Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 24 April 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC U-23 continue their fine form with a 4-0 win over Western Springs U-23 at McLeod Road in Te Atatu today.
The Navy Blues U-23's made a sluggish start to the game with goalkeeper Finn Dockerty called upon to make three key saves and his team didn't look in good form until Dempsey Thomas bundled the ball home from a corner on 14 minutes.
Thomas, who has now scored in each of his last three games, put in another solid show at the back but it would take a further 30 minutes before the Navy Blues would score again.
Substitute Kristoff Muller made an almost instant impact when he arrived into the action beating three defenders before slotting past goalkeeper Liam Gilbert. The match was made safe when Addison Stewart chimed in with two goals late in the second half to seal victory.
Coach Kris Bright was far from pleased with his team's first half performance but he can have few complaints after the quality of the second yielded a further three goals and heightened the reputation of players playing in his squad.
"We were pretty poor to start with, we didn't work hard, we didn't keep the ball well and our movement was poor. It felt like we started the game expecting the result to just materialise out of thin air.
"In all fairness, Western Springs came out and took the game to us but overall the standard of the first half was poor.
"At halftime we spoke to the players about playing more as a team and we came out in the second half and put on a very good performance.
"Addison, who had a quiet first half, came out and did very well and Dempsey was very solid at the back. A lot of credit goes to Jeremiah Ruawhare, who has been in and out of the team, did very very well today and so did both goalkeepers.
"Anthony and Finn both played and our subs who came in did well. I'm thankful we've got a very strong squad we're lucky in that sense and I make reference to all the boys who didn't make the squad who train hard but didn't make the match day squad.
"Overall, it wasn't our usual high standards but we've still beaten the best team we've faced so far by 4-0. We've kept a clean sheet and as long as we do that I'm sure our strikers will continue to score goals," he said.
The Navy Blues U-23's next match is against North Shore United on Saturday 1 May, 2021.
Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division
Saturday 24 April 2021
Auckland City FC 4 (Dempsey THOMAS 14', Kristoff MULLER 50', Addison STEWART 75', 80')
Western Springs AFC 0
AC U-23: 1. Finn DOCKERTY (GK) 24. Anthony MOODIE (GK) 80'), 5. Anthony DUNCAN (15. Marcel STODDARD 75'), 6. Wilson FISHER, 7. Brooklyn HEATH, 8. Alex SMITH, 9. Finn McCRACKEN (16. Sam CLEGG 75'), 11. Jeremiah RUAWHARE, 12. Rhys DAVIES (4. Louie DANIELSON 69'), 13. Fardeen MOHAMMED (10. Kristoff MULLER 46'), 14. Dempsey THOMAS, 21. Addison STEWART.
COACH: Kris BRIGHT.
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC