Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 30 January 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Hawke's Bay United's resurgent run of form promises to test Auckland City FC's squad strength when the two sides meet for the final time in an ISPS Handa Premiership regular season clash in Napier on Sunday.
Hawke's Bay United's form since the end of last year has been nothing short of eye-catching with the Bluewater Stadium-based outfit bouncing back from five
straight losses to notch three wins and a draw since their 2-0 win over Waitakere United in Napier in December.
Ten goals in four games underlines the Bay's massive improvement in front of goal with Jorge Akers, Gavin Hoy and Jesse Randall leading the way.
They have tightened up in defence after losing 13 goals in their opening horror run and have conceded a miserly four goals in five games.
Away from home the Bay have produced a mixed bag of results with two losses in the capital to Team Wellington (2-1) and the Wellington Phoenix (3-0) while
picking up unexpected but impressive wins over Eastern Suburbs AFC (2-1) and Hamilton Wanderers (4-1).
Auckland City FC have swapped top spot with unbeaten Team Wellington several times during the campaign and Figueira believes tomorrow's game will be one of the toughest his side will face.
"Its always a tough game down in the Hawke's Bay - Bluewater Stadium is a big pitch and it'll be a hot day, no doubt, so it's not going to be a simple task.
"Hawke's Bay are in a great run of form and momentum and they're the in-form team in the league and we've got to be right at the top of our game.
"We did a lot of good things in our last game and we have to maintain or better those standards and minimise those moments where we switch off.
"Sunday's game promises to be a big test for where we are at but we're looking forward to it," he said.
Hawke's Bay United's turnaround in form hasn't surprised Figueira but he is confident he has prepared his side solidly for what lies ahead.
"Hawke's Bay lost a couple of key players in the last transfer window but they've managed to bring in a couple of new faces which presents a different type of challenge for us.
"We've looked at Hawke's Bay very closely and we know where their strengths are but more importantly we know where to focus on where we can get an advantage.
"I'm confident that if we can get into those spaces and execute our attacks properly then we can cause them a lot of problems," he said.
Figueira will likely be without Emiliano Tade who is rehabbing a troublesome calf problem and also faces a late call on the fitness of Dylan Manickum and Maro Bonsu-Maro.
"We've got a couple of little niggles that are taking a little bit longer to recover from in Dylan and Maro but we're waiting to see how they get through the last training today before we take a decision about tomorrow.
"We've got good strength and depth now - Kayne Vincent is starting to look sharper and Deandre Vollenhoven who when he has come in has looked very exciting.
"It's a good position to be in," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
The game is at Bluewater Stadium in Napier and kicks-off at 2pm NZDT.
ISPS Handa Men's Premiership
Sunday 31 January, 2021
Hawke's Bay United v Auckland City FC
Bluewater Stadium, Napier
Kick-off: 2.00pm NZDT
AC: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Albert RIERA, 9. Kayne VINCENT, 10. DylanMANICKUM, 11. Tom DOYLE, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Dre VOLLENHOVEN, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Yousif Ali AL-KALISY, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 19. Logan ROGERSON, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Maro BONSU-MARO, 22. Alfie ROGERS, 23. Mohamed AWAD.
COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.
OTHER FIXTURES AND RESULTS
Saturday 30 January, 2021
Team Wellington v Waitakere United
David Farrington Park, Wellington - kick-off: 1.00pm NZDT
Sunday 31 January, 2021
Hamilton Wanderers v Canterbury United
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton - kick-off: 1.00pm NZDT
Eastern Suburbs AFC v Wellington Phoenix
Madills Farm, Auckland - kick-off: 4.00pm NZDT
Hawke's Bay United's first win over Auckland City FC came in 2004 when goals from Jimmy Cudd, Leon Birnie, Jason Hayne and Hayden Beale earned the Bay a 4-2 win at Bluewater Stadium. They won again four years later in a 2-0 victory after goals by David Gearey and Leon Birnie. Their most recent win was also in Napier and came when a Sam Mason-Smith double cancelled out an eighth minute opener from Clayton Lewis.
