Junior Navy Blues bounce back

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 27 November 2016

Picture: Phototek

 NAPIER, New Zealand - Auckland City FC do just enough to beat Hawke's Bay United 2-0 in the National Youth League courtesy of goals by  Ermal Fusha and Maro Bonsu-Maro.

Hawke's Bay United started the day bottom of the table and winless and after taking an 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Canterbury United the week before.

The Junior Navy Blues own season took a major setback after last week's 4-2 loss to the Wellington Phoenix.

After a goalless first half, Hawke's Bay United would've been bouyed pushing the visitors so closely in an evenly balanced first 45 minutes.

But that hope was quashed when Fusha scored a quickfire goal after the restart.

Bonsu-Maro added a much needed second to make the points safe.

Coach Andy Peat was pleased his team delivered a strong second half performance after a stifling first stanza.

"I'm very pleased with the performance, the players executed the game plan with great belief.

"We had to rise to the challenge in the second half and we did that and scored twice which was great to see.

"The players took ownership and responsibility for delivering our tactics which is pleasing given how often we've rotated the squad.

"It proves the players, no matter who they are, know what we are about and are capable of delivering on it," he said.

In a moving gesture, the Junior Navy Blues wore black arm bands to mark the untimely passing of friend and Mount Albert Grammar footballer Liam Cradock, who tragically passed away as the result of a motor vehicle accident.


"The boys wanted to pay their respects to Liam even though he may not have been part of our squad he was close to some of our team.

"So as a sign of support to them we wore black armbands for Liam - we're all thinking of him and his family at this sad time, "Peat said.

Peat saved a final word for 18-year-old Sean Cooper, included in the Navy Blues team for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016.

"We'll lose Sean for our title run-in but this is part of the process and he's shown any time hes been in the first team environment that he knows and understands whats required at that level.

"We'll obviously miss his quality in the important games to come but we wish him and the first team well in Japan."

Elsewhere, Eastern Suburbs AFC lost 2-0 at home to Team Wellington, Wellington Phoenix U-17 thumped Southern United 5-0 and Hamilton Wanderers defeated Canterbury United Dragons 2-0.

Waitakere United beat Tasman United 5-0.


Match Result
National Youth League
Sunday 27 November, 2016
Hawke's Bay United 0
Auckland City FC 2 (Ermal Fusha, Maru Bonso-Maru)
Halftime: 0-0

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