Cambridge Under 19s
West Hamilton 0 v Cambridge Federation 1
02 Jul 2011
On a stunning Waikato afternoon the ever improving Fed 2 Team took on West Ham at Weka Street. In the first twenty minutes Cambridge struggled to contend with the opposition and the playing surface which is one of the worst you would ever play on.
Some strong play by Stevie Lee, Nitin, Harry and Matt at the back navigated Cambridge through the early exchanges. As Cambridge grew in confidence so did the impact of Stu and Craig in the middle of the park with some nice touches and passes despite the pitch being a limitation to playing the beautiful game.
Then after 25 minutes Daniel Reason chased a lost cause and the West Ham keeper smashed the ball against Daniels "derrier" with the ball climbing over the line - 1-0 to the reds! and a deserved lead. Second half was nothing short of a masterclass with Josh D and Josh C flying down the wings with Stu and Craig showing a maturity beyond their years. When called upon, debutant keeper Ken (Kitty Kat) Graham showed all his feline skills and did a great job.
In the end it should have been three or four with Daniel Reason, Craig and the two Josh's all having good chances. The team now have a good pattern of play getting the ball out wide and using the big fella (Lockie) to hold the ball up and dominate the aerial play, the team are now fulfilling their potential and positive team spirit.
Final Result 1-0 Well done!
Cambridge Federation 2 v Hamilton North 2
28 Aug 2010
After a few late team changes, the new line up saw Steve Thomas, who recently celebrated his 55th birthday, back into the starting 11. Ham North couldn’t break down the back four of Ginger, Steve, Paul and Krishan. Dean ‘T REX’ Jardine and Brad did the hard yards in the centre of midfield firing in challenges when needed. The hard work paid off when Josh Dagnall found a unmarked Joe Gifford who took the ball round the left back and drove a cross to an unmarked Kilgour who played the ball back in and the Ham North defender played the ball with his hand and a penalty was awarded. Brad stepped up and smashed the ball into the back of the net. After half time, Ham North resulted to Wimbledon tactics and hit route 1 football and the back four found themselves under pressure and after two quick goals Cambridge found themselves 2-1 down with 10 to go. A karate kick by Joe Gifford proved that the young Cambridge team was going to battle to the final whistle. Ham North came close to putting the game beyond reach when their striker was played through but it wasn’t to be after Cale pulled off the save of the season to deny anymore going past him. Cambridge could have levelled the game after striker Tom Woutersen flicked a ball through for striker Joe Gifford to pull off a bicycle kick (much to everyones amusement) which skimmed past the post. Cambridge chucked everything up-front and it paid off when a quality Blackstock cross put pressure on the goalie who could only parry the shot and Joe Gifford leapt like a salmon to feed to ball to none other than the Daganator who smashed the ball into the net with his shin pad. Final score 2-2.
Man of Match - old Boy Steve Thomas.
Sorry to Steve’s wife for the pain Steve will be in for the next 2 weeks
Cambridge Federation 4 v Rotorua Utd 3
17 Jul 2010
The Cambridge Federation team welcomed Rotorua United to John Kerkhof Park this week. The first round saw Cambridge come away from Vegas with the three points and coach Steve Thomas was clear about his intention to see the Reds complete a season double.
Welcoming Adam Graham and Dan Podjursky into the team in brisk conditions Cambridge started well, controlling possession. Some good early tackles had the visitors midfield on the back foot and Josh Dagnall was used to great effect wide on the left, probing and pushing his markers at every opportunity. The midfield arm wrestle deteriorated with the conditions, forcing short sharp passes inside, and left wide players outside to set the tempo.
Against the run of play Rotorua sneaked a free kick around the wall and that's how it stood at the break, 0 - 1. Coach Thomas made no bones about the state of the game and had the lads champing at the bit like never before. Podjursky slapped in the equaliser after just seconds of the restart as Cambridge got their act together. Not out of it the visitors sneaked another; only to see the heels of Tunley as he drove through the middle and again leveled the scores. The Daggernator picked up a booking and then a goal as the Reds kicked on, and this was followed quickly by a fourth as the United keeper failed to clear his lines. A third was conceded by the home side, another keeper error in awful conditions.
Final score 4 - 3 Cambridge, Man of the Match performance from Brad Tunley with strong games from every member of the squad (The Dangler unlucky to miss out), a quality home performance. Next week the Fed lads welcome Old Blues, and are looking forward to giving them a good slapping, too.
