Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 21 May 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC's dominance of the Gridlock Derby continued after they swept past Eastern Suburbs AFC 4-1 in blustery conditions at Madills Farm today.
Coach Albert Riera made several changes to the starting line-up that put paid to Western Springs 4-0 with goalkeeper Conor Tracey replaced by colleague Cam Brown, Mario Ilich also stepped aside while there was no place for Angel Berlanga who came off injured at Kiwitea Street last week.
That meant an opportunity for Liam Gillion, last week's U-23 hat-trick hero, and defenders Alfie Rogers and Adam Mitchell.
Suburbs made their intent to press City from the word go but their hopes of pulling off a first ever win in this tie took a major setback after Tyler Lissette was shown a straight red card after just eight minutes.
That handed the impetus back to City and they never let go of it.
Riera's team struck twice just before halftime to break down stubborn resistance from Suburbs, first through an own goal, and then courtesy of a Ryan De Vries moment of magic.
Reid Drake, who spoke earlier in the week about what its like to play for both teams in this fixture, then nodded home a third on the hour mark.
De Vries wrapped up the match as a contest when he finished brilliantly inside the penalty area with two minutes left.
VIDEO - Ryan De Vries makes it 4-1
The win maintains Auckland City FC's lead at the top of the table
"We start particularly well and I said that at halftime.
"You can't look at the league table and make a judgement about a team based on that.
"I thought it was definitely a red card and it changed the dynamic of the game
"I don't think this was the best game we've played this season but it was enough to earn the points.
"Generally, the way we played was decent the spell where we conceded the goal could've been better and we were passive.
"It's always derbies! For us the most important game is the one we are going to play and next week it's Auckland United and we're going to try to get a winning result in that one," he said.
Alife Rogers, still finding his way back after a long period out of the first team gave his impressions of a comfortable day's work.
"We played pretty good but started the game slowly and obviously the red card helped and we're happy to beat them.
"Reid's header was a highlight, I thought that was a good finish but personally I still feel pretty unfit and I'm looking for match fitness.
"Next week is an exciting game Auckland United FC and possibly a good crowd coming so it could be a tight match but we're looking forward to it," he said.
Saturday 21 May 2022
Eastern Suburbs AFC 1 (Michael BUILT 71')
Auckland City FC 4 (Own Goal 37', Ryan DE VRIES 43', 88', Reid DRAKE 60')
Red card - Tyler LISSETTE (Eastern Suburbs AFC) - 8 minutes
AC: 1. Cam BROWN (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 11. Ryan DE VRIES (19. Ilham HAMEEDI 89'), 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 14. Jordan VALE (13. Nathan LOBO 77'), 16. Joe LEE (10. Dylan MANICKUM 77'), 17. Reid DRAKE (15. Aidan CAREY 65'), 19. Liam GILLION, 23. Alfie ROGERS.
SUBS NOT USED: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK).
COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
ANALYST: Adria CASALS
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
MANAGER: Keith COTON.
OTHER RESULTS - SATURDAY 21 MAY 2022
Eastern Suburbs AFC 1-4 Auckland City FC
Western Springs 1-0 Takapuna AFC
Birkenhead United 5-3 Waiheke United
North Shore United 1-7 Melville United
Bay Olympic 1-4 Auckland United FC
Sunday 4 December 2022, Wellington Olympic, Mount Smart Stadium