Eastern City 3 v Cambridge B 2
12 Apr 2014
Cambridge B encountered Eastern City B away on a cooler afternoon and on a pitch that had some line markings on it, for a change. The reds were without 3 players so only one sub was available. Coach Josh Gifford placed Krish Patel in midfield with Ian Matthew to try and halt the opposition’s renowned central attacks, and the steady centre back pairing of Ken Graham and Tom Rae to deal with the big strikers. This worked well for most of the game with Eastern only having 5 chances on goal. For Cambridge, Chris Petropoulos and Dylan Stringer attacked down the wings feeding Tom Gifford and Peter Buesnel up front. The line-up brought a cracking opening goal for the reds, with hard-working left-back Andy Wilson battling down the wing to help cut a ball across the field to Dylan for a neat lay-off for Ian to smash home. Eastern came back strong and a through ball saw the offside trap fail and they equalised soon after. Growing stronger, the opposition won a couple of corners and perfect crossing saw a second goal come off the back of the attacker after a missed call from the Cambridge keeper. Dylan came close to equalising but somehow kicked the ball over the cross bar from 5m out. Undeterred, the reds battled back and a move down the right, involving Martin Schaake and Dylan, led to Peter crossing a well-controlled ball for Tom Gifford to head home. Goalkeeper Matt Farrely made a brave save to keep the score at 2-2 halftime. The coach brought on John Ward down the right and Cambridge started the brightest, creating excellent chances to regain the lead. Eastern managed to win a tussle down their left to fire a speculative cross that tested keeper and forward, and unfortunately the forward won. This was against play and urged the reds to push forward. A hand ball led to a penalty for Cambridge but a double save kept Peter’s name off the score sheet. Eastern realised they were under pressure and time-wasting coupled with a series of bad tackles and blatant hand balls led to 2 yellows and 1 red being handed out to them. A fight nearly broke out when their linesman ran onto the pitch trying to assault Andy Wilson. When the game resumed, Cambridge pushed forward again and a last chance shot by John Ward also flew over the bar. Eastern were clearly relieved with a 3-2 winning final whistle, while the reds felt frustrated to walk away with no points. Strong performances from all and only an injury to Martin to worry about. Donkey of the day went to skyward shooting Dylan and player of the day to Andy Wilson for stepping up and owning the left hand side of the game.
Putaruru B 2 v Cambridge B 1
05 Apr 2014
The opening game of the season saw the newly formed Cambridge B team, coached by Josh Gifford, travel down to Putaruru to take on a well drilled experienced team. Only 2 players return from last year’s B team, with the new team made up of some older ex C team players and many younger players from various former teams. Cambridge started well and created some early chances, but a breakaway down the right for Putaruru saw them take the lead. Thomas Gifford, Fabian Burgos and Peter Buesnel combined well with Peter slotting in the equaliser. A magnificent goal line interception by Martin Schaake kept the scores level at halftime. The second half started lively and both teams came close to goals, great goalkeeping by Matt Farrely and his opposite number kept the scores level. The game turned after a nasty tackle on Fabian leaving him with a trip to A&E, this meant coach Gifford had to reorganise his team. Newbies Jamie Floydd and Michael Broadley came on, and Krishnan Patel was introduced. Some great midfield work from Michael and Ian Matthew kept the attacks at bay and gave the busy centre back pairing of Tom Rae and Ken Graham some rest. Cambridge started to dominate play, with Dylan Stringer, Tom Gifford and Peter all pushing for the lead but it was the opposition who made the breakthrough. A clever chip by Putaruru found their striker on the left and he lobbed the ball calmly into the net. The reds came back strong and had several great chances just missing the target or being saved by an on-form keeper. With time running out Ken pushed up field and threaded a ball through to Peter to slam home. But, the keeper tipped the ball onto the bar and it fell down over the goal line only to spin back into play. The goal was not given and Cambridge left without a well-deserved point. Putaruru had a lucky day. The new B team started their season well with an encouraging display. Donkey of the day went to Tom Gifford for his miss-hit-bounced-off-a-bobble shot and Ken Graham picked up player of the day for his strong shift at the back. Eastern City next week.
Cambridge Athletic B 3 v Cambridge D2 1
26 May 2012
On a grey and brooding Saturday a storm was brewing not in the sky but around the football field for an epic clash between the Cambridge B and Cambridge D2 teams for this round of the soccer shop Waikato cup. As expected the tension was palpable. The game started off with both teams getting a feel for the pitch and getting their eye in for those shots that could win or lose the game. Midway through the first half Cambridge B found the net first; opening the gates for 2 more goals to find their way into the D2 net before the first half ended. Lee Framp, Ed kettle and Dan Podjursky showing their skills to score these fantastic goals. The versatile strong midfield combo of Joe Gifford and Chong Xie helped the B dominate possession in the first half. Joe managed to also dominate one of his own teammates in a clash forcing defender Ian Marshall to retire to the bench. In the second half tables turned; a determined Cambridge D2 side adamant and not going down without a fight. Battles on the field intensified and in a lapse of stability Cambridge B defence conceded to the D2 attack making it 3 to 1. As the clash wore on tempers flared, both sides creating multiple opportunities changing the tide of the game before the whistle went. Throughout the game the great tenacity and fortitude of the B defenders Sean Hollands, Simon Lockwood, Josh Vinnicombe and Ian Marshall/Dylan Stringer shut the D2 attack out for a large portion of the game. In the end despite the excitement that ensued for the remaining time on the pitch the score remained as it was. Player of the day to Joe Gifford and next week Cambridge B travels away to take on Te Awamutu B.
Cambridge Athletic B 1 v Claudelands Mens B2 5
19 May 2012
On a sunny but windy afternoon at John Kerkof park Cambridge Athletic hosted an on form Claudelands Mens B2. Both teams came out of the starting blocks with a hiss, roar and a bang, regrettably for Cambridge Athletic; Claudelands fired the first bang that went in the net. After a quick retaliation Cambridge capitalized on some poor defence with Chong Xie putting away his opportunity with a rocketing shot to the bottom right corner. Cambridge continued to battle but conceded a penalty and went 2 nil down by the half time whistle. At the start of the second half the battle continued and at times Cambridge played the ball well around the park but could not put away the chances created unluckily. Claudelands pressured the defence and Cambridge conceded to yield a final score of 5 to 1 in favour of Claudelands. Player of the day went to Josh Vinnicombe for his great battle on the left wing never letting the opposition have a moment on the ball. Next week is the next round of the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup where it’s an all Cambridge affair with the Athletic taking on the Cambridge D2 for passage into the next round.
Huntly Thistle Mens B 3 v Cambridge Athletic B 5
12 May 2012
On a sunny Saturday afternoon Cambridge journeyed up to take on a Huntly side that was hungry for a win. Instead what Huntly got in the first 10 minutes was an out of the blocks blitz from Cambridge resulting first in a flying volley from midfielder Bruno Machado opening his account for the athletic; followed quickly by a outstanding run and finish by the right midfielder Lee Framp. Cambridge was lulled into a small false sense of security by the scoring flurry putting our defence under pressure; the Huntly forwards capitalised and forced Cambridge to concede a penalty. Ed Kettle continued his scoring form putting Cambridge’s total up to 3, unfortunately shortly after Huntly scored again making it 3-2 at half time. The defence consisting of Ian Marshall, Sean Hollands, Ian Matthew, and Nick Feisst were strong throughout most of the game shutting the Huntly attack down and linking up well with the midfield and strikers to create scoring chances. The fresh legs of Chris Dovey, Dylan Stringer and Rhandal Meyerink provided a fierce battle all over the park in the second half, with Mauro Cesar creating an opportunity which ended up in a Huntly own goal. After the Huntly defence conceded a penalty Ed Kettle stepped up to slot it home. Final score 5-3 win for Cambridge, POD going to Ian Matthew for his great performance in defence. Next week Athletic looks to continue their streak at home to Claudelands.
Cambridge Athletic B 5 v Te Awamutu Mens E 0
05 May 2012
The number 1 field at John Kerkof park was primed and ready for the first round clash of the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup. The players geared up to grab a win for entry to the next round. Cambridge opened the scoring with Jamie McKean getting a clever touch on the ball to deflect into the net. The midfield battled hard in the middle of the park with Sean Hollands, Dan Podjursky and Anthony Hoeburn trying to retain the ball and grab the lion’s share of possession. With some great forethought and attacking prowess Dan Podjursky slotted home another in the first half to increase the lead. Great speed and agility gave our striker Chong Xie several opportunities to score many times battling with the Te Awamutu keeper resulting in another 2 goals. The Cambridge defense was again strong lead by the stoic Dave Cracknell keeping the opposition at bay with Josh Vinnicombe and Dylan Stringer. The second half battle on the field heated up with 2 particular clashes resulting in red cards and each team down to 9 men. In the end Cambridge was too strong and held on for a 5 goals to zero win over Te Awamutu to advance. Cambridge nominated the Te Awamutu goal keeper as POD as without his performance Cambridge might have been in double figures.
Cambridge Athletic B 7 v Unicol Mens B 1
28 Apr 2012
On a cloudy after Cambridge Athletic B welcomed Unicol. The home side started strong and with superior retention and utilization of their opportunities started scoring goals early With Ed Kettle capitalizing on the first of his 5 goals. This was added to early on in the first half by a superb header from Anthony Hoeburn coming from a clinical Dan Podjursky corner kick. The Cambridge defense was strong in the first half lead by Dave Cracknell despite a handful of opportunities created by Unicol. It was only in the second half after an accidental handball in the 18 yard box that Cambridge conceded. The midfield held strong throughout the game and were great at retaining and regaining possession. To finish off the scoring Mauro Ceaser opened his account for the team slotting home the other goal. The team whole played well, a Great effort by the Cambridge B for their first win of the season to take away such emphatic win. POD went to ED kettle for his 5 goals.
Cambridge Athletic 2 v Putaruru 6
21 Apr 2012
Cambridge Athletic 2 v Putaruru 6
Armed with 3 newly signed recruits just prior to the game, some last minute decisions were made to try out 2 new players. These changes tested the structure of the team and Putaruru pounced early on with a breakaway goal. Some hard work from Chong Xie up front and determined runs from Chris Dovey nearly brought the teams level. Cambridge were in the game for most of the half and were unlucky when a second goal Putaruru came just before the break. The second half saw a third and then fourth goal for the visitors, both came form excellent attacking moves and it looked like the reds were in for a hard final 30mins. Responding to the pressure, two well-deserved goals came for the reds, both from Chong Xie and both were down to defensive errors. Some further hard work from Sean Hollands, Ian Marshall, Richard Collette and Ken Graham tried to further push the reds forward, but the opposition clicked up a gear and two quick counter-attacks saw the margin back to four. 6-2 the final result. Training on Thursday will hopefully put right some defensive errors ready for Unicol a home next Saturday.
Cambridge Athletic B 3 v Waihi B 6
14 Apr 2012
On a gloriously-sunny season-starting Saturday, Cambridge Athletic welcomed Waihi to Vogel Park. The visitors started strongly and got the better of Cambridge in all areas of the game. Some rather lenient decisions from the officials gave Waihi free reign to barge Cambridge off the ball, this pressure led to their first goal after 15 minutes. Cambridge drew level with an amazing volley from Ed Kettle but this was soon cancelled with 2 quick counter attacks and well-taken goals for the Waihi strikers. The scoreline was kept modest thanks to some outstanding saves from stand-in keeper Ian Marshall and solid defensive work from Daniel Clark. Cambridge got a second due to some determined work from Jamie McKean and his cross was well headed by new player Lee Framp. Just before the break Cambridge back Richard Collette had to leave the field with a nasty knock to the ankle, this exposed the defense and the half ended 5-2 to the visitors. The second half changes helped the home team keep the scoreline to 6 – 3, with the red's forward Chong Xie slotting home a penalty. Waihi finished with ten after a red card, which was on the cards. Cambridge player of the day was hard-working midfielder, Sean Hollands. Athletic take on Putararu at Vogel Park next week.
Tokoroa 6 v Cambridge Athletic 2
20 Aug 2011
Athletic's top of the table Tokoroa challenge started with a depleted line up and 4 players were needed from other teams to help out. Full of the flu, Ken Graham went in goals to make up the numbers and his first 2 touches of the ball were to pick it out of the net. 2-0 Tokoroa with 8 minutes gone. The reds woke up and started to turn the game around and Krishnaa Patel pulled one back with a cracking long range drive. Sean Hollands again made his mark in midfield and encouraged young wingers, Josh Dagnall and Jon Riddell, to get forward at every chance. Steve Thomas, Ian Marshall and Russ Dixon combined well at the back and it took a good move from Tokoroa to extend their lead mid-way through the second half. Athletic responded well from the restart and Joe Gifford stabbed home his first goal for the club since returning back from a one year break in the UK. At 3-2 the result was on a knife-edge and Tokoroa threw everything forward. Graham made a double one-on-one save, but shortly after some confusion at the back gifted Tokoroa their 4th. Their 5th came as a result of a goal-line scramble and a bust-up with the scorer led to him being sent of for hitting the keeper. With this breathing space, and coupled with three injured Athletic players struggling to keep up, Tokoroa score once more to earn a flattering 6-2 victory. Player of the day was Krishnaa Patel.
Putaruru 5 v Cambridge Athletic 2
13 Aug 2011
Athletic travelled south to Putaruru Banjo country. With several senior players out through injury the reds started with 4 young teenagers on the pitch. Two were almost lost in the quagmire during the warm up as the pitch was actually a paddock and soft under-foot would be putting it lightly. Without a doubt the worst pitch in Waikato. The game started evenly with both teams exchanging blows and both keepers doing well. Young guns Dylan, Josh, Matt and Jon all stepped up and gave as good as they got, and they got a lot. While Putaruru played some nice football it was marred by arrogance and off-the-ball niggles from some players. Their pressure paid off and by half time they were 2 up. Cambridge came out and pulled one back through another young gun, substitute Rhandal Mayerink, who combined well with Josh Wilkinson down the left and fired home a long-range goal. Putaruru responded by singling out the scorer and tried in vain to kick him off the pitch. Losing Richard Collette at the break put extra pressure on old man Graham at the back and second substitute Krishan Patel was soon busy fending of a series of attacks. Sean Hollands and Nick Fiesst both took hard knocks and the pressure really started to pile on. Some superb keeping from Matty Aberhart kept the score down to 5 at the end and Joe Kilgour pulled one back through a penalty. 5-2 down, the final whistle came as a relief. Player of the day was Rhandal Mayerink.
Huntly 4 v Cambridge Athletic 0
06 Aug 2011
Cambridge Athletic travelled to Huntly knowing some key players were loaned out again. The weather was good and the Huntly pitch wins the award for most grass on a pitch at this late stage in the season. The game started evenly, until about ten minutes in when a Huntly shot brought a fine reaction save from Marty with his left hand - it’s a shame Marty’s one of our marauding midfielders. So the penalty was well taken, 1-0 to Huntly. Both teams kept pressing and Cambridge keeper Matty was having a great game mixed with Huntly’s lack of finishing until Huntly slipped another one in, 2-0 down. Half time, positive talking, and back to Huntly’s triangles and a Cambridge team waining through injuries and lacking a good structure. Huntly kept pushing and a good period of pressure saw a half volley and shot on the turn go top corner for goal 3. Cambridge kept battling, but Huntly seemed to go up another gear and their fourth came from a “Yours” and “Yours” call between the keeper and a central defender - the Huntly striker took advantage and ran well around Matty to make it 4-0. The game finished with both teams still working hard. It was a well played and tempered game. Player of the day went to Matty ‘the shot stopping machine’. Matty won the Handle Race in the bar afterwards against the Huntly keeper, so we did come away with something to be pleased about.
Cambridge Athletic 1 v Melville 2
30 Jul 2011
Some last minute shuffles due to late sick notes saw an under-strength Athletic take on 2nd place Melville at home. With 2 players on loan, 3 away and 2 sick, it was going to be a challenge for the home team. But after just 3 minutes played, Chong Xie put Athletic into the lead with a well-taken breakaway goal - a great start. However, seconds later, just before the restart, key defender Russell Dixon had to leave the field with a pulled leg musle and Athletic were forced to play with just with one sub. Not so great now. Some superb determination from midfielder Sean Hollands made it hard for Melville to play. Most of their pressure came down the right and only one great save from Aberhart was needed. A shocked Melville came out in the second half fighting hard and their effort paid off, earning a sloppy goal in the 60th minute. Hollands took one-too-many knocks and it was getting harder to hold back Melville, even after a substitution shuffle. Ever-determined, Xie nearly got his second beating the keeper but not the post. In the last 10 minutes of the game, Athletic conceded a second goal to hand Melville the 2-1 win. A tough home result to take, leaving Athletic in need of 2 wins from the remaining 4 games to hold their 6th league place. Player of the day was Sean Hollands. No official referee, again, so the club President missed his Saturday clog dancing lessons to help out.
Cambridge Athletic 1 v Waihi 2
23 Jul 2011
Cambridge Athletic geared up for a tough home encounter, knowing that Waihi were out to get revenge on their loss at home against Cambridge earlier in the season. With the allocated referee deciding not to show up for the game (charming), Athletic were forced to give up their coach, and valuable substitute, Brian Harding, to referee the whole match. Cambridge started the brighter and Xie came close with a shot going over the bar. Waihi responded with determined runs down the wings and earned their rewards with an uncleared cross getting headed on to the grateful Waihi striker to slot home from close range. Kilgour and Hollands lifted the reds with some strong play, and Marshall came close with a header and then Graham with a shot, but no equaliser came at the break. A spirited and determined Waihi kept pushing for their second and it came from a mis-kick spinning over keeper Cale Villlager. Athletic dug deep, fought hard and earned a goal from a good solo run from Xie. A rare mix up with Collette and Villager nearly gifted Waihi a third but thankfully they stuffed up their chance. Dixon then started to push up and Sleet found more space down the right and it looked like an equaliser was imminent, but it was not to be with a 2-1 loss hard to take for the improving Athletic players. All three subs were used and it was good to see some players returning from injury. Player of the day went to Chong Xie.
Te Awamutu 1 v Cambridge Athletic 1
09 Jul 2011
Anchor Park had no rain, and even a few patches of blue sky on arrival, but once the referee blew his whistle the rain started. Super. With four of our starting eleven spread across either the Feds or the Firsts, our plan D team started really well. Out of the blocks, pressuring Te Awamutu, right up to the point where one of their older gents slipped and sliced the ball between Athletic keeper Marshy’s head and the cross bar. Nice start. Athletic carried on working hard to get back. The defence was solid and vocal: “Mine”,”Ball” and ”More Tape!”. The midfield played really well as a unit. The strikers seemingly too quick for the offside trap and leaving us somewhat confused: How do you get a 12 inch ball into a 6 inch gap? A fantastic goal from Chong after a break saw him run into the 18 yard box from the wing, and slide the ball between the keeper and the inside post - great goal. Second question: How can you miss getting the same 12 inch ball into an empty 24 feet gap? Chong will still be kicking himself, never mind plenty more games to make up for it. 1–1 was a fair result for two teams who played well in horrible conditions. Player of the day was Dillon Third for his consistent drive for the whole game, everyone worked hard with just one sub used. No game next week, sorry readers we have a bye.
Cambridge Athletic 2 v Claudelands 0
02 Jul 2011
A home game against an experienced Claudelands team was the chance for Cambridge to show just how far they have come since their earlier meeting. A more confident Cambridge team started the brightest with a lot of good work by Joe Kilgour and Matt Sleet down the right hand side. There was a big handball shout for a penalty turned down, later in the game Cracknell got a header from a corner that was saved. Then a lapse in concentration at the back, which gave Claudelands a free header which struck the bar. Just before half time striker Chong Xie had a great chance to open the scoring but couldn’t find the back of the net. Half time came and a change was made with Collette pushed into midfield replacing the very impressive Harlan Pather, with Harding coming into the back. In the second half saw Cambridge putting a lot more pressure on the Claudelands defence which lead to a corner being conceded, a great ball was put in and was connected by Cracknell and deflected into the goal. Then on the 70th minute Kilgour scored a superb free kick. Tails were up a brilliant shot by Collette forced a brilliant save from the keeper the game ended 2-0 to the home team and everyone had a very good game with special mentions going to Kilgour, Sean Hollands, Collette and captain for next week Matt Sleet.
Cambridge Athletic 0 v Eastern City A 4
25 Jun 2011
A chance for Cambridge Athletic B team to proceed to the last 8 of the Waikato Soccer Shop Cup presented itself on Saturday against an Eastern City A team. Some great midfield and defensive work from Shaake, Hollands, Graham and Collette, ensured plenty of chances were created for Xie upfront, opening up play for Marshall, Patel and Kilgour down the wings. Cambridge came close with saved shots from Marshall, Xie, Kilgour and Graham. Backs Feisst and Sleet staved off the majority of attacks and for the first 43 minutes the reds looked the more likely winners. On the 44th minute the game turned cruelly for the reds when Graham was alleged to have handled the ball on the line when it was clearly use of the chest. The resulting penalty was converted and a red card was wrongly awarded. 1-0 down, the reds came out again and battled hard but a second red card was shown and the team were down to 8 outfield players. Vinnicombe, Harding and Mayerink provided fresh legs to stem the flow of pressure, but it was all too easy for Eastern City to capitilise on the 2 man advantage and 3 more goals in the last 20 mins killed the game off. Everyone was dissappointed with the turn of events, even the opposition felt the reds were dealt some rough calls from the official. Player of the day was Sean Hollands, with those left on the pitch all working hard to make a game of it.
FOSS 1 v Cambridge Athletic 1
18 Jun 2011
Round 2 of the Waikato B League saw Cambridge Athletic take on a FOSS team that enjoyed a big win the last time the teams met. This time round the gap was much closer with the first half presenting very few chances for anyone due to good defending from both sides. Strong play from Joe Kilgour down the right, Sean Hollands and Martin Shaake in the middle and the centre back pairing of Richard Collette and Dave Cracknell kept the reds very much in contention. Chong Xie and Ian Marshall ran for everything and kept the FOSS keeper on his toes. Matty Aberhart was again called upon to pull off some great saves to keep the first half scoreless. The second half saw young Matt Sleet at right back and Josh Wilkinson at left back make in-roads. Unfortunately a FOSS attacker clipped Wilkinson's ankle leading to a substitution and Harlan Pather took the field, producing some great runs down the wing. With 30 mins to play a superb Kilgour cross was headed on by Xie to the waiting Jamie McKean to slot home his first goal for the team. The reds looked good for a win, but a 4 minute lapse in concentration at the back allowed FOSS to grab a late equaliser, 1-1 the final score. This was the fourth time Athletic have buckled near the end and was a reminder that 90 minutes worth of focus is needed. A great improvement from all players, with player of the day going to Joe Kilgour.
Cambridge Athletic 2 v Huntly 2
11 Jun 2011
A home game against a top four Huntly team gave Cambridge Athletic the chance to make ammends from last week's defeat. A few changes in the line up due to player unavailability saw Ian Marshall and Ken Graham start up front, Martin Schaake moved to central midfield, and a debut game for Russell Dixon, partnering Richard Collete at the back. Huntly were well-organised and Athletic needed to focus on reducing errors. It was this approach that paid off and Cambridge earned the opening goal from a deflected Graham cross. The first half was highly competed and both sides came close. The second half saw the introduction of Dan Neville, Harlan Pather and Josh Vinnicombe to give some tiring players a break. Huntly continued to push and had several clear chances but either missed or had shots saved by the excellent Matty Aberhart. They finally got a lucky break through an attack flagged offside by the linesman. This built their confidence and Schaake, Sean Hollands, JamieMcKean and Joe Kilgour had to work hard to halt the midfield pressure. A mis-timed tackle led to a second for Huntly, a superb free kick giving Aberhart no chance. The reds dug deep and forced themselves forward for the last quarter. A number of superb moves came about but just lacked the final finish. With time running out Dixon started to press forward and managed to smash home a long drive to earn the 2-2 draw. Everyone played well, player of the day was Martin Schaake.
UNICOL 4 v Cambridge Athletic 2
04 Jun 2011
Back after a week off, the Athletic team looked forward to the away encounter with UNICOL, thinking that a win was on the cards based on the current form guide. A blustery day and a wet pitch made the going difficult, and it was the home side that played to the conditions. UNICOL got the early advantage following a weak clearance from the back. The level of delight displayed by the opposition suggested that they were almost overcome with emotion. Annoyed and somewhat frustrated the reds reacted too eagerly and pushed too hard, with many passes going astray and tackles mis-timed. UNCOL continued to press and earned a second before half time. Coach Harding made his thoughts known and the reds made some changes in the break. Athletic started to create more chances but the final balls and crucial shots failed to materialse and UNICOL scored a third with a quarter of the game left. Athletic's Dave Cracknell and Dillan Third worked hard to halt further attacks and Harlan Pather made good progress in midfield. Eventually Chong Xie pulled one back with a sublime shot but UNICOL soon responed with a scrappy fourth from a lame free kick, The reds pressed hard and earned a penalty, calmly converted by Joe Kilgour. With a 4-2 loss this was not a great day for the reds with a poor show put on for new-starter Jamie McKean. Training Thursday to sort things out, including the adjustment of some players' attitudes. Player of the day went to Dave Cracknell.
