City bounce back to grab vital win

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 12 November 2022

Picture: Phototek

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - Auckland City FC returned to the top of the National League Championship after grinding out a vital come-from-behind 3-2 away win at Christchurch United today.

Blake Weston opened the scoring for United from a corner just after half an hour but the home side's lead evaporated when first Reid Drake tapped home at the back post six minutes later.

VIDEO - Reid Drake goal

Cam Howieson, used to scoring worldies from outrageous distances, had to settle for one from the edge of the United penalty box when he rattled home a Dylan Manickum lay off five minutes before the break.

City's fortunes were up and down like a rollercoaster when Will Pierce saw his penalty kick tipped onto the post by Conor Tracey only for United to then concede a penalty only moments later.

Unlike Pierce, Kilkolly made no mistake from the penalty spot for his first goal since his knee injury against Birkenhead United in the Northern League in July.

The visitors were unable to wriggle out of a tense finish when Dan MacLennan slotted past Tracey with 14 minutes left to play but Riera's team managed the game out to pick up three vital points.

VIDEO - Cam Howieson goal

"I'm extremely happy with a massive three points for us with just two games left to play. What we've achieved so far has been massive but we want to keep going.

"Adam Mitchell said to me after the game that it's hard to believe there are just a handful of games left to play but the players are hungry to achieve more - that's their mentality.

"I thought we started the game slowly in each half and it's been an issue in some of our games but in a way its understandable given the trip down.

"We went through the same pattern of conceding and then we started to play our football. I'm extremely happy with the effort the players put in.

VIDEO - Conor Tracey penalty kick

"When we conceded penalties and you have Conor Tracey in goal you always have a feeling that there is a possibility he can save it.

"I'd have to look at it again to see if Conor got a touch but because its him I wouldn't be surprised if he did get something on the ball.

VIDEO - Angus Kilkolly goal

"I'm happy for Angus because he's worked very hard to come back from injury. He always gives everything and we're all happy to see him get on the scoresheet.

"This is what strikers love to do and we're delighted to see him back scoring goals," Riera said.

In other matches, Melville United's resurgence continued with a 3-2 away win over Miramar Rangers while Auckland United bounced back from conceding a Garbhan Coughlan goal to defeat Cashmere Technical 2-1 courtesy of a double by Nic Zambrano.

Tomorrow sees Wellington Olympic take on the Wellington Phoenix and Napier City Rovers host Birkenhead United.

Ends

Match Result
National League Championship
Saturday 12 November 2022
Christchurch United 2 (Blake WESTON 32', Dan MacLENNAN 76')
Auckland City FC 3 (Reid DRAKE 36', Cam HOWIESON 40', Angus KILKOLLY 61'-pen)
HT: 1-2.

AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 9. Angus KILKOLLY (11. Ryan DE VRIES 87'), 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 14. Jordan VALE, 16. Joe LEE, 17. Reid DRAKE, 22. Adam BELL (13. Takuya IWATA 77').

SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 4. Christian GRAY, 20. Emiliano TADE.

COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON.

OTHER RESULTS - SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2022
Auckland United 2-1 Cashmere Technical
Miramar Rangers 2-3 Melville United

FIXTURES - SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2022
Napier City Rovers v Birkenhead United - 2.00pm NZDT
Bluewater Stadium, Napier

Wellington Phoenix v Wellington Olympic - 12pm NZDT
Fraser Park, Wellington

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