Junior Navy Blues slip up again

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 9 November 2019

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC's National Youth League title hopes took a massive blow after a 2-1 defeat at home to Team Wellington today.

The Junior Navy Blues needed a big performance to close the gap on league leaders Hamilton Wanderers and Waitakere United but came up short against a Team Wellington side ready to take risks.

AUDIO - "Team Wellington deserved their win" - Bright

The visitors started the better of the two teams and deservedly took the lead through Ryan Feutz after an impressive sweeping move after just 11 minutes.

The home side took half an hour to create a threat and drew level when Corban Piper nodded home a cross from the left.

Auckland City FC started the second half aggressively with their pressing matched by an increased tempo missing and Team Wellington struggled to cope.

Despite that change in mood the visitors found another way through the Junior Navy Blues and became more direct trying to exploit space in behind by winning second balls on halfway.

It was from a counter attack like this that Feutz netted the winner when he found space on the left to whip an impressive finish past Luca Taylor just after the hour mark to settle the result.

Victory for Ben Sippola's side lifts them level on nine points with Auckland City FC and Tasman United.

Coach Kris Bright was honest in his review of a game that leaves his side fighting for a top three finish.

"It wasn't a great performance. They were very well structured however we did have quite a few chances looking back at it.

"They took their chances with two good goals and we didn't. They had a lot more ball than us they played in certain areas that didn't hurt us very much but they're a very good side and they deserved the win.

"Like I said before the game, we knew exactly what they'd be doing and we worked on certain things and what we would do with the ball but we just didn't do it.

"We made changes after 20 minutes which we had to with Matt Hodgson down injured and we were on top and quite comfortable and came out in the second half very good.

"We lost our way our a little bit and didn't quite adjust to certain situations and we got hurt.

"I didn't play Corban in the first three games and last week he was fantastic in Hawke's Bay and today he really showed the desire he wanted to be part of the club and wants to play for Auckland City FC.

"His fitness died away at the end but players like him I prefer over others who go through the motions or wait for the ball or wait to do their thing. Corban really worked hard and his desire was fantastic.

"We were discussing what we want from the season. We've had a lot of boys with the first team and very rarely do we have everyone together to work on phases of play.

"This year has been fantastic because a lot of boys have been on the bench for the first team.

"Maybe we don't win the league this year but we need individual players to step up and doing what they've been signed to do and start enjoying themselves again," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

In the day's other match, Waitakere United downed fourth placed Tasman United by 4-2 at Saxton Field in Nelson to open up a six point gap over the Junior Navy Blues with just four matches remaining in the campaign.

Tomorrow, Hamilton Wanderers take on Eastern Suburbs AFC needing another win to stay in touch with Waitakere United while Canterbury United and Southern United meet in Christchurch with local bragging rights at stake. Hawke's Bay United's search for their first points of the season continues when they take on the Wellington Phoenix at Porirua Park.

Ends

Match Details
National Youth League
Saturday 9 November 2019
Auckland City FC 1 (Corban PIPER 26')
Team Wellington 2 (Ryan FEUTZ 11', 63')
HT: 1-1.

AC: 1. Luca TAYLOR (GK), 2. Nathan LOBO, 4. Nick MILICICH, 6. Callum McNEILL, 7. Matthew HODGSON (20. Louis MIDDELDORP 19'), 10. Matthew ELLIS (19. Bradley WILSON 46'), 11. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN (5. Dhanush CHANDRA 70'), 13. Malcolm YOUNG (21. Finn McCRACKEN 70'), 16. Corban PIPER, 17. Thomas DRILLIEN, 23. Aidan CAREY (c).

SUBS NOT USED: 1. Sam BOTTOMLEY (GK).

COACH: Kris BRIGHT.

Other matches:

Sunday 10 November 2019
Canterbury United v Southern United
English Park, Christchurch - kick-off: 11am NZST

Hamilton Wanderers v Eastern Suburbs AFC
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton - kick-off: 11am NZST

Wellington Phoenix v Hawke's Bay United
Porirua Park, Wellington - kick-off: 3.30pm NZST

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

Week 5
Auckland City FC 1-2 Team Wellington
Tasman United 2-4 Waitakere United

Sunday 10 November 2019
Wellington Phoenix v Hawke's Bay United
Canterbury United v Southern United
Hamilton Wanderers v Eastern Suburbs AFC

National Youth League Table here.

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