Words: ACFC Media
Sunday 16 May 2021
HAMILTON, New Zealand - Angus Kilkolly kept up his scoring habit as Auckland City FC cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win over a well organised Melville United at Gower Park in Hamiton today.
José Figueira made two changes to the team that defeated Birkenhead United comprehensively with one of last week's goal scorers in Andrew Blake brought in alongside Mohamed Awad. Jordan Vale was given a rest while Dylan Manickum started the match on the bench.
Cam Howieson made his 99th first team appearance and donned the captain's armband for the first time since the ISPS Handa Premiership grand final defeat to Team Wellington in March.
MILESTONE #NavyBlues skipper @CameronHowieson makes his 99th appearance for the club@MelvilleUnited— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) May 15, 2021
National League title
| @PhototekNZ #MUvAC #NZNationalLeague #StrengthInUnity pic.twitter.com/qf7U9cezyY
The game got off to a cagey start with Melville United deploying a disciplined shape that meant the impetus came from Auckland City FC but it wasn't until the 23rd minute that the visitors managed a serious goal attempt when Emiliano Tade forced Max Tommy into a parry at his near post.
Awad and Tade were in top gear and combined superbly with Awad's break from first team action helping refresh the 26 year old attacking midfielder who looked eager to find work on a pitch that suited his talents.
The Navy Blues went very close to scoring the opening goal when Tade sent Blake clear down the right only for his cross to be blazed wide after a powerful header by Sam Brotherton.
The visitors exerted almost total control over proceedings with Melville United's resolute defence held together via organisational discipline and the experienced head of former All Whites defender Aaron Scott.
GOAL!!! Emiliano Tade
GOAL!!! Emiliano Tade pic.twitter.com/6vrlvlCcah— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) May 15, 2021
The wait for a goal ended when Awad was felled in the box and Tade slammed the penalty past Tommy with six minutes to play before halftime.
The hosts started the second half at a high intensity but when they were caught in a counter attack by Ilham Hameedi, Tommy was forced into a save that rebounded to Angus Kilkolly who vollied home into an empty net for his sixth goal in five games, his seventh goal of the season in total.
GOAL!!! Dylan Manickum
GOAL!!! Dylan Manickum pic.twitter.com/zrLnVolL3b— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) May 15, 2021
Figueira handed Adam Thurston his Auckland City FC debut when he threw on the former Manchester United academy player in a double switch that involved Manickum for Hameedi and Kilkolly.
Manickum helped himself to a goal after an Awad free-kick hit the post and fell kindly for his 20th goal for the club in his 58th appearance.
Auckland City FC turn their attention towards their first Gridlock Derby since the dissolution of the ISPS Handa Premiership when they take on Eastern Suburbs AFC at Madills Farm in Kohimarama next week.
The game is set for Saturday 22 May 2021 and kicks off at 3.00pm NZDT.
Saturday 15 May 2021
Melville United 0
Auckland City FC 3 (Emiliano TADE 40'-pen, Angus KILKOLLY 56', Dylan MANICKUM 80')
AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 9. Angus KILKOLLY (10. Dylan MANICKUM 73'), 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 15. Aidan CAREY, 17. Andrew BLAKE (3. Adam MITCHELL 79'), 19. Ilham HAMEEDI (8. Adam THURSTON 73'), 20. Emiliano TADE, 22. Mohamed AWAD.
SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 2. Mario ILICH.
COACH: José FIGUEIRA
FRIDAY 14 MAY 2021
Western Springs 2-1 Manukau United
SATURDAY 15 MAY 2021
West Coast Rangers 3-2 Northern Rovers
Hamilton Wanderers 2-1 Eastern Suburbs
North Shore United 1-2 Bay Olympic
Birkenhead United 0-1 Auckland United
Sat 19 June 2021, Tauranga City, KO: 2pm, Kiwitea Street