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Junior Navy Blues in derby stalemate

Words: ACFC Media

Saturday 10 November 2018

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC played out a scoreless draw with Eastern Suburbs in the latest round of National Youth League action played at Michaels Avenue reserve today.

The Lilywhites dominated the first half almost exclusively restricting the visitors to a handful of half-chances mostly eked out by forward Mohammad Ishtak Saha.

Goalkeeper Cameron Brown pulled off a top quality save midway through the half when he tipped a long range shot beyond the crossbar but the lionshare of possession on a warm and windy day in Ellerslie belonged to the hosts.

That pattern changed in the second half with the intensity of the match dropping off which allowed the Junior Navy Blues to create four clear-cut chances to score.

Justin Bailey was at the centre of two of them, the first when he nodded a cross from the right a yard past the Eastern Suburbs upright, the second when Thomas Drillien miscued Bailey's cross when it looked easier to put on target.

Drillien almost notched the first goal of the game when he slammed a powerful shot into the face of the post with Eastern Suburbs scrambling.

While the flow of the match changed significantly in the second half, Eastern Suburbs danger on the counter attack never went away and they always looked possibilities to score.

Coach Camilo Speranza was pleased with the result and said he was happy with the application of his players in tough conditions.

"It was a good match. It was an entertaining match. I'll tell everyone what I said to the players in the dressing room and that's I am very proud of them.

"Football is a game and you need to know how to play the game and that includes understanding that sometimes things are not going to go your way.

"We didn't have the ball as much as we like because we were facing a strong opponent but at the same time we adapted and showed resilience.

"We understood that we needed to create advantages and capitalise on the opportunities that came from that.

"We created five or six very good scoring chances, we hit the post and we restricted Eastern Suburbs to a small number of opportunities," Speranza told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

"I wasn't surprised the pace of the match dropped away given the conditions and the artificial surface and I think we also restricted the space Eastern Suburbs wanted to have.

"We are pleased with the effort and the way our team is growing and to put it down to cold numbers we're top of the table," he added.

In other matches, Southern United caused an upset when they downed Team Wellington 2-1, while Hawke's Bay United tipped over Hamilton Wanderers 2-1 in Napier. In the capital, Wellington Phoenix picked up a valuable 3-1 win over Canterbury United.

There is one National Youth League match scheduled for Sunday 11 November that sees Tasman United play host to Waitakere United.

The Junior Navy Blues next match is at home to Canterbury United on Saturday 17 November 2018.

The game takes place at the Croatian Cultural Centre and kicks off at 2pm NZST.

Ends

Match Results
National Youth League
Saturday 10 November 2018

Eastern Suburbs 0
Auckland City FC 0
HT: 0-0

AC: 1. Cameron BROWN (GK), 3. Jackson WOODS, 4. Robert TIPELU, 5. Dhanush CHANDRA (2. Nathan LOBO 69'), 7. Justin BAILEY, 8. Oscar SPRAGG (15. Brad THOMAS 89'), 9. Thomas DRILLIEN, 11. James GREEN (19. Brad WILSON 59'), 13. Joshua JONES (c), 16. Mohammed SHAH (17. Matthew ELLIS 90+1'), 21. Callum McNEIL.

SUB NOT USED: Sam BOTTOMLEY (GK).

COACH: Camilo SPERANZA

Other results

Hawke's Bay United 2
Hamilton Wanderers 1
HT: 2-1

Wellington Phoenix 3
Canterbury United 1
HT: 0-0

Southern United 2
Team Wellington 1
HT: 2-0

Playing Sunday
Tasman United v Waitakere United, 2pm NZST.

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