Goalscoring feats by some of the club’s forwards inspired important wins for Cambridge senior men’s teams at the weekend.
Four second-half goals from Josh Clarkin led a remarkable turnaround that earned the Reds a win-from-behind against Beachlands Maraetai in the Lotto NRFL second division.
Four different scorers found the net for Cambridge in their 4-3 Waikato Division 4 win at Huntly Thistle, a victory that keeps the side in the divisional title race.
And veteran David O’Donnell marked his birthday with his first goal of the season in Cambridge D1’s 3-1 win at West Hamilton United in the over 35s competition.
Here’s how our teams fared:
Lotto NRFL second division
Cambridge 5 Beachlands Maraetai 2
Striker Josh Clarkin scored four second-half goals to inspire a fightback win by the Reds who trailed 2-0 at half-time.
Cambridge 1 Beachlands Maraetai 3
A late goal from substitute Ben Dixon provided a highlight for home spectators as Cambridge lost 3-1 to Auckland club Beachlands Maraetai.
Tauranga Old Blues 3 Cambridge 0
Cambridge’s six-match winning streak has come to an end at Old Blues’ Waipuna Park as the WaiBOP Championship turns into a three-team race.
Waikato Division 1
Cambridge 1 Hamilton Wanderers 3
Tom Gifford was at the centre of this game’s main events as Cambridge hosted Wanderers at Cambridge Athletics Ground.
The visitors took a 2-0 lead by half-time, one a penalty awarded against Gifford and the other a Gifford own goal.
But in the second half, Gifford helped mount a recovery and he scored Cambridge’s only goal of the game.
He also was named Player of the Day for his general play.
Coach Chris Petropoulos said: “Even though we didn’t particularly play well, I was pleased with the effort the players put in but unfortunately effort alone doesn’t win you games. The warm-up was a little flat and this is why we started off so poorly.”
Waikato Division 4
Huntly Thistle 3 Cambridge 4
Cambridge’s win at Huntly has kept the side within two points of division leaders Tokoroa who come to John Kerkhof Park next weekend.
Huntly Thistle got off to a flyer, scoring within two minutes of the kick off.
Cambridge composed themselves and hit back 10 min later through top scorer Shane Gray whose low shot from outside the box found the bottom right corner.
The teams went into half-time 1-1
Partway through the second half, Cambridge were awarded a penalty that Chris Hill put past the ‘keeper even though he got a hand to it.
Matt Vink and Jack Harman both capitalized on Huntly defensive errors, picking up loose balls and putting them away.
Despite trailing 4-1 with ten minutes to go, Huntly fired back with two quick goals but Cambridge held their nerve to take home three points
Harman was Player of the Day for his efforts at right back, scoring his goal and for a goalline clearance that prevented Huntly from finding a late equaliser.
Over 35s League
West Hamilton United 1 Cambridge D1 3
Cambridge forward David O’Donnell celebrated his birthday with a goal in the D1s’ 3-1 victory at West Hamilton United.
Midfielder Mariano Castellon scored twice in a game considered to be one of the team’s best performances so far this season.
Cambridge took a 2-0 lead by half-time and were able to see out an even second half to get the competition points.
Cambridge (Team 2) 1 Ngaruawahia United 5
Ngaruawahia took the initiative in the first half, charging to a 3-0 half-time lead, to make it difficult for Cambridge to claw its way back into the match.
A half-time commitment to return to basics saw an improved second-half performance from Cambridge, the highlight of which was a 70th-minute goal from James Clarke.
Goalkeeper Adrian Walworth kept the opposition’s goal tally down with some good play while Nick Sickelmore hit the crossbar with a free-kick from 50 metres.
Main photo: Ngaruawahia United’s goalkeeper blocks a promising attack by Cambridge.
Waikato Women’s Division 2
Cambridge 9 Mangakino United 0
Cambridge stay top of the division after their seventh league win in a row.
Sunday: WaiBOP Y-League
U-12s: Western United 2 Cambridge 9
Cambridge went 2-0 up within five minutes, thanks to two finishes from Jack Wilson.
Mylo Maloney extended the lead from the penalty spot to make it 3-0 and Zach Kelk added a fourth, following in on the goalkeeper just before the break.
After half-time, Western came out fighting and got two goals from two corners.
Cambridge settled play and Maloney tapped home from close to make it 5-2.
With the majority of the play, Cambridge then hit two long-range efforts, one apiece from Aden Joseph and Blake Urbahn putting Cambridge 6-2 up (both scoring their first goals of the season).
Maloney wrapped up the game, scoring two unanswered goals.
Kawepo Mullins was Player of the Day for his hard work at right back.
U-13s: Tauranga City Blue 2 Cambridge 6
The first half was even with both teams playing hard football though not very pretty at times.
Cambridge scored first but Tauranga fought back and punished errors by scoring the next two goals. Cambridge replied to go into the break at 2-2.
The boys were asked for a better effort by the coach and that’s what he got. It still proved to be a real scrap but with Cambridge managing to hold most of the territory in the second half.
This proved to be the difference as Cambridge scored four unanswered goals.
Scorers for Cambridge were Luca Savage (3), Jordyn Haysom (2) and an own goal.
U-15s: Papamoa 1 Cambridge 1
Cambridge dominated possession, territory and shots with Papamoa hanging on bravely for a 1-1 draw.
Cambridge played into the wind first half and the flow was fairly even with Papamoa opening the scoring on 16 minutes from a long ball.
The second half was all Cambridge with Papamoa rarely getting out of their half and their goalkeeper was super busy.
Matthew Jordan levelled the scores after 50 minutes.
A great game to watch with both teams playing constructive possession-based football. Excellent performances from Wills Leyland, Theo Anthony and Luke Mitchell.
Cambridge High School’s first XI had no fixture this weekend.
CHS will play up to eight home games under the lights at John Kerkhof Park so please watch this website for news of upcoming fixtures.