Sunday's game between Auckland City FC and Hawke's Bay United is the 40th between the clubs since 2004-05. Auckland City FC have recorded 29 wins, 7 draws,3 defeats. The Navy Blues have scored 106 goals and conceded 44. Leon Birnie is Hawke's Bay United's top scorer in this fixture with the former Bay frontman netting six goals for the Bluewater Stadium side. Auckland City FC's top scorer in this fixture is club-record goalscorer Emiliano Tade who has bagged 12goals. There have been five hat-tricks scored by Navy Blues players with former All Whites Adam McGeorge, Myer Bevan getting one each, while there are oneeach for Emiliano Tade and former Bafana Bafana front man Grant Young.
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 2-1 (Cam HOWIESON, Dylan MANICKUM | Jesse RANDALL)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 3-2 (Myer BEVAN 3 | Gavin HOY, Jack PARKER)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 4-2 (Myer BEVAN 2, Angel BERLANGA, Cam HOWIESON | Bill ROBERTSON, Angus KILKOLLY)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 2-1 (Dylan MANICKUM, Micah LEA'ALAFA | Sam MASON-SMITH)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 4-1 (Fabrizio TAVANO, Micah LEA'ALAFA, Jordan VALE, David BROWNE| Sam MASON-SMITH)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 5-0 (Emiliano TADE 2, Ryan DE VRIES 2, Dan MORGAN)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 3-0 (Alfie ROGERS, Micah LEA'ALAFA, Callum McCOWATT)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 1-0 (Micah LEA'ALAFA,)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) lost 1-2 (Clayton LEWIS | Sam MASON-SMITH 2)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 1-0 (Micah LEA'ALAFA) - Semi Final
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) drew 1-1 (Micah LEA'ALAFA, | Kohei MATSUMOTO)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 3-1 (Ryan DE VRIES 2, Micah LEA'ALAFA | Hamish WATSON)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 3-2 (Emiliano TADE 2, Fabrizio AVANO| Sean HALPIN, Sean LOVEMORE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 3-0 (Emiliano TADE, Ivan VICELICH, Sam BURFOOT)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 2-1 (Ryan DE VRIES, Marko DORDEVIC| Ryan TINSLEY) - ISPS Handa Premiership Final
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) drew 4-4 (CRISTOBAL 2, Emiliano TADE 2 | David MULLIGAN, Tom BISS, Sean LOVEMORE, Aaron JONES)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 4-1 (Emiliano TADE 3, Darren WHITE | Bill ROBERTSON)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) drew 1-1 (Alex FENERIDIS | Sean LOVEMORE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) drew 1-1 (Pedro GARCIA | Jarrod SMITH)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 3-1 (Emiliano TADE 2, Manel EXPOSITO | Connor TINNION)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 3-2 (Chad COOMBES, David MULLIGAN, Luis CORRALES | Connor TINNION, Tom BISS)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) drew 2-2 (Alex FENERIDIS 2 | Andy BEVIN, Jarrod SMITH)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 5-0 (Adam McGEORGE 3, Stu KELLY, Andrew MILNE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 2-1 (Jason HAYNE, Grant YOUNG | Leon BIRNIE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 6-1 (Jason HAYNE 2, Matt WILLIAMS 2, Adam DICKINSON 2 | Leon BIRNIE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 3-1 (Chad COOMBES, Paul URLOVIC 2 | Leon BIRNIE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 1-0 (Ivan VICELICH)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 2-0 (Grant YOUNG, Keryn JORDAN)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 1-0 (Ben SIGMUND)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) lost 0-2 (David GEAREY, Leon BIRNIE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 6-2 (Ross McKENZIE, Paul SEAMAN, Keryn JORDAN 2, Grant YOUNG 2 | Joel WAKELIN, Chris McIVOR)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 2-1 (Paul URLOVIC, Grant YOUNG | Sam Messam)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) drew 2-2 (Grant YOUNG 2 | Jimmy Cudd, Own Goal)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 3-0 (Keryn JORDAN, Paul URLOVIC 2)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 3-0 (Paul UURLOVIC, Keryn JORDAN , Own Goal)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) won 6-0 (Liam MULROONEY, Grant YOUNG, Jonathan SMITH, Chad COOMBES 2, Neil SYKES)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) won 3-1 (Jonathan PERRY, Neil SYKES, Heath McCORMACK | David GEAREY)
v. Hawke's Bay United (A) lost 2-4 (Jonathan SMITH, Paul VODANOVICH | Jimmy CUDD, Leon BIRNIE, Jason HAYNE, Hayden BEALE)
v. Hawke's Bay United (H) drew 3-3 (Grant YYOUNG 3 | Chris McIVOR, Leon BIRNIE 2)