Cambridge Athletic 0 v Tokoroa 0
21 May 2011
Unbeaten table-toppers, Tokoroa, visited an improving Cambridge Athletic team last Saturday. With just one substitute available the reds knew it was going to be a hard game, both physically and mentally. Within 10 minutes it became clear that the opposition were after a win, and looked good enough to get one. Cambridge's two 40-plus midfielders, Ken Graham and Brian Harding, dug deep and soon gained some central domination. Forwards Chong Xie and captain Dan Neville worked hard to defend from the front, and it was Xie who had the first chance of the game, forcing a good save from the keeper. Wingers Nick Feisst, Krishan Patel, and Martin Shaacke ran clever rotating substitutions to provide fresh legs and support the old timers in the middle. The two teenage corner backs, Matt Sleet and Josh Wilkinson, played above their years, frustrating the Tokoroa wingers and confidently taking the game to them. Richard “Ringo” Collette and Dave “Crackers” Cracknell again demonstrated a strong centre back partnership to snuff out numerous long-ball attacks. Keeper Ian Marshall displayed great postioning and bravery, taking a knock to the head. Tokoroa only had three shots on goal, one of these cleared off the line by Sleet. These equalled the number of shots from Cambridge. The reds had their chances to create an upset but were pleased to secure a memorable scoreless draw. The game-plan had worked and this was a great bonding experience for the team. Player of the day was Dave Cracknell.
Cambridge Athletic 2 v Putaruru Rangers 2
14 May 2011
Cambridge Athletic matched up to a physical Putaruru side at Vogel Park last Saturday. The reds had a strong line up with Dave Cracknell rejoining Richard Collette to control the back and Chong Xie returning to add pace up front, aided by Ken Graham taking a forward position. The Reds looked good for most of the play, with the middle pairing of Rob Cox and Sean Hollands snuffing out the opposition's middle-park playing tactics, and the back line, supported by young corner backs, Matt Sleet and Josh Wilkinson, having the measure of the forwards. Graham's flick-on headers created chances for Chong and both forwards came closest to scoring in a fiercly fought first half. The second half saw Joe Kilgour and captain Martin Shaake finding more space down the lines to create more chances. The pressure paid off, and a well struck Chong free kick curled past the keeper to open the scoring. In response, Putaruru picked their game up and earned themselves a penalty, only to be saved by goalkeeper Matt Aberhart. Further attacks were staved off by great offside tactics, and a second goal came for Chong after some great work by sub Harlan Pather. Putaruru retaliated and, just as the reds lost two key players to injury, managed to claw a first and then second goal back to level the score 2 all. A draw was hard on the reds as they had earned all three points. Player of the day was Chong Xie, with strong perfomances from all.
Melville E 1 v Cambridge Athletic 2
07 May 2011
Cambridge B team, Athletic, advanced through to the next round of the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup last Saturday with an unconvincing 2-1 away win against a fired-up Melville Utd E team. Considering the gap of two divisions between the teams, Cambridge should really have displayed a better performance. A few key players were either not available or rested, and all the young guns were called on to perform. The blustery conditions and boggy pitch made it hard going, and the determination from a well-organised opposition seemed to drain many Cambridge players of their self-confidence and playing abilities. Midway through the first half, and against the run of play, a good ball from Neville at the back, to Sleet and Riddel along the right wing, allowed forward Martin Schaake to slot in his first goal for the team. Rather than use this to settle their game and build on a second, Cambridge still allowed the home team to see more of the ball and shortly into the second half Melville equalised. A number of substitutions were made to turn the game around and it seemed to make a difference. Schaake, Hollands and Graham all came close, and Melville were struggling to respond. With ten minutes to play, a determined Dillan Third competed hard and allowed Ian Marshall to fire home the winner. The after-match debrief focussed on improving individual performances at training, ready for Putaruru at home next week. Player of the day was Ian Marshall, with strong displays from Rob Cox, Matt Sleet and Sean Hollands.
Melville Utd 2 v Cambridge Athletic 0
30 Apr 2011
Another away game saw Cambridge Athectic visit an in-form Melville, scoring 10 goals from their last 2 games. Changes were forced in the reds line-up due to injuries, creating starts for teenagers Wilkinson, Riddle and Third. Centre-backs Graham and Collette were combating all the early attacks and Xie and Hollands slowly started to open up Melville through the middle. A few chances came the way of forwards Schaake and Riddle but the hosts were just as keen in defence, with the keeper stopping long-range efforts from Xie. With ten minutes left in the half, Melville took a quick free kick and squared across the defence for a shot that grazed the fingertips of goalkeeper Marshall before finding the net. Cambridge responded well with Fiesst and Neville running the wings and crossing into the danger zone. This tempo continued into the second half yet the reds failed to convert their chances. Substitutes Harding, Pather and Vinnicombe came on to add extra energy. Melville picked up their game and came close from an acute shot but Graham cleared the ball from hitting the net. Determined to make ammends, Melville pressured Marshall and scored a messy second goal. All credit to the reds as this was a good test of their attitude and self-belief. Melville acknowledged the efforts made by the opposition in breaking down their game plan. Player of the day went to Ken Graham, via Melville feedback. The reds return next week in the cup and must focus on finishing their chances.
Waihi 0 v Cambridge Athletic 2
23 Apr 2011
Keen to address the agonising loss last week, a fired-up Cambridge team took on Waihi knowing that only 100% from each player would get a result. Collette and Cracknell, Graham and Hollands set the stage, combining well as a solid central four-player unit. Fiesst and Neville worked the flanks and the ever-young Santos and the very-young Wilkinson tidied up the Waihi wingers. Waihi were determined to win, but a strong passage of play from Waihi was suddenly reversed through a Graham ball picking out the energetic Chong Xie to slot home. This helped build Cambridge's confidence and young Tom Gifford started to get on the end of most balls, playing as lone striker ahead of Xie. The second half saw Waihi throw everything at Cambridge and fresh legs were soon called upon to reverse the tide. Teenagers Vinnicombe, Riddell and Mayerink all slotted in well and muscled their way past older opponents to create a few breaks for the reds. With 15 minutes left to play, a counter-attack finally paid off and debut youngster Jon Riddell broke through to calmly fire home a second goal and kill the game off. Everyone played well, with key performances from goalkeeper Ian Marshall and from Coach Brian Harding dictating play from the sidelines. Player of the day was Sean Hollands and he captains the team next week. The lads phoned badly-injured key striker Waddell after the game to shout-out their joy at getting the first win of the season.
Cambridge Athletic B 1 v Te Awamutu 2
16 Apr 2011
This first home fixture saw the Reds take on locals Te Awamutu and prove they could play well enough to earn a victory. However, the game was decided by 2 rebounds each with a different outcome. Off to a great start and dominating 80 percent of the play the Reds looked the better team. Collette and Cracknell had the back sorted and an opening goal through an energetic Chong Xie brought the rewards. A Xie freekick rebounded off the post and bounced off a rushing Graham and somehow deflected over the crossbar. Graham then came close off a Hollands corner with a long drive rattling the crossbar. Just prior to half time, forward Jason Waddell suffered a shin break in a 50/50 challenge and was sent to hospital. Te Awamutu sensed the concern and distraction in the home team and came back with 2 goals to win the game 2-1. Their second came from a rebound that was picked off the toes of a clearing Graham. The Reds proved they can dig deep with several attempts on goal from Schaake, Xie and Pather. Some losses hurt more than others, this was one was agonising (in many ways). Player of the day was Chong Xie and he will captain the team next week. Jason has become a key player displaying great skills and attitude. His injury is a huge blow to the team. He should be out of plaster in 10 weeks with no long-term damage hopefully. Take care Jason.
Claudelands 2 v Cambridge Athletic 2
09 Apr 2011
Another tough away game for the new look B team started with last minute line-up changes and debuts for young Dillan Third and player-coach Brian Harding at the back, and both ended up having outstanding games. A spirited Claudelands team had most of the early possesion but it was Cambridge who created the better chances. A mix-up in the Claudelands defence lead to an own goal and motivated Cambridge to press harder. Graham and Hollands started to win more balls and the wingers Vinnicombe and Xie began feeding Schaake and Waddell up-front. Alas, a quick breakaway move for Claudlelands brought an equaliser that, had the local linesman kept up wth play, might have been disallowed. This spurred the home team on and a second came their way via an uncleared long throw-in. Undeterred, Cambridge fought back and after several near misses from set pieces eventually earned an equaliser via a Brian Harding free kick that cleared the outstretched keeper. 2-2 half time. Claudelands came out determined to win but a resolute Cambridge defence kept them from scoring. Ian Marshall pulled off some outstanding saves and Captian Dave Cracknell, Neville and Graham combined well to deter the attackers. Substitutes Pather and Mayerink replaced the hard-working Hollands and Xies, and debut substitutes Sleet and Wilkinson came on to firm up the midfield. All the young substitutes contributed well and ensured the honours were shared. Player of the day was Ken Graham, Captain for next week's home game is Ian Marshall.
