Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 18 June 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Doubles by Ryan De Vries and Matt Ellis and a goal each for Cam Howieson and Sam Brotherton send Albert Riera's side on their way to the Chatham Cup last 16 with a comfortable 6-0 win over Manukau United today.
It was an emotional end to the week for everyone at the club when striker Angus Kilkolly left the squad to be with his family because of a sudden bereavement.
The match began with solemnity as both clubs marked the moment with an impeccably observed silence before kick-off.
VIDEO - Moment of silence for the Kilkolly family
When the action started the script couldn't have been written much better for City.
The visitors tested the Navy Blues defence three times in the first 10 minutes but they fell behind on the half hour mark when Dylan Manickum was adjudged to have been felled in the penalty area.
Howieson stepped forward in the absence of Kilkolly and made no mistake with a finely struck penalty to make it 1-0.
VIDEO - Cam Howieson makes it 1-0
United looked aggrieved by the referee's decision but were two down within two minutes when Brotherton tapped home a Gerard Garriga corner to double City's lead.
Those goals knocked the stuffing out of United and they fell further behind when Abdulbaset Khalifa attempted to launch the ball clear but only succeeded in hitting De Vries who steered an unstoppable header beyond goalkeeper Wong to make it 3-0 just before the break.
VIDEO - Sam Brotherton scores
Riera made a double switch on the hour mark when he sent Emiliano Tade and Liam Gillion on for Manickum and the impressive Joe Lee, and within ten minutes De Vries had scooped the ball past Wong for the fourth.
Another substitute, Ellis, made a major impact when he netted a brace inside three minutes to complete a comfortable 6-0 victory on a wet and dreary day in Sandringham.
A record fell in the process with Riera's start at the club now the most successful of any previous head coach with the former midfielder guiding his side to a 15-game unbeaten run in league and Chatham Cup.
The previous record of 14 games belonged to Jose Figueira who bettered both Paul Marshall (13) and Colin Tuaa (12) at the start of his tenure in the 2019-20 ISPS Handa Premiership season.
Riera deflected praise and instead noted the contribution of his players to what has been achieved to this point.
VIDEO - Ryan De Vries pots his second goal
"I'm having fun but I don't pay much attention to records, to be honest, it's not how you start in a role that matters, it's how you finish that counts.
"The credit belongs to the players for the way they've embraced me and welcomed me to the club as a coach. These players make my job very easy.
"We trained every day this week and played two Chatham Cup games and I didn't hear one complaint. The way they behave themselves, the way they train.
"You reflect on the way they are on game day and it's a clear example of how they work their socks off," he said.
Riera said the mission was clear following the sad news for the Kilkolly family.
"We talked yesterday in the changing room among the players and said that this game was going to be won for Gus and his family.
VIDEO - Matt Ellis sweeps home goal number five
"Angus is someone who, no matter when, no matter what, always gives 100 percent to the club and to his teammates, when he wears this club's badge.
"We said we were going to give everything for Angus and his family, so this win is for them," he said.
With the draw for the Chatham Cup Fourth Round due to take place next week and played on Saturday 9 July, Riera assessed the performance positively.
"I'm extremely happy with the way they take every game. I talked about how tricky Manukau can be and how difficult their fire force can be up front. People like Thomas Golding we know well, and Maro (Bonsu-Maro) is very hard to play against.
VIDEO - Matt Ellis makes it 6-0
"I thought we reduced their opportunities to very few. We had a number of players playing in new positions - Aidan Carey on the right hand side, Reid Drake has never played left full back in his life, as far as I am aware, and he looked like he's been there all his life.
The team has now gone 15 games undefeated but any concern City's squad has lost it's sense of groundedness was dismissed.
"I'm fortunate with this squad that they are aware of this themselves. The most important thing is to have the depth that we have because those players who are not playing that much are always ready to step up.
"The players who are playing more know that, if they have an off day then someone is ready to step in. Matt Ellis came in and scored two goals and Liam Gillion also came on in the second half.
"This is the main indication that we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent at any moment along the way."
Auckland City FC return to Northern League action next week when they host Hamilton Wanderers at Kiwitea Street at 3pm NZDT.
Wanderers play a catch-up fixture with Manukau United on Tuesday evening at McLennan Park.
Chatham Cup Round 3
Saturday 25 June 2022
Auckland City FC 6 (Cam HOWIESON 29'-pen, Ryan DE VRIES 41', 73', Sam BROTHERTON 31', Matt ELLIS 80', 83')
Manukau United 0
AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c) (6. Matt ELLIS 70'), 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 10. Dylan MANICKUM (19. Liam GILLION 62'), 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 12. Sam BROTHERTON (4. Christian GRAY 75'), 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE (20. Emiliano TADE 62'), 17. Reid DRAKE.
SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK).
HEAD COACH: Albert RIERA.
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
ANALYST: Jarrod WALLACE
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
CHATHAM CUP - ROUND 3 RESULTS
Melville United 6-1 East Coast Bays
Fencibles United 2-2 Eastern Suburbs*
Kiwi True Blues FC 4-6 Waiheke United -after extra time
Auckland United 6-1 Cambridge
Bay Olympic 2-1 Metro FC
Auckland City FC 6-0 Manukau United
* Eastern Suburbs won 5-4 on penalties
North Wellington 1-6 Wellington Olympic
Island Bay United 1-3 Miramar Rangers
Ferrymead Bays 1-2 Cashmere Technical
Green Island 5-1 Northern
Birkenhead United v Central United FC
Papamoa v Hamilton Wanderers
Napier City Rovers v Wellington United
Wellington Marist v Western Suburbs
Nelson Suburbs v Coastal Spirit
Mosgiel v Dunedin City Royals
Sunday 1 October 2023, 3pm, Kiwitea Street, Auckland