U-23s late rally seals win

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 7 August 2021

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC U-23 leave it late as timely two goal salvo hands Navy Blues 2-0 win over North Shore United U-23 at the Croatian Cultural Society.

In a tight affair in wintry conditions in Te Atatu, North Shore United set themselves up to frustrate a City side eager to keep their winning sequence on point.

Coach Kris Bright was forced into a change on the half hour mark when Tainui Adams made way for Dempsey Thomas but his team was unable to find a goal to break the visitors resistance.

The second half delivered more frustration as Shore dug in chasing a rare point but with 12 minutes remaining the reliable Finn McCracken popped up with the opener to settle City nerves.

That strike broke Shore's edge and substitute Sam Clegg, brought on midway through the second half, chimed in with the second to double City's advantage as the result was secured.

Bright, who was delighted with his team's victory last week, talked about how well his players overcame an obdurate United side keen to stop the Navy Blues.

"It was another strange game where we played ok, controlled the game but we weren't really ruthless enough in the final third.

"We didn't create too much but we did control the game. In the second half we realised we needed to change our mentality and we tried to affect the game more positively and we did that.

"We not only controlled the game but we created chances and saw out a win," he said.

Outstanding for City was 15-year-old goalkeeper Anthony Moodie who made two great saves to keep City in the game at 0-0.

Bright acknowledged the progress his team has made in particular the substitutes who he felt were key in earning victory.

"All of our subs made a big impact on the outcome and Sam came on and scored a fantastic goal.

"Overall, it was another good team performance, I'm happy with the clean sheet and very happy in particular with Anthony and our second half performance," he said.

Ends

Match Result
Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division
Saturday 7 August 2021
Auckland City FC U-23 2 (Finn McCRACKEN 78', Sam CLEGG 86')
North Shore United U-23 0
HT: 0-0.

AC: 1. Anthony MOODIE (GK), 2. Riley SEXTON, 4. Louie DANIELSON, 5. Jordan VALE, 6. Wilson FISHER, , 7 Brooklyn HEATH (c)(12. Ethan KUCIJA 86'), 8. Alex SMITH, 9. Finn McCRACKEN (21. Thomas HOLMES 86'), 11. Jeremiah RUAWHARE (20. Sam CLEGG 69'), 16. Tainui ADAMS (14. Dempsey THOMAS 32'), 19. Anthony DUNCAN (3. Jesse GAGE 62').

COACH: Kris BRIGHT.
ASSISTANT: Paul DRAKE.

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