Words: ACFC Media
Friday 2 July 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC grind out 2-1 victory over Northern Rovers thanks to an Angus Kilkolly brace at a bitterly cold and floodlit Croatian Cultural Society tonight.
City coach José Figueira made five changes to the side that eked out a 2-2 draw with Manukau United with Mario Bilen, Mario Ilich, Brian Kaltak, Addison Stewart and Andrew Blake coming in for Alfie Rogers, Dylan Manickum, Aidan Carey, Sam Brotherton and Adam Mitchell.
Any fear the Navy Blues would be consumed by an up-and-at-em approach from Rovers was quickly dispelled by a whirlwind start from the home side with Jordan Vale and Blake causing the visitors problems down both flanks.
Chances came at regular intervals with Angus Kilkolly proving a constant menace in the penalty area and it was no surprise when it was he who opened the scoring after 22 minutes.
STARTING XI - Here is how the #NavyBlues line up for tonight's #NorthernLeague tie with @northernrovers Kick off at the Croatian Club at 7:30pm#ACvNR #NZNationalLeague #StrengthInUnity #NavyBlues #ItsCold pic.twitter.com/VVNVik858O— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) July 2, 2021
Kilkolly, who equalled Keryn Jordan's scoring record but failed to hit the target in Mangere last week, looked eager to get among the goals and he didn't disappoint when he notched City's second with ten minutes to go.
Kilkolly has now scored 15 goals in 15 outings for the Navy Blues since signing for the club in March, one of the most prolific starts to a Navy Blues career in recent history with only Myer Bevan's 17 goals in 19 matches during the 2019-20 ISPS Handa Premiership season resembling it.
To their credit, Rovers persevered throughout with Adam Dickinson, Yousif Al-Kalisy and Jack Caunter leading the charge and when their goal came it's genesis was set in motion by the visitors player-coach Dickinson.
When his shot skidded off the turf goalkeeper Conor Tracey could only parry into the path of Al-Kalisy who didn't need to be asked twice to convert the chance to make it 2-1.
The home side saw the game out comfortably in what was a marked improvement in intensity compared with last week's struggles in South Auckland.
First competitive game for @AucklandCity_FC at Croatian Cultural Society since 2007-08 tonight & under lights. #NavyBlues defeat @northernrovers 2-1 courtesy @AngusKilkolly16 brace pic.twitter.com/Ex0uHUDL3P— Gordon Glen Watson (@Gordon_Watson) July 2, 2021
With City's lead in the Northern League stretched to 13 points at least until tomorrow's round of matches, thoughts turn towards the Navy Blues next match, a mouthwatering Chatham Cup Fourth Round tie away to cup specialists Birkenhead United at Shepherd's Park on Sunday 11 July 2021 at 2pm NZDT.
Auckland City FC U-23s take on Northern Rovers U-23s on Saturday 3 July 2021 at Kiwitea Street.
The game kicks off at 12.30pm NZDT.
Friday 2 July 2021
Auckland City FC 2 (Angus KILKOLLY 22', 80')
Northern Rovers 1 (Yousif AL-KALISY 87')
AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 11. Reid DRAKE, 14. Jordan VALE, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 19. Ilham HAMEEDI (10. Dylan MANICKUM 71'), 20. Addison STEWART (15. Aidan CAREY 78').
SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 12. Sam BROTHERTON.
COACH: José FIGUEIRA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
TEAM MANAGER: Keith COTON
S&C COACH: Adria CASALS
ANALYST: Jarrod WALLACE
ANALYST: Dan GORDON
SATURDAY 3 JULY 2021
Birkenhead United v West Coast Rangers
Eastern Suburbs AFC v Bay Olympic
Hamilton Wanderers v Melville United
Manukau United v Auckland United
North Shore United v Western Springs
v Al Ahly, Tangier, Feb 1 2023, KO: 8pm local