Gillion free kick seals derby victory

Words: Zac Elkhishin

Friday 29 March 2024

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - A moment of brilliance by Liam Gillion gives Auckland City FC double derby delight as the Navy Blues defeated Eastern Suburbs 1-0 at Te Atatu today.

The hosts, fresh from a 3-0 derby win over Auckland United a week ago, took control of the match in a first half where Albert Riera's team also hit the crossbar.

Striker Angus Kilkolly saw a long range effort whistle narrowly over Diver's goal frame after Kilkolly had turned Adam Thomas.

City may have had a penalty when Aaryan Raj looked to have brought down Joe Lee only for referee Nick Waldron to wave away appeals.

Suburbs were resolute in defence until Gillion whipped home a sensational free-kick beyond goalkeeper Regan Diver right on half time.

The visitors took grip of the second half and created a handful of good chances including one Francis De Vries effort that went wide after good work by Jackson Jarvie down the right.

Jarvie created another opportunity when he worked a beautiful cross that sped across the face of the City six yard box midway through the second half.

Goalkeeper Conor Tracey was also forced into an excellent save low to his right when a Suburbs player let rip from distance.

VIDEO - LIAM GILLION GOAL

City could've wrapped up the points when defender Nathan Lobo broke clear on the counter from his own half only for Diver to produce a top save in the dying moments.

The Navy Blues victory saw Albert Riera's team stay top of the league with maximum points and also gave City their 20th unbeaten match in the Gridlock Derby dating back to 2016.

In other results, Bay Olympic moved into second after a tight 2-1 win over another promoted side, East Coast Bays, while Western Springs also maintained a 100 percent record with a 2-1 away win over Manurewa.

Birkenhead United found form in their 3-1 win over West Coast Rangers, while Auckland United registered their first win after downing Tauranga City 4-1 at Links Avenue.

The action continues for Auckland City FC on Easter Monday when they host newly promoted Tauranga City at Kiwitea Street at 3.00pm.

Ends

Match Result
Northern League R2
Friday 29 March 2024
Auckland City FC 1 (Liam GILLION 45'+2')
Eastern Suburbs AFC 0
HT: 1-0.

AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH (c), 4. Christian GRAY, 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 9. Angus KILKOLLY (11. Ryan DE VRIES 65'), 12. Regont MURATI, 13. Nathan LOBO, .16. Joe LEE (3. Adam MITCHELL 76'), 19. Liam GILLION (27. Stipe UKICH), 22. Tong ZHOU, 25. Michael DEN HEIJER.

SUBS NOT USED: 24. Joe WALLIS (GK), 23. Alfie ROGERS.

COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING: Adria CASALS
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
MANAGER: Keith COTON.

OTHER RESULTS
Birkenhead United 3-1 West Coast Rangers
Tauranga City FC 1-4 Auckland United
Hamilton Wanderers 1-2 Melville United
Bay Olympic 2-1 East Coast Bays
Manurewa 1-2 Western Springs

This Match Report compiled by Zac Elkhishin of AUT

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