FOSS 6 v Cambridge Athletic 2
02 Apr 2011
First game of the season for a new look B team, with only 2 players returning from last year's team. A mix up in defence saw the FOSS home team grab a gifted goal in the first 2 minutes, far from the ideal start. Cracknell, Alvarado, Marshall and Captain Collette all worked hard at the back to resist the early pressure. Hollands and Graham were ran ragged in midfield and chances were limited for the up-front pairing of Waddell and Xie. Graham came closest with a header and should have put it away. Sensing an inexperienced goal-keeper between the sticks, FOSS focussed on attack and grabbed 2 more before the break. Cambridge 3-0 down half time. Following a dress-down from coach Brian Harding, the reds came out pressing and a through ball from Graham picked out Waddell who battled hard to pull a goal back. A miss-kicked clearance from young Morrison in goal provided FOSS with a quick response and the gap opened to 3 again. Shortly after a FOSS free kick cleared the outstretched keeper and FOSS had 5 goals on their card. Wingers Alvarado and Vinnicombe took a break after strong performances and were replaced by Pather and Neville. Mayerinic replaced Schaake after receiving one-too-many knocks from the physical FOSS side. Further pressure paid off for Cambridge and Xie turned on a Cracknell ball and blasted home to give Cambridge a chance in the final quarter to reduce the deficiet. The substitutes made a difference, but not enough to hold back FOSS who scored a well-worked goal to finish on 6. Final score FOSS 6, Cambridge Athletic 2. The reds did not deserve a win, but one goal really should have been the difference between the teams. Changes being made at the back next week ready for the away game at Claudelands. Player of the day was Jason Waddell, Captain for next week is Dave Cracknell.
Cambridge Athletic 3 v West Hamilton 1
14 Sep 2010
A midweek game under lights is what awaited Cambridge on Tuesday night against a strong West Ham team. With the pitch resembling a cross between a bog and a river the game got underway under lights. The first chance of the game fell to the home side but unfortunately Russ Foster fluffed his shot when he found himself in acres of space at the edge of the box. The opening goal came midway through the first half when a through ball from Colin Rea found Foster who rounded the keeper and finished with his left foot (seriously). The next goal (not given) came from a Marc Thomas corner which again found Foster free in the box and he headed it in only for the ref to be unsighted and no goal given. With the usual defence of Kardas, Dixon, Cox, old man Graham and Ollie all having a blinder, any chance for the away team was quickly snuffed out. Goal number two came from a penalty after Foster was brought down by three in the box and was converted by big Marc Thomas after a scuffle (with two men sin-binned). At the break the home side were two up.
The second half was a scrappy affair with the away side playing some good football and Cambridge battling hard. The midfield of Thomas, Porter and Rea kept things tight at the start of the half and never gave West Ham any time on the ball. A lovely through ball from old man Graham found Foster again midway through the second half and he raced clear to head the ball past the on rushing keeper, 3-0 and game over. Foster could and should have got his hat-trick when a smart turn on the edge of the area gave him enough space to produce a thundering shot that hit the post with the keeper nowhere. With the game won West Ham scored a consolation goal when a miss kick looped over Ian in goal to reduce the deficit to two goals. A fifth win on the bounce was just reward for a hard fought win against a team that belies its place in the league. Strong games were had by everyone especially the defence, which looks impregnable and Gaz Porter (again) who plays like a cross between Ted Bundy and Mr Bolt. Special mention to Ian in goals who had a fantastic game (even under lights) and Stuart (Billy,) who again came off the bench and did a good job. MOTM – Again it was another splendid team effort but Ron edges out the man of the match award. Wahi away on Saturday (weather permitting).
Cambridge Athletic 4 v Otorohanga B 1
11 Sep 2010
B team rise to the challenge. This was a must win game against a strong Otorohanga team - placed alongside the B team in the league. After a hard fought initial 30 minutes the breakthrough came for Athletic after a long Ken Graham pass found the feet of the ever-fiesty Russell Foster who controlled and slotted the ball past the rushing keeper. The visitors reacted with plenty of action down each wing, Ron Kardis and Rob Cox taking care of the left (marking a decent young lad in the progress) while Ken and Russell Dixon sorted out the right. The central area soon saw the brunt of the play with Simon Lockwood, Colin Rea, Gaz Porter and Marc Thomas fighting hard to ease the pressure. This tremendous teamwork soon reaped further rewards after a Marc Thomas pass found Foster, this time on the the right, and in front of a cheering crowd he muscled his way into the box to score a cracking goal into the bottom right of the net (some have said it was a miss-kick but as a suffering Burnley fan we will give him the benefit of doubt). The half time team talk asked for even more determination, more goals and a clean sheet. The second half saw the visitor's sneaky left winger flattended by Ken on several occasions to deny him a sniff at goal and very few chances came Otorohanga's way. Mid-way through the half, a Ron Kardis corner was just cleared off the line and the resulting corner saw the ball cross it... a great near post in-swinging goal for Ron. A returning-to-fitness Grant McllMurray started to find his groove again and started combining well with Marc and Russell to help create Russell's third for the day.. a superb hat trick from an in-form striker. Stuart Jones, Tony McIsaac and Billy Whizz came on and all made a great impact on the game, keeping the pressure on an Otorohanga team that knew it had been fairly beaten. The only blot was a consolation own-goal granted to the visitors following an unfortunate miss-kick by a hard-working Russell Dixon rushing back to cover. This was another excellent team effort with strong performances from all. Stand-out games for Ken, Gaz, Marc and Russell Foster, with Gaz just about earning the player of the day award ahead of Russell.
Big night on Tuesday with the B team hoping to climb to 3rd with a win.
Tokoroa 1 v Cambridge Athletic 2
28 Aug 2010
Another crucial win on the road for the reds. The visit to Tokoroa has always been a hard fought game and Saturday's lived up to past encounters. With only 12 fit and available players (Judas not included) Athletic started with the successful 3-5-2 formation and within the first few moments should have scored but Russ Foster was unable to get the shot away. Foster had two further chances to break the deadlock but both were repulsed, one by the post and the other from a very smart save. The away team’s midfield of Graham, Harris & Rea were finding their feet in difficult circumstances and releasing wing-backs Stu Jones and Ron Kardas down the sides regularly. Half way through the first half the deadlock was broken when a ball played out of the defence found Stu on the wing who played a beautiful through ball to Matt up front and he beat the on-rushing Tokoroa keeper and slotted it in the far corner. The rest of the half was a tight battle but Russ, Rob and Lockie easily repulsed the few half chances Tokoroa had. The second half was again very hard fought, not very many chances and mainly played in the centre of the pitch in what resembled a paddock. Tokoroa’s only real chances came from set pieces but with a defence that resembles the Andes it was never going to be easy for the home side. With 20 minutes to go Athletic produced the goal of the season. A ball was headed out of defence by Ken, which was then headed by Harris to Ron on the left wing. With a turn of pace that belied the advancing years, he beat (with ease) his marker and charged down the left and produced an inch perfect cross low and hard into the box which Matt managed to get to and his first time shot slammed the ball into the bottom corner. QUALITY!!!!
With the game in the bag, Cambridge lost concentration and with five minutes to go they conceded a goal from a corner, this however didn’t change the result and the double was done over Tokoroa.
An exceptional win with 7 players not available or playing for other teams (go figure), no game on Saturday but 4 important games left in the season.
MOTM – Team award this week as it was a real team performance.
Foss 0 v Cambridge Athletic 6
14 Aug 2010
Cambridge visited FOSS at Jensen Park but due to the fact that a Japanese whaling ship was moored on the pitch and the game needed to be played it was decided to play the match on the hallowed turf of St Peters. After the first game against FOSS Athletic knew it would not be a walk in the park but like a well oiled machine the away side hit the ground running. The pitch had a few puddles in the goal mouths but with the ageless Ron Kardis and the youthful Stu Jones blazing down the wings you would hardly notice. Throughout the first half the quality of crosses from both wing-backs was sublime; unfortunately the finishing from Ken Graham and Russ Foster was not in the same universe. With Marc Thomas, Gaz Porter and Ken dominating the midfield it was only a matter of time until the first goal came. Russ Foster eventually broke the deadlock when he ran on to a through ball and beat the onrushing keeper have just monstered the FOSS centre-half. The second was almost a carbon copy of the first with Russ fending off two defenders and a puddle to make it 2-0. The hat-trick was almost completed when a header from another perfect cross from Ron just flew past the far post. The defence of Simon Lockwood, Rob Cox and Russ “Champion” Dixon had few issues in the first half and gave the FOSS attackers no time or space to play any type of game. The second half started like the first ended, plenty of chances and plenty of goals. Marc Thomas got the third with a little help from the post, Russ got his hat-trick and was replaced by Joe Gifford who also got on the score sheet. Matt Joubert completed the scoring with a fantastic finish after a terrific game where he never stopped running. Nick Feisst and Stuart Anderson came on early in the second half and carved the FOSS defence apart, with one of the highlights being Stuarts 40 yard pass to Russ Foster down the wing. Although Ian had a quiet day between the posts he did manage to finish the game without injury (just). It was an excellent team performance with strong games from every member of the team. Players of the Day – Ron Kardas, Marc Thomas & Russ Foster
Please note that 3 members of the team travelled up to Auckland on Sunday for the NZ National Kick Boxing Championships. After a bruising day the team is proud to announce that Nick “Frodo” Feisst came second in his competition even with a dodgy hamstring, young Thomas Rea is a DOUBLE NZ National Kick Boxing Champion and “Big” Russ Dixon is also a NZ National Kick Boxing Champion. Congratulations and at least it shows there are a few athletes in the Athletic squad (as well as the Dobbin our thoroughbred stallion).
