Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 28 May 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC stay seven points clear of Melville United at the top of the Northern League after 11 rounds, after a 2-0 win at home to Auckland United FC today.
The visitors started the day shorn of head coach José Figueira to illness, so club stalwart Jo Dawkins assumed head coach duties on the day.
VIDEO - Dylan Manickum opens the scoring
Albert Riera's side had Dylan Manickum to thank for a top quality first half goal at Kiwitea Street but they were nearly behind as early as the first few minutes when Regont Murati rattled Conor Tracey's upright after a surging run down the right by the former Central United FC player.
However, Auckland City FC were on a mission and Cam Howieson swiftly put the Navy Blues further ahead when he scored a brilliant free-kick at the clubrooms end of the ground to make it 2-0 midway through the second half.
VIDEO - Cam Howieson scores with his free kick
Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi set pulses racing for City supporters shortly after when his own free kick went desperately close to halving the deficit.
The victory ensured Riera's side complete the first round of matches undefeated with 10 wins and a draw from their eleven games and there is a sense that something special may be happening under the former City midfielder.
Riera, however, was targeted with his praise.
"I thought it was a fantastic game of football. I believe every game should be like this - the standards of both teams was excellent.
VIDEO - Crowd reacts to Howieson goal
"We knew it was going to be very hard but our players fought and stuck together and they helped each other and it was a fantastic performance.
"I'm very happy with both Dylan and Cam. They both have that ability in their locker and they show this in every training session.
"Its fantastic to see it when it happens in a game. It's always very pleasing when it happens in a game, so I'm happy for them.
"Considering the games we've had to date, it's key to have a quality bench.
"Today was one of those games where you look at your bench and you're grateful to have Alfie Rogers, Emiliano Tade there.
"We need everyone to be involved in the game and I'm very proud of how everyone played," Riera said.
Saturday 28 May 2022
Auckland City FC 2 (Dylan MANICKUM 21', Cam HOWIESON 65')
Auckland United FC 0
AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10. Dylan MANICKUM (15. Aidan CAREY 67'), 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Nathan LOBO, 14. Jordan VALE (23. Alfie ROGERS 89'), 16. Joe LEE (20. Emiliano TADE 76'), 17. Reid DRAKE.
SUBS NOT USED: 21. Ilham HAMEEDI, 24. Cam BROWN (GK).
COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
ANALYST: Adria CASALS
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
MANAGER: Keith COTON.
Sunday 4 December 2022, Wellington Olympic, Mount Smart Stadium