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Gridlock Derby ends goalless

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 14 December 2019

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC and Eastern Suburbs AFC share the spoils after a thrilling goalless draw at Kiwitea Street today.

In what shaped up as a tense, tactical joust, characterised by an endless supply of energy, supporters went home largely satisfied despite the lack of goals.

The Lilywhites came into the match having never won against their Gridlock Derby rivals and their concentration and application to the task was absolute against a backdrop of inconsistent results accumulated to date.

The Navy Blues, who have been in prolific form in front of goal, struggled to create clear cut opportunities with space on the pitch at a premium throughout as both teams pressed regularly.

Martin Bueno enjoyed the first real chance of the game when he volleyed a Mohamed Awad shot straight at Conor Tracey while Danyon Drake denied Clayton Lewis at his near post to keep parity.

Danyon Drake was called into action to bail Alec Solomons out of bother after Myer Bevan dispossessed him in the penalty box while Cam Howieson almost caught the Lilywhites keeper off his line with an audacious shot from behind half way that sailed centimetres wide with Drake stranded.

AUDIO - "We move forward with energy and purpose" - Figueira

While Auckland City FC dominated the match, Eastern Suburbs AFC coach Tony Readings could feel a sense of pride as he became the club's first coach to take a point off the Navy Blues in a competitive match since rejoining the top flight three years ago.

Coach Jose Figueira was frustrated his side was unable to make the breakthrough in a game they dominated.

"I don't tend to have too many 0-0 draws but today the ball didn't go in the net for us with so many nearluy moments and Danyon had a great game for them in goal.

"There were a lot of last ditch blocks, balls bouncing around in front of the goal - I said to the players the effort, attitude and the way they played, the energy - we're ticking all the boxes but sometimes the ball just won't go in the net.

"I lost count of a few of them - I'd like to see a replay of Cam's effort, it looked inches away from going in, lobbing Danyon from behind halfway," he said.

Figueira also heaped further praise on former Navy Blues goalkeeper and Lilywhites hero Danyon Drake.

"Danyon also made some top saves from Andrew, Myer and Yousif - we've had a number of chances that haven't gone in for us but we've kept a cleansheet and we're still undefeated.

"We're at the right end of the table and we move forward with real energy and purpose. I want more of the same next week but a bit more precision in the final third when teams sit deep - we need to be more proactive and get our shots away quicker and think about a different type of cross or shot technique when we get into those key positions but we have a lot of positives to work from," he said.

Auckland City FC's final match of the calendar year is away to Southern United on Saturday 21 December 2019.

The game kicks off at 2.00pm NZST.

Ends

Match Result
ISPS Handa Premiership
Saturday 14 December 2019
Auckland City FC 0
Eastern Suburbs AFC 0
HT: 0-0.

AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Myer BEVAN, 14 Jordan VALE, 16. Yousif ALI, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 19. David BROWNE (10. Dylan MANICKUM 83'), 22. Clayton LEWIS (20. Logan ROGERSON 65').

SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 4. Mario BILEN, 23. Alfie ROGERS.

COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.

Other results:

Saturday 14 December 2019
Wellington Phoenix 3-3 Canterbury United

Playing Sunday 15 December 2019
Hawke's Bay United v Waitakere United
Bluewater Stadium, Napier - kick-off: 2.00pm NZST

Tasman United v Hamilton Wanderers
Trafalgar Park, Nelson - kick-off: 2.00pm NZST

Team Wellington v Southern United
David Farrington Park, Wellington - kick-off 2.00pm NZST

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