Junior Navy Blues back on track

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 2 November 2019

Picture: Phototek

NAPIER, New Zealand - A depleted Junior Navy Blues side are back to winning ways after scraping an edgy 1-0 win over winless Hawke's Bay United in Napier today.

A goalless first 45 minutes at a windy Bluewater Stadium on top of an extensive injury list following the Napier U-19 tournament at the end of last month created tension for the Junior Navy Blues.

But a Player of the Match performance from Corban Piper combined with a match winning goal midway through the second half from in-form Thomas Drillien, were enough to earn all three points.

Coach Kris Bright was a relieved man as the Junior Navy Blues picked up their second away win of the season.

"It's nice to bounce back and get a result like that. The boys were hurting from the Waitakere result and before we went out for the game I could sense they were up for this game and wanted to put things right.

"They did and it was a relief. The game did go a different direction to what we thought and when the whistle went it was a relief to get the three points," Bright told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

AUDIO - 'It's nice to bounce back with a win" - Bright

Bright was surprised by the quality of the Hawke's Bay United side who are still without a win and rooted firmly to the bottom of the table.

"Leading up to the match I took a look at their results and saw they had conceded a few goals.

"What happened during the game was different to what I was expecting - they were well-organised, hard to break down and they had a few chances themselves and had some very good players.

"It could've gone either way and I was very surprised they've had the results they've had. We played well at times and worked very hard.

"Thomas Drillien worked very hard again and scored a goal through pure work ethic by pressuring the goalkeeper and scoring.

"Hawke's Bay are a good side and they'll definitely pick up points during the season."

The Junior Navy Blues next match has a lot riding on it when they play host to title rivals Team Wellington at the Croatian Club on Saturday 10 November 2019.

The game is scheduled for a 2pm kick-off.


Match Result
National Youth League
Saturday 2 November 2019
Hawke's Bay United 0
Auckland City FC 1 (Thomas DRILLIEN 64')
HT: 0-0.

AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 4. Nick MILICICH, 5. Dhanush CHANDRA (14. Colin HOLTHUIS-SPANN, 60'), 7. Matthew HODGSON, 8. Miles PALMER, 9. Tawanda MAROWA (15. Harry FREEMAN 46'), 11. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN (20. Louis MIDDELDORP 88'), 13. Malcolm YOUNG, 16. Corban PIPER, 17. Thomas DRILLIEN, 23. Aidan CAREY [c].


Week 1
Hawke's Bay United 3-6 Waitakere United
Wellington Phoenix 1-4 Canterbury United
Tasman United 0-2 Hamilton Wanderers
Auckland City FC 5-0 Eastern Suburbs AFC
Team Wellington 2-1 Southern United

Week 2
Southern United 0-4 Auckland City FC
Waitakere United 3-2 Team Wellington
Eastern Suburbs AFC 2-4 Wellington Phoenix
Hamilton Wanderers 2-1 Hawke's Bay United
Canterbury United 1-5 Tasman United

Week 3
Auckland City FC 1-2 Waitakere United
Tasman United 4-0 Eastern Suburbs AFC
Wellington Phoenix 0-2 Southern United
Canterbury United 2-3 Hamilton Wanderers
Team Wellington 7-2 Hawke's Bay United

Week 4
Hawke's Bay United 0-1 Auckland City FC
Waitakere United 3-2 Wellington Phoenix
Team Wellington 2-6 Hamilton Wanderers
Eastern Suburbs 5-2 Canterbury United
Southern United 3-4 Tasman United

National Youth League Table here.

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