Cambridge football coach Paul Richardson hopes this weekend’s match against Auckland’s Onehunga Mangere United will give him his first win since taking charge of the Reds.
Since becoming the club’s head coach in early May, Cambridge have drawn five of their six Northern League matches and lost the other (to runaway leaders Takapuna) by a single goal.
“Normally, we’d be pleased that those results mean we’re a hard team to beat but surely we’ve got to win one soon,” he said after Cambridge’s latest match, a 1-1 draw at Papakura City last Saturday.
The match against Papakura came alive in the 49th minute when Cambridge’s Jamie Woodlock dribbled into the Papakura box and netted from six metres.
Papakura won a free kick almost immediately after the restart. Cambridge could not clear the high ball into their box and a header from former New Zealand U-17 international Ben Mata saw the home side level.
After that, both sides had their chances and the match was marked by a series of yellow cards as tension set in for Papakura, who are stuck to the bottom of the division and desperate for points.
This Saturday, the Reds are at home to Onehunga Mangere, a side coached by former All Whites Brian Turner and Dave Taylor. The game starts at John Kerkhof Park at 3pm.
Reserves triumph over Papakura
Second-half goals from teenagers Toby Hartley and Nathan Hallum rescued a 2-1 win for Cambridge reserves after the team trailed Papakura City in the curtain-raiser.
Hallum grabbed the winner in added time, volleying into the roof of the net after team mate Andrew Taylor came down amidst appeals for a penalty.
It was a dramatic way to end a match in which both teams had spells in control.
Papakura had the better of the first half, giving Cambridge goalkeeper Patrick Espin more action in 45 minutes than he seems to have had in any full game this season.
Deservingly, Papakura went ahead in the 37th minute when Cory Mackay ran into space – with Cambridge appealing for offside – to calmly slot the ball past Espin.
Cambridge began the second half with more resolve and urgency and gradually started to take control. After 62 minutes, Hartley got the ball in space and carefully steered his shot inside the far post to level the score at 1-1.
From there on, Cambridge poured on the pressure as the team went in search of their seventh successive league win.
With the referee counting down added time, Taylor fell in the box, appealing for a spot kick, and the ball rebounded to Hallum who managed to keep his reflex shot down and just under the bar to score. The manner of the victory was a tribute to the team’s youngsters who added spark when older players started to lag.
Goalscorers Hartley (16) and Hallum (15) are both in their first season of senior football.
The win keeps Cambridge at the top of the reserves competition.
Other football results…
A serious injury to Cambridge’s Miguel Peterle marred their WaiBOP Championship match at Tauranga Blue Rovers’ Pemberton Park, won 4-1 by the home side.
The 25-year-old Brazilian’s season was ended by a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula.
Arlo Stedman scored in the second half for Cambridge after the teams were scoreless in the first spell.
The Cambridge Waikato A team beat the Te Aroha Cobras 3-2 at John Kerkhof Park, to record their third successive win in high-scoring games.
Having won 3-2 and 5-4 in their last two games, it was hardly a surprise when this match also turned into a thriller. Peter Buesnel gave Cambridge the lead, but Cobras came back to level.
Cullen Tappen then put Cambridge ahead 2-1, only for Te Aroha to fight back and make it 2-2.
In the final stages, Cambridge found enough energy left for a surge forward and the consistent Jason Szabo found a winner for the home side.
The club’s D1 and D2 teams shared bragging rights with a 2-2 draw at John Kerkhof Park.
Scott Jenkins scored both goals for the D1s from the penalty spot while Andrew Myers and Chris Hill responded for the D2 team.
On Sunday, Cambridge’s women’s team ended their six-match winning streak with a 2-1 loss at home to unbeaten West Hamilton United.
The visitors scored first before Astrid Howarth levelled for Cambridge.
West Hamilton scored the winner midway through the second half.
In the WaiBOP Federation Junior Boys’ League, Cambridge U-12s beat Hamilton Wanderers 8-1 with goals from Cortlan Davis-Havill (4), Max Kelk (2), Blake Taylor and Keanen Subramoney.