A late goal cruelly cost Cambridge at least a share of the spoils in their latest Lotto NRFL second division match.
Tied 3-3 with seven minutes to go, Northland captain Joel Crawford scored what turned out to be the matchwinner at John Kerkhof Park in this clash between the teams in third and fourth places on the competition table.
Such is the competitiveness of this year’s division, the win kept Northland in third spot while the lost shuffled the Reds down to eighth place on the crowded ladder.
Hugo Davidson got the visitors off to a cracking start, finding the net after only nine minutes.
Cambridge knuckled down and levelled after 26′ through Michael Cosgrave after being set up by midfielder Marc Glenister.
The Reds took the lead through Aston Hurd after 33′ but Northland fired straight back with a goal from Daniel Romer two minutes later.
Cambridge regained their lead through a Jamie Woodlock penalty in the 37th minute and took their 3-2 lead into half-time.
In the second half, Cambridge goalkeeper Fraser Nicholls was in fine form but it seemed Northland were capable of more goals. So it proved when Mitchell Hanmore levelled in the 50th minute and then Crawford found the winner with seven minutes remaining.
To rub salt into Cambridge wounds, winger Josh Nooijen was red card in the dying minutes for a second yellow card, and will miss next weekend’s game in Auckland.
The Reds’ next game is at Uni-Mount Bohemian Celtic next Saturday (May 8) when the sides kick off at 3pm.
Second division results
Oratia United 4 (Michael Graham 47’, Philippe Poletaev 67’ 69’, Matthew Banks 85’)
Fencibles United 3 (Jaymis Grubjesic 22’, Josh Harford 30’ 37’)
Greenhithe FC 1 (Franco Gandini Andreucetti 17’)
Beachlands Maraetai AFC 3 (Luis Armando Navarro Natera 3’, Ben Culpan 29’, Aaron Parry 51’)
Hibiscus Coast AFC 2 (Julian Stevenson 10’, Own Goal 17’)
Franklin United 1 (Tim Richardson 84’ – PEN)
Claudelands Rovers 2 (Bailey Webster 63’, Kyle Kirsten 76’)
Onehunga Mangere Untied 1 (Osman Rastagar 10’)
Cambridge FC 3 (Micheal Cosgrave 26’, Aston Hurd 33’, Jamie Woodlock 37’)
Northland FC 4 (Hugo Davidson 9’, Daniel Romer 35’, Mithcell Hanmore 49’, Joel Crawford 83’)
Papatoetoe AFC 4 (KT Kanon 11’ 17’, Avindran Sami 86’, Sahil Kapadia 90’)
Uni-Mount Bohemian AFC 0
In the U-23s reserves game, Northland beat Cambridge 3-0.