying United when in an attacking position.
Referee Kristian Klette awarded a penalty that was put away by captain Tom Harford, making it 4-2 on the hour.
Troy Thomas scored United’s fifth goal in the 80th minute.
The U-23s’ next game is against Northland at John Kerkhof Park next Saturday (May 1), with a 12.30pm kick-off.
Fencibles United 5, Cambridge 2
UniMount Bohemian 1, Claudelands Rovers 1
Franklin United 0, Greenhithe 1
Beachlands Maraetai 1, Oratia United 1
Onehunga Mangere United 2, Hibiscus Coast 1
Northland 12, Papatoetoe 0
In the main game, Cambridge lost 4-3 to Fencibles United.