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U-23s suffer first defeat

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 8 May 2021

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Birkenhead United U-23 inflict first defeat of the season on Kris Bright's Auckland City FC U-23s in windy Te Atatu today.

The Navy Blues preparation for the match was hardly ideal with Bright down to the bare minimum but despite the setback it was City who opened the scoring in unusual circumstances from the penalty mark after defender Paul Bunge toppled Stewart Addison on 24 minutes.

Stewart's penalty struck the post only for Stewart to go down under another strong challenge resulting in referee Tom Day awarding another spot kick.

This time Jeremiah Ruawhare took the kick and blasted it high into the roof of the net over goalkeeper Izaak Edwards.

GOAL!!! - Jeremiah Ruawhare scores City's opener

Birkenhead United struggled to create many chances in a first half Auckland City FC dominated but the Navy Blues went into the break level after Stewart and Moodie were unable to clear the ball of the line on the stroke of halftime.

Fardeen Mohammed restored Auckland City FC's lead just after the restart but United equalised for the second time within seconds of the restart to make it 2-2.

The visitors were more than worth their goal but Auckland City FC made their life a lot easier with an at times confusing performance as Birkenhead United forced three top saves from young goalkeeper Anthony Moodie.

Wilson Fisher, outstanding last week, was again impressive. 

The match was over as a contest when United grabbed their third goal with three minutes left to play with the otherwise impeccable Moodie misjudging a cross into the penalty box.

Coach Bright was less than impressed.

"We didn't do the things we're good at - taking people on, not conceding as a team. All over the park, every second player didn't do the right thing.

"We had some players do the right things which added up to a very confusing game to analyse from our point of view.

"It's very difficult for a goalkeeper who is just 15 years old to come in. Anthony made some unbelievable saves today but the harsh reality is one key mistake has cost us the game.

"It's hard on him because he is 15 and has a great attitude. The attitude from others was more of a concern who think we just need to turn up to win games.

"We've got no players - we had one from the first team in Addison Stewart but we needed a bit more quality today and I'll be looking to add that next week," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

Ends

Match Result
Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division
Saturday 8 May 2021
Auckland City FC 2 (Jeremiah RUAWHARE, Fardeen MOHAMMED)
Birkenhead United AFC 3 (Own Goal, Unknown x2)
HT: 1-1.

AC: 1. Anthony MOODIE (GK), 4. Louie DANIELSON, 6. Wilson FISHER, 7. Brooklyn HEATH (c), 8. Alex SMITH, 9. Finn McCRACKEN, 11. Jeremiah RUAWHARE, 13. Fardeen MOHAMMED, 14. Jonny EVANS, 17. Tainui ADAMS, 21. Addison STEWART.

SUBS NOT USED: 5. Maximillian MARTIN, 10. Kristoff MULLER, 12. Rhys DAVIES, 15. Kairo JACOBS, 19. Thomas HOLMES.

COACH: Kris BRIGHT.
ASSISTANT COACH: Paul DRAKE.

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