Claudelands Rovers 1 v Cambridge Athletic 2
31 Jul 2010
Magnificent double-win against the leader for Athletic. The visit to Claudelands has been historically a hard fought contest and Saturday was no different. The away side went into the game with a returning Rob Cox as well as a dead looking Gaz Porter and a formation that pushed the spritely looking Russ Foster up front.
The first half was a tense affair with the home side trying to play from the back but were continuously foiled by a determined midfield of Gaz Porter, Pete Greenwood and Ken Graham. The first chance of the half came from a through ball from Ron Kardas on the left which Russ chased down and crossed into the box, unfortunately Matt Joubert couldn’t keep it down and headed the ball onto the bar. At the other end, a break saw Claudeland’s attacker in acres of time and space only to see Ian Marshall pull off the save of the season from point blank range. The breakthrough came for the away side when Russ chased another midfield through ball and easily beat his marker for pace (seriously) and strength and beat the onrushing keeper.
Unfortunately the home side levelled the scores at the start of the second half when a cross was superbly controlled and finished giving Ian no chance. The game will also be remembered for the goal scored again by Russ Foster from a pinpoint cross from Oliver Harris which squeezed in between the near post and the keeper from a close range header…. and the fracas at the end of the game which saw two players from each side sent off.
There were a few hairy moments for the away side towards the end but the defence of Russ Dixon, Simon Lockwood, Rob Cox and Nick Feisst was never in any real trouble. The introduction of Stuart (Billy) Anderson and Stuart Jones enabled Gaz to come off before he was carried off and Rob to have a well earned rest.
This was a fantastic “double-win” result against a fancied Claudelands rovers side, especially after a few patchy performances, with every member of the team doing their jobs and never giving up. No game next week but FOSS away on the 14th August at Jensen Park, KO 2.45pm.
Man of the match – Russ Foster for his two goals and his determined presence up front.
Putararu 2 v Cambridge Athletic 1
24 Jul 2010
Harsh defeat in the Waikato Plate. Another week in the basket case that is the Athletic team saw Cambridge visit the metropolis of Putararu. The first half was very evenly contested with both sides battling hard but creating few clear-cut chances. A new central midfield partnership of Minty and Locky looked comfortable and dominated the early play. The first half ended 0-0 with the away side on top and looking to turn the pressure they had created into goals in the second half.
Unfortunately it was the home side that broke the deadlock, as a Cambridge attack broke down Putararu attached in such numbers Michael Cain may well have struggled to keep them out. A cross from the left saw the home sides number 9 unmarked at the far post to head past Ian (Blackburn Scum) and into the goals. With a goal against the run of play Cambridge went on the attack and a number half chance were created. Unfortunately for the second time this year the decisive moment came when a shot from the edge of the area from the away side was handled on the line, only for the ref to claim he didn’t see anything. This seemed strange as for the previous 70 minutes he seemed to have the vision of an SAS sniper. It got worse 1 second later when Matty turned to slot the subsequent lose ball home he was dragged to the ground in the box, again the ref claimed the 5th. Unfortunately when the ball eventually broke, Putararu attacked in numbers and a shot from the edge of the area beat an unsighted Ian.
Credit to Cambridge who stuck to the task in hand and never gave up. A free kick brought the score back to 2-1 when Ollie beat the keeper from 30 yards. With 10 minutes left Russ Foster was pushed upfront and 3 minutes later the Ref blew for fulltime. Although it was our 3rd defeat this year to Putararu it was our best performance.
Man of the Match – Ron Kardas & Russ Dixon.
Cambridge Athletic 7 v FOSS 3
17 Jul 2010
An etaining win for Athletic. Football has been called a funny old game and on Saturday on a moist winter’s day in Cambridge it was at its funniest. There is not a lot to be said about the game, FOSS had eight men and held the home side to 2-2 at half time. Both goals conceded were mistakes made under NO Pressure. The first after a miscommunication between Ian (Keeper) and Ron following a defensive throw-in which enabled the solitary FOSS attacker to equalise and then the second resulted from a corner when young Stu decided he was too pretty to head the ball at the near post and just ducked!!!!. Stu did redeem himself with the equaliser just before half time after Ken had headed Athletic in front after 5 minutes.
The second half started exactly like the first, Cambridge scored early through a tap in from Ken off a dropped Marc Thomas shot. Then, from a free kick 40 yards out, Athletic conceded after Ian failed to grab the ball first time and at the 5th attempt decided to just slap the ball in the goal. Although Cambridge had 98% territory and possession they just could not find the net as FOSS had all eight behind the ball and the Frodo (Nicks 1st Cousin) like keeper was nowhere near as bad as he first looked.
Eventually as the away side tired the goals came. Colin scored an acrobatic goal (70 yards closer than any previous attempts), Russ Foster added a goal through a superb chip over the Umpa Lumpa in goals. Thomas Rea added two more goals, his first a low drive and his second a magic free-kick, to make the score line rather flattering.
There was a lot of frustration vented during the game, but a win is a win. Player of the Day goes to Thomas Rea & Peter (Minty) Greenwood for dominating the midfield. The referee said it was the most fun he’d had for a long time and suggested we set ourselves up as a travelling football circus.
Huntly Thistle 2 v Cambridge Athletic 6
03 Jul 2010
An Imperious 6-2 Waikato Plate victory for Athletic. On a chilly July afternoon Cambridge travelled to a Huntly in the Waikato Plate looking to get their season back on track after a terrible performance the previous week in Putarau. With a new formation which would let Locky play like his idol Berasi, it only took 10 minutes before the away side conceded from a corner, after the initial header from the home team hit the bar and presented itself to a Huntly player unmarked in the 6 yard area.
After some constructive criticism from Marc Thomas (as always) Cambridge started to dominate proceedings and when Thomas Rea & Gareth Porter came on the magic really happened. With the midfield of Ken, Ron, Minty & Grant dominant it was only going to be a matter of time until Cambridge were back on level terms and when it did eventually happen the goals came like busses, three at once and after the dust had settled Gareth Porter had a hat-trick and Huntly had a headache.
The second half started like the first had finished, Peter aka Minty rose like a salmon to head in his first for the club, twinkle toed Gareth got a fourth and Ron “the Dutchman” Kardas scored the pick of the goals when he chipped the keeper from 45 yards after a defence clearance. It was a comprehensive victory even though the home team tried to kick everything that moved (apart from the ball). Strong games had by everyone especially Ian in goals and Big Russ Dixon, who had to contend with the home sides best player.
Slight injuries were picked up by Simon Lockwood, Ron and as always big Marc Thomas so with no game next week the old bodies can have a rest.
M.O.T.M – Gareth Porter, Grant & Ron.
Putaruru 5 v Cambridge Athletic 2
26 Jun 2010
All fired up and ready to go, following positive pre-match changing room banter, Athletic made some early in-roads with a string of corners that unfortunately could not be converted. The home-side's first real attack was not properly dealt with by the defence and incredibly it was 1-0 Putaruru. Athletic, somewhat in shock, set to making amends and Colin Rea, back from injury, made his presence felt, rattling the Putaruru defence and creating attacking movements. Ken Graham came close with a header from a Marc Thomas cross. The keeper's ability to keep the ball out was soon to be the telling difference between the sides. A period of midfield action saw Athletic stretched with Putaruru seeming to have extra men in midfield. A through ball was not cleared by the defence and Athletic was punished again, 2-0. The left side began working better, with Nick Fiesst, back from injury, and Stuart Jones combining well to get a ball through to Marc. His cross was bundled by the Keeper and Ken nudged his way through to score his second of the season. Athletic got their rewards just before half time to provide something to build on in the second half.
Big Russ Dixon took a break and Bradley, the right back replacement called in to be the team’s only substitute, started to push forward. Within ten minutes he managed to keep a ball in play by the Putaruru posts and Grant smashed hometo bring the scores level. All to play for, both sides pressed hard. Peter (Mint Cake) began pushing from midfield and combined well with Marc, Ken and Colin. Half way into the second half Putaruru got their third goal after a contentious free kick was awarded from the home side moaning at “their” referee. Russell Foster had fairly blocked a shot with his girth (horse term) but this was seen differently by the ref. Amidst the Athletic complaints, the referee failed to blow his whistle and a quick kick curled over the forming Athletic wall into the net. Riled at the decision, Athletic pushed hard, with Simon Lockwood pressing up the field, and at least ten chances came their way. Regrettably none could be converted. Colin had a header saved, Marc had several long range efforts saved, Grant and Ken had shots cleared off the line. Peter, Nick and Stuart all found good scoring positions but missed the target. While all this was going on, Putaruru had three more attacks on goal and scored from two of them. One was a well-worked move, the other, yet another defensive error. 5 – 2 the full time score with strong performances from Ken, Marc, Peter, Grant and Colin.
Clearly annoyed and disappointed to have been beaten by a weaker side, the Athletic lads had a smashing post-match whinge in the changing room, with the fingers of blame being pointed between defenders and attackers, and the exhausted midfielders getting caught up in the middle. This was a lesson learnt for everyone to do their jobs on the pitch to the best of their abilities. No room for mistakes next week, as Athletic take on Huntly in the Waikato Plate. Hopefully, Athletic will have more subs and hold the desire to make amends from this Putaruru experience.
Melville Old Boys 2 v Cambridge Athletic 2
19 Jun 2010
A scrappy Draw For Athletic. Athletic not happy with single point against a poor Melville team. A game which saw some terrible tackles and some poor calls from a young inexperienced referee who was not helped by bullying tactics from the home side, hardly surprising we struggle to get referees when young referees are treated the way they were by the home team.
Both sides were eager to beat the other,with plenty of action in and around the penalty areas. Ron Kardas gave Athletic the lead just before the stroke of half time, Ken Graham with a delightful cross picked out the winger who saw his header saved onto the post only to come back off the goalkeeper and into the net. The game soon got delayed as a Melville midfielder caught a bad knee and was carted off to emergency. A goal behind and one player down, Melville threw heaps at Athletic, who, mainly thanks to Ian in goals, managed to keep a clean sheet for the first half.
The 2nd half was no less physical than the 1st, Melville applied the pressure and got the equaliser from a mix up with Billy Elliot and his dancing boots. They were then awarded a penalty to take the lead. A few changes were made by Athletic allowing fresh young legs to make a difference, complete with the ever-young Paul Mally being called upon. A great start for Athletic by Peter who had to stand-in for Gaz Porter as he endured a red card exit from the game due to his invisible hand bag throw.The fresh Athletic pressure lead to Marc Thomas curling in a sublime free kick 5 minutes from time to restore the scoreline.
Kind thanks to the Melville hosts for their after match hospitality (not).
Waihi 2 v Cambridge Athletic 0
18 Jun 2010
Athletic squandered the chance to win a key game to help them finish second in the league. A strong team was needed, but five of the key players were unavailable, meaning stand-in players had to take up the challenge. The guys that did turn up worked hard against a fired-up Waihi team hell-bent on winning. The strong winds, sloppy pitch and intermittent rain made it impossible to control the ball. It was a game of chance, a game of sheer grunt, and a game that could have gone either way. Athletic enjoyed some early possession and looked up for it, but a mix-up between Matty (goals) and Lockie gave the Waihi right winger an easy tap-in over the crowded defence and the home team took the lead. With 15 mins left of the first half, they started to apply more pressure and another move from the right wing saw a modest cross poorly dealt with by the Athletic back line (everyone had a glancing header) and the Waihi forward volleyed the ball into the net, 2-0 Waihi half time. Athletic made a couple of changes and faired better in the second half. First choice goalie, Ian Marshall, played well as right, then left back, and Rob Cox had a stand-out game in the middle. Minty and Stuart started combining well and tried to get Marc Thomas through on several occasions... but it was not looking like Athletic's day, with passes being too short or too long. It took sheer determination from Athletic to keep the home side held back and gradually it was becoming more of a contest for the visitors. But this all changed with half an hour to play when Athletic lost a player to a red card error by the short-sighted ref. This spurred Waihi back into life and after a spell of goal-mouth pressure a certain third goal was cleared off the line by a diving Ken Graham when all seemed lost. Billy, Lockie, Russell Dixon, Marc and Minty all dug deep in the latter part of the game, pushing forward when possible. The evergreen Steve Thomas came on for Ken and added extra grunt for Rob Cox at the back. The late pressure from Athletic nearly paid off and Minty could have got one back but just miscued his shot. This was a loss that should have been a win for the team, all the boys are back next week and we expect a win for our final game of the season. The wind pretty much dictated everyone's performance and the ref made Athletic's day even harder against a determined Waihi team. Man of the match went to a solid Rob Cox. (Stand-in Manager) Ken's glorious after-match speech was disrupted by Waihi supporters helping themselves to Athletic's fish and chips.
Otorohanga 1 v Cambridge Athletic 1
05 Jun 2010
Athletic Drop 2 Points. Cambridge will look back on their trip to Oto knowing the failed Deliverance of the full points was against the run of play, however if any credit can be taken it was the 1st half perfomance which was as good as Athletic have played so far this season. First blood went to Otorohanga as Russell Foster lost sight of the ball in the afternoon sun and it broke off his back and wrong footed Ian Marshall in goal leaving the Oto striker with the easiest of opportunities to take the lead, it was the 1st time Oto had the ball in the Cambridge box....
Cambridge kept at their hosts and continued to play good football, Ken Grahams header from a series of corners hit the bar, Marc Thomas met Ollies cut back and clipped the crossbar, Grant McIlmurray had a strike saved by the keeper, Ollie had an opportunity meeting a deep cross at the back post and his volley went wide with the keeper stranded. McIlmurray got Athletic back level around the 35th minute following up from Thomas Rea's header, this spurred Cambridge on and the pressure was well and truly on the hosts, Marc Thomas blazed over with just the keeper to beat and both Ollie and Thomas Rea went close before the half time whistle blew, much to the relief of Oto.
To the home teams credit the 2nd half was a much more equal contestent with far less clear cut opportunities, although some late Cambridge pressure should have seen them home, poor finishing and a stone wall penalty that never got awarded so the game finished in a stale mate, 2 points lost...on a day Cambridge couldnt hit a cow on the arse with a banjo.
Foster, aka Dobbin, will be fitted with blinkers next week.
Player of the Day - Gaz Porter
Cambridge Athletic 3 v Tokoroa 0
29 May 2010
Cambridge win 3 in a row. 3 wins out of 3 with some impressive football and a 13 goal haul, Athletic are starting to look like a team, going into this game knowing that Tokoroa would be a real test, having witnessed the Cambridge 1st team succumb to a 4-1 pre season thrashing - some late calls off and a sparse bench never effected Cambridge from going about their task with plenty of effort and dig the 1st half was becoming a slog, clearly the 1st goal was going to be very important and when Gareth Porter robbed the Tokoroa's midfielder and put McIlmurray through whose finish was clearly going into the net but Marc Thomas made sure by hammering it home from 2 yards - 1 nil Cambridge saw out the remainder of the half, Foster and Lockwood dominating the Tokoroa strike force.
A solid 1st half to build on, Cambridge stepped up and claimed the game with an impressive team performance, Ian Marshall turned away a looping cross which was as close as central defenders Lockwood and Foster allowed the visitors to get to scoring, again Porter and Graham were excellent in midfield helped out by both wide men and the full backs Kardas and Anderson both excellent. McIlmurrays header from a deft ball into the box from Lockwood made it 2-0 and Marc Thomas with a pirouette and a dink made it 3-0, McIlmurray went close for a 4th but the keeper did just enough to divert the ball onto the outside of the post, overall a great win for Cambridge who can look forward to back to back trips to Otorohonga in the league and cup.
Te Awamutu 2 v Cambridge Athletic 6
15 May 2010
Cambridge collected all 3 points on Saturday with a well deserved victory against a Te Awamutu Federation team. Fresh from last weekends giant killing exploits Cambridge took to the rain soaked pitch and immediately took the game to the hosts. The red & whites took an early lead when Grant McIlmurray picked up the scraps from the 1st corner of the game. Almost immediately Cambridge doubled their lead when young winger Matty Harper scored with a well placed header.
Te Awamutu pulled a goal back after a bit of pressure from a corner forced Russell Dixon to clear straight to the TA centre forward who made no mistake. Cambridge kept playing football and Matty Harper and young Ollie linked up on the right hand side of the pitch again to great effect, to their credit the full Cambridge midfield was keeping TA from getting into the game and left winger Bevan Mayo got his reward by adding the 3rd shortly before half time with a good finish after being sent clear.
Cambridge knowing that a 4th goal would kill any TA hopes of a fightback decided to bring on Stuart in central midfield and Ken Graham slotted into full back, Stuart made a great start to his B's debut playing striker Marc Thomas clean through on goal only to see his shot skewed wide of the goal, "taxi" was the shout from the traveling support. Supposedly a nasty bobble was to blame..it was however a sign of things to come as Stuart played Grant McIlmurray in for his 2nd, a turn and a well placed left foot strike into the corner effectively finishing the game but not the scoring.
McIlmurray completed his hat-trick another left footed strike again set up by young Stuart. Captain Gaz Porter turned provider for Stuart a dinked ball over the defense and Stuarts well placed side footed effort into the corner gave the home keeper no chance. TA grabbed a late consolation to give them a 2nd.
Cambridge happy with the overall performance - goalkeeper Ian Marshall playing well when called upon. Russell Foster never lost a header all day and was superb along with Simon Lockwood at the heart of the defence. Paul Maley played his 1st game of the season coming on for Marc Thomas who was making his 1st start after struggling with injury and both of them played well. No single player of the day with strong games from Foster, Porter and McIlmurray.
Cambridge Athletic 4 v Claudelands 2
08 May 2010
The B team languishing at the foot of the table took on Claudelands B who went into the game on the back of a 100% league record including a 13-0 destruction of Te Awamutu a fortnight ago, aware that the visitors were not going to need any gifts Cambridge started the game on a high tempo, newbie Matt Harper providing some much needed pace and trickery on the wing and for the first ten minutes Cambridge pressed and prodded at the Claudelands defence, however as has been the pattern this season the Cambridge defence of Dixon, Foster, Lockwood and Kardas succumbed to the 1st attempt from Claudelands, after a period of pressure and good passing Cambridge found themselves 1 nil down, fortunately Cambridge found themselves a quick equaliser Ron Kardas swung in a great corner and after a couple of half chances and ricochets the ball broke to Colin Rea who slotted home a few yards out - 1-1 game on.
Cambridge had control of the midfield Ken Graham was solid in the tackle and never lost a header, his midfield partner Gaz Porter was running the show putting in 110% effort and running about like a teenager, hard to believe he turns 30 next weekend! - a few corners and a some half chance falling to McIlmurray and Harper and Cambridge were looking pretty good without taking the lead, they should have known what was going to happen next as Claudelands took the lead with their 2nd attack of the day - another defensive lapse allowing Claudelands an easy goal, credit to the Cambridge team though as they never allowed that 2nd set back change the game plan and when, Russell Foster played Matty Harper through on goal he volleyed the ball from outside the area and levelled the game at 2-2 - a well deserved goal and a finish that the keeper never knew much about.
Cambridge back in the game and still having the lions share of possession kept pressing on the Claudelands defence who were clearly having their hardest workout of the season - again Harper was involved breaking from the right wing and looking up spotted McIlmurray, the cross was inch perfect and McIlmurray headed the ball away from the keeper into the far corner and Cambridge were 3-2 up and looking like they might add to their tally in what was becoming a goal fest of a 1st half.
Going in 3-2 up at the break, the message at half time to keep pressing, playing the ball and keep a clean sheet. Cambridge brought on young Ollie in place of veteran full back Russell Dixon and he linked up well with Harper giving the Claudelands left hand side torrid problems - chances were at a premium in the 2nd half as both defences got to grips and the midfield battle became more keenly contested - to the referees credit he kept the game under control and let the game flow to the best of his ability. Midway through the 2nd half young Nick Kick was replaced by Stuart Anderson (A.K.A Billy Orange) and player manager Colin Rae limped off to be replaced by Marc Thomas, to his credit Marc Thomas who has been struggling with a hairline fracture of the wallet played really well and linked up well with his striker partner and brought others into play, and it was Thomas who settled the game with the last kick of the game racing onto McIlmurrays header and his cross was palmed into the net by the Claudelands keeper - final score 4-2. Massive credit goes to the defence and the Cambridge goalkeeper who when called upon in the 2nd half rose superbly to the occasion.
Player of the day - Keeper Ian
Fashion Disaster (dick) of the day - Russell Foster ( The V8 Mardi Gras was a couple of weekends ago)
Cambridge Athletic 1 v Waihi 4
24 Apr 2010
After a motivational speech from Cambridge coach Paul Maley, Cambridge made an excellent start to the game and reversed the trend of the last game, Cambridge went 1 up - Ken Graham broke from midfield and cooly slotted the ball past the visiting keeper, within 2 minutes the game was all square as Dixon first controlled the ball on his chest but it touched his arm afterwards and the ref perhaps harshly blew for a penalty.
The game continued in a constant flow toward the Waihi box with Gaz Porter and Lee McNally bossing the central midfield however for all the possesion they never made it count - Cambridge blew several gilt edged chances with both strikers Colin Rae and Russell Foster going close but thwarted by an inform keeper and general profligancy denying Cambridge a half time advantage.
This game turned out to be the proverbial game of 2 halfs with Waihi scoring around the 50th minute the complexion of the game changed and suddenly with both Russell Foster and Ken Graham limping off the field, Cambridge looked 2nd best and although the 3rd and 4th goals came after a series of Cambridge corners and some sustained pressure Waihi gave Cambridge a lesson in ruthlessness - 3 games into the season and Cambridge know they have some hard work ahead to climb the table.
Player of the day - Simon Lockwood (It was Grant McIlmurray, but since he twatted Russell Foster, the award went to Locky instead)
Cambridge Athletic 3 v Putararu 4
15 Apr 2010
Cambridge B¹s started the game off looking to get their first points of the season after a misunderstanding stripped them of the 3 points over Melville, obviously Marc Thomas 14 year old son was too good for the Melville Old Boys... Thursday evenings game ended up closer than it should have given that Putaruru should have been up 8-1 at half time, a combination of good keeping, luck and bad finishing kept Cambridge in the game, an opportunistic McIlmurray strike saw them go in at half time only trailing by a goal (1-2), Cambridge were outclassed in Midfield and bullied up front in a dissapointing 1st half.
Cambridge made some changes at half time and Simon Lockwood came off the bench to bolster the defence and add some much needed strength and composure, Gareth Porter leading by example made in roads to getting on top of the Putaruru midfield who had dominated the 1st half and Cambridge forced several corners and had a few half chances and found themselves on top of the game. Russell Foster was crudely hacked down inside the Putaruru box and McIlmurray converted the spot kick to level the scores at 2-2. The game had swung in Cambridge favour only for them to be caught cold in a quick counter and within minutes of drawing level they found themselved down 2-3.
With 15 minutes left on the clock a Cambridge corner caused panic in the Putaruru defence and Russell Foster slammed home from 15 yards to level again, however Cambridge were caught in injury time pushing for the winner and the quick forwards of Putaruru sped away and claimed all 3 points.
Cambridge will take some positives from this match but in reality they learned some lessons and will look to strengthen the squad as being moved up to the B¹s to help the club has exposed some weaknesses in the squad.
Player of the day was Gareth Porter.
Cambridge Athletic 2 v Melville Old Boys 0
10 Apr 2010
Athletic Battle to a 2-0 first up win - BUT THE POINTS WERE HANDED OVER.
A new season, a new team and a new division. Saturday saw Athletic face off against very well organised Old boys Team in the Waikato B division. With a host of new players Athletic made the early running with a number of chances falling to the dynamic attacking partnership of Foster and Mclmurrey. With Gaz Porter bossing the midfield ably helped by the evergreen Kardas and Graham it was only a matter of time until the breakthrough came and when it did it was a surprise to everyone. A long ball was played into the area and after a flick on by Foster none other than Ron Kardas was on hand to head the ball past the hapless keeper to give the home side the lead. It was not all plain sailing but with Russ Dixon and Simon Lockwood marshalling the troops at the back everything that the Old boys tried was snuffed out.
The second half followed the same script as the first, Athletic creating numerous chances without ever finding the goal to kill of the game. Dobbin & Chopper Graham both hit the woodwork but it was left to Rab to score the vital goal. A 50 – 50 challenge with the keeper saw Grant nudge the ball over the line to give the home side the vital 3 points.
Marc Thomas could have added to the goal tally, but for a great save from the keeper and after a few hairy moments with back passes the game finished 2-0. Everyone played their part in the win, which was well deserved. Ian pulled off a solid save from an over-hit headed back pass that could have cost the side dearly.
Complete Feet player of the day goes to Ron Kardas, but Nick Feisst, Thomas Rea and Billy (Stuart) all played their part.