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Will Eng treble seals U-23 win

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 23 April 2022

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC U-23s stayed top of the Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division after a comfortable 4-1 win over their Bay Olympic counterparts at Crum Park today.

VIDEO - Will Eng makes it 2-1

Auckland City FC took an early lead after Kristoff Muller and Marcel Stoddard had shots blocked that led to a corner. Matt Ellis looped a great delivery to the far post and Louie Danielson rose highest to knock an unreachable header beyond the Bay Olympic goalkeeper after just 10 minutes.

VIDEO - Eng nets from the penalty mark

City's lead evaporated when Sam Tutton's carefully chip beat Finn Dockerty just after the half hour mark but parity was short lived for Bay Olympic.

Will Eng, in good form in front of goal, restored the U-23s advantage when he broke the Bay Olympic line and slid the ball home past goalkeeper Luca Taylor just four minutes later.

Eng was called into action just before the break to convert a penalty past Taylor to give the U-23s a two-goal cushion and some breathing space against a Bay Olympic U-23s side that were more than competitive.

VIDEO - Will Eng completes his hat-trick

The striker completed his hat-trick midway through the second half when he tapped home a Matt Ellis pass beyond substitute goalkeeper Ty Patterson to seal a memorable afternoon for himself and his team.

Coach Kris Bright was subdued with his analysis but had praise for the Jake Piper-coached Bay Olympic U-23s.

"Bay Olympic are a very good side - they're right up there with the likes of Melville United U-23s as the best we've faced this season, so far.

"I thought Bay Olympic were very impressive the way they bypassed our press.

"From our point of view, we scored a couple of good team goals today.

"There weren't so many individual performances to catch the eye, this was more about the collective.

"The starting eleven that played the first 60 minutes performed very, very good.

"When we made our five substitutions the last half hour didn't quite go the way we wanted it to, which can happen.

"That's not down to any particular reason other than the fact its important we give players pitch time.

"But, hopefully, next time out, we can deliver a full performance across 90 minutes," he said.

Next Saturday, Auckland City FC U-23s take on Birkenhead United U-23s, last season's title rivals.

Bright know it will be a difficult match.

"We understand how tough Birkenhead United U-23s will be.

"Everyone knows how hard they work right the way through the 90 minutes," he said.

With results going as expected in the Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division, Auckland City FC are level on points with Melville United (16 each) with Birkenhead United in third on 15 points. Auckland United FC sit fourth on 14 points.

Ends

VIDEO - Louie Danielson hits a looping header over Luca Taylor

Match Details
Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division
Saturday 23 April 2022
Bay Olympic U-23 1 (Sam TUTTON 34')
Auckland City FC U-23 3 (Louie DANIELSON 11', Will ENG 39', 45'-pen, 66')
HT: 1-3.

AC: 1. Finn DOCKERTY (GK), 2. Jesse GAGE (c), 5. Marcel STODDARD (3. Riley SEXTON 64'), 8. Matt ELLIS, 9. William ENG (19. Stipe UKICH 72'), 10. Thomas HOLMES (12. Conan REDDY 75'), 15. Louie DANIELSON (6. Miguel MURILLO 72'), 16. Rayan TAYEB, 21. Ilham HAMEEDI, 22. Krstoff MULLER (7. James QUINN 84'), 23. Adam BELL.

COACH: Kris BRIGHT
ASSISTANT: Paul DRAKE

OTHER RESULTS - SATURDAY 23 APRIL 2022

LOTTO NRFL U-23 PREMIER DIVISION
Birkenhead United U-23 6-1 Eastern Suburbs AFC U-23
Auckland United FC U-23 2-1 Hamilton Wanderers U-23
Waiheke United U-23 0-2 Melville United U-23
Manukau United U-23 5-2 Western Springs U-23
North Shore United U-23 v Takapuna AFC U-23 P-P

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