Words: Nick Brown
Saturday 12 October 2019
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC held off a late barrage from Hamilton Wanderers to notch a 3-1 pre-season friendly win at Auckland Grammar on Friday evening.
The Navy Blues took the lead almost half way through the first 30 minute period when Keegan Linderboom fired past Matt Oliver after being set up beautifully by Jordan Vale
Dylan Manickum had the opportunity to double the lead just before the end of the first period with the Futsal White’s strike flashing narrowly wide of the upright.
The second period began with the injection of a few new players Yousif Ali, Andrew Blake and Connor Tracey entering the fray alongside U-23 international captain Logan Rogerson making his first non competitive appearance for the team.
Linderboom secured his brace in the 38th minute with a beautiful ball past Oliver to double the Navy Blues lead.
10 minutes later concerns were raised for the Navy Blues after Rogerson got cleaned out by Brock Messenger in a rash challenge which led to the newcomer requiring attention before continuing.
But the Navy Blues further extended their lead in the final 10 minutes when youngster Thomas Drillien, a third period addition fresh off a National Youth League hattrick last weekend, scored a tap in past Oliver to make it 3-0 to the Navy Blues.
The home side endured a late flourish by the visitors with Tracey pulling off a brilliant save from a powerful long range shot by Derek Tieku.
The visitors then had the opportunity to get themselves on the board when the referee adjudged Yousif Ali to have fouled Tommy Semmy in the penalty area with the Papua New Guinean hitman’s spot kick brilliantly saved by Tracey.
The New Zealand U-23 international was understandably pleased with both stops.
"I wasn't too sure where the first one was going because it was all very last second and there were players in the way.
AUDIO - Conor Tracey talks us through his penalty save from Tommy Semmy
"I knew once it was shot it was going around the outside of the player so I started leaning, pushed off and saw it just above my head and just got my top hand flicked out and touched it over the bar.
"I was going to go the other way until the last second. He's a very intelligent player with lots of experience. The way I read it initially I was going the other way. I changed my mind and chose right," he said.
Wanderers youngster Josh Clarkin got his side on the board with a consolation with the very last kick of the game for it to finish 3-1 in favour of the Navy Blues.
The two teams meet again in just over a week when they meet down State Highway 1 at Hamilton’s Porritt Stadium on Sunday the 20th of October with a 3:00pm kick off.
Friday 11 October 2019
Auckland City FC 3 (Keegan LINDERBOOM 13’, 38’, Thomas DRILLIEN 85’)
Hamilton Wanderers 1 (Josh CLARKIN 90’)
AC: 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK) (18. Conor TRACEY (GK)), 2. Mario ILICH (16. Yousif ALI), 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON [c], 11. Keegan LINDERBOOM (10. Logan ROGERSON), 12. Dylan MANICKUM, 13. Alfie ROGERS, 14. Jordan VALE (17. Andrew BLAKE), 15. Adam MITCHELL, 21. Maro BONSU-MARO (9. Thomas DRILLIEN).
SUBS NOT USED: 20. Matt HODGSON.
Sun 29 Nov 2020, Kiwitea Street, Kick-off: 2pm