Cambridge Federation 0 v Matamata 1
19 Jun 2010
Following the poor performance of last week, Cambridge's Federation team was looking for a solid comeback effort at home to Matamata. Travelling constraints meant that first team captain Gareth Clarke and keeper Ryan McNamara were available for selection, and both started for the Reds. Making their Cambridge debuts were midfielders Matt Montieth and Scott Hudson. Josh Gifford was also welcomed into the side replacing the injured Steve Lee.
A typical start to the game saw the boys concede a fifth minute penalty, Dagnall adjudged to have taken the man not the ball. McNamara did well to save the initial shot but was helpless to prevent the rebound going in. Settling into an attacking rhythm, aided by the awesome tackling display offered by central defenders McNally and Gifford, and looked to recover the deficit. Good chances fell to skipper Coomber and striker Tunley, both unable to convert.
Clarke stepped up confidently to convert the match's second penalty, this time awarded to the home side after a poor challenge on Coomber. True to form it went past the keeper and out for a throw off the inside of the post. At the turn around it was Matamata 1 0 Cambridge.
A determined side returned to the field with every intention of building on the good first half display. As challenges flew in from both sides and the odd yellow appeared Montieth began to dominate in the middle of the field, a workmanlike performance which would earn him the Man of the Match award. Clarke moved forward to terrorise the visitor's backline but every opening fashioned was slammed closed by quality work from Matamata's keeper. Eventually pressure told and Clarke was brought down for the third penalty of the game. Knees failed to convert this one as well, the twelve yard curse firmly at home in Cambridge.
Cambridge Federation 2 v Tauranga City United 7
12 Jun 2010
Following a good win on the road last week the Federation squad hosted Tauranga City FC in poor weather conditions. Coach Thomas had a shrunken bench at his disposal but remained confident none the less.
The game started poorly for Cambridge, a cross from wide on their left finding a Tauranga striker alone at the back post and it was 1 - 0 after five minutes. Slowly rebuilding some semblance of order Cambridge's day went from looking dodgy to climbing Everest when centre back Cox was sent off and a penalty awarded. The ref later apologised but the damage was done, 2 - 0 down with ten men facing a team looking to top the league.
The first half continued to decline for Cambridge, and while there was a development of sorts in possession and even structure, the transition phase defied the home side and City found the net thrice more as players left the back exposed. Striker Tunley finished well when given the chance but the half time score was a cruel 5 - 1 in favour of City.
The second half was little better for Cambridge, tiredness caused by pitch conditions, weather and the game's pace saw the visitors bang in two more, and while Captain Coomber finished excellently to find a second it was too little to save the day. Collette failed to convert a penalty and that rather summed up not only his game but the team's; good intentions and moments of quality but missing the vital last link.
Man of the Match went to central defender Steve Lee for a dedicated and disciplined effort. Next week the Federation boys play host again, this time to the Swifts of Matamata, and Coach Thomas has already expressed his expectations of finishing with all three points in his pocket.
Kawerau 0 v Cambridge Federation 2
05 Jun 2010
The long bus trip to league strugglers Kawerau had the Federation lads in good spirits well before kick off. Upon arrival it became clear that coach Thomas' sentiments about the size of the pitch were no exaggeration; massive. A tweaked line up welcoming Krishnaa Patel into left back and Brad leading the line with Gifford snr. released Collette to the middle of the field alongside captain Coomber.
Without any real bells and whistles the first half flew by, the Reds going close on several occasions but missing a cutting edge in front of goal. It was all one way traffic though, replacement keeper McCaan could have had a snooze such was the efficiency of the visitors backline, Gifford jnr. Cox and Lee unshakeable. It wasn't until the thirty fifth minute that the breakthrough came. Good build up play found Coomber who offered the pass of the day to release Gifford snr. down the right, who in turn drilled a cross low and fast into the path of a flying Brad who made no mistake, smashing home from fifteen yards.
Following the break the Reds made sure to keep the screws turning, doing their best to avoid the usual dodgy few minutes. However, keeper McCaan had to make a fine save over the bar and some early set piece pressure was absorbed before Cambridge did settle again, and began to probe for a second. Kilgour and Dagnall were both in top form on the flanks, the latter having a quality game from start to finish and taking some big tackles into the bargain.
As the visitors kept up the pressure and pace Kawerau saw their captain dismissed for dissent. The resulting free kick was delivered with aplomb by the hard working Collette onto the head of centreback Lee who had no trouble nodding it over the helpless Kawerau keeper. Shortly after the second goal Kawerau were down to nine men, the referee handing out a second yellow to one player and bringing the games' total to two red and five yellows, all but one to the home side.
Tauranga Old Blues 3 v Cambridge Federation 1
22 May 2010
Following their first win of the season away to Rotorua, and another bye week, the Cambridge Federation squad travelled away to Tauranga. Welcomed onto a junior pitch under the warm afternoon sun Cambridge started the game slowly. A defensive calamity saw Tauranga Old Blues bang the first goal in after only three minutes.
A niggly first half unfolded, with late challenges and heavy shoulders both ways. Some more one way than the other. Amongst this arm wrestle Paul Blackstock burst from the centre of the field, rounded his man and drove home from the tightest of angles to level the scores after 35 minutes. A very harsh decision from the home referee saw left-back Collette penalised and a penalty was awarded to the Blues. Slotted, and once again Cambridge were chasing the game. Seconds later keeper Aberhart was done under a high ball and as half time descended the score was wrenched to 3-1 in favour of the home side.
Facing the falling sun after the turnaround, Cambridge dropped into their defensive mantra once again, and took on the full force of an attacking team in the ascendancy. Aberhart was instrumental in keeping the scoreline respectable, as was the Red's backline, dedicated to their task. One more found its way into the visitor's net, but given the number of chances created on this miserably small field nobody was complaining. Except Collette who told the ref exactly what he thought of him, and picked up a yellow for being brazen enough to state the painfully bloody obvious.
A dangerous late challenge into the back of an airborne Gifford saw a second yellow appear in the match, the reckless bundling over unwarranted and unappreciated, but his shirt was lined with pink batts so not too much damage done.
Cambridge Federation 1 v AFC Fury 6
03 May 2010
Some much needed rain overnight and a crisp morning offered the Federation boys an opportunity to play the visiting AFC Fury team in perfect conditions. Unfortunately, circumstances meant they were down six starting players before kick off and coach Steve Thomas had to juggle replacements as best he could.
An opening charge from the visitors, who had scored 16 goals in three games without conceding coming in to the match was met ably by the stout Cambridge backline.
So composed were the centreback pairing of Lee and Dickson that as pressure was absorbed the visitors were caught at the back and a superb Dagnall cross was food and drink for striker Matty Harper (left) who nudged home from two yards to open the scoring in favour of the Reds.
AFC Fury had a game plan, however, and it quickly clicked in to gear. Immense pressure saw keeper Aberhart forced into several fine saves before he was eventually rounded and the scores were level after twenty minutes. The remainder of the half was much the same, Cambridge under the heaviest of pressure at the back but coping with the strain. Miscommunication between Aberhart and fullback Collette handed AFC Fury their second, with Collette nearly sent off, as half time descended on a quietened John Kerkhof Park.
Moving into the second period the Reds knew that the next 45 minutes were going to be long and hard. The visitors were focussed on attack, almost single-mindedly, and the Cambridge strikers were being starved of the ball. In the middle of the field Jardine and Weber were resolute and stuck to their task despite the visitors moving the ball with seeming immunity to Cambridge pressure.
Unfortunately quality was the telling factor and AFC Fury had it in abundance in front of goal. While Aberhart was bordering on a World Cup call up with his stunning demonstration of goalkeeping talent, time and again the visitors found attacking space and began to put Cambridge to the sword. The AFC Fury number 10 matched Aberhart for quality and presented his own masterclass to leave Cambridge breathless and at times chasing shadows as he led his sides' comback to completion; final score 1-6 to the Tauranga team.
Coach Thomas was understandably gutted with the blowout, but sometimes you have to accept being beaten by a better team, and on this fine afternoon this was certainly the case. The Federation boys have seen first hand how to play an attacking game on the deck and at pace, and continue their pursuit of rhythm and focus in order to reach and sustain this quality of football themselves. The club's first encounter with AFC Fury was a demonstration of what senior football is all about, a hard, mature, clean game with respect all round. Suffice it to say that the Fury will always be welcomed in the future to John Kerkhof Park.
Man of the Match went to the composed, controlled and continuously competitive centreback Steve Lee, once again demonstrating his class and fine attitude throughout this torrid affair. A special mention also to Ken Graham, stepping up to fill a gap and acquitting himself well with a quality cameo appearance. Goodbye to Dickson, returning to the choppy seas off Aberdeen, sorry we couldn't manage the win for you fella. And to young Malcolm Matthews a round of applause for scoring after the final whistle, let's hope she refs us again soon. You dog you.
Cambridge Federation 1 v Hamilton North 1
17 Apr 2010
The Federation boys welcomed Hamilton North to John Kerkhof Park this Saturday. On the back of a tough result away to Matamata last week the team was looking to begin an assault on the points ladder.
Coach Steve Thomas made minor changes to the starting line up, with an attacking subs bench at his disposal. In conditions far more suited to football than the previous week the game began with both teams trying to settle into a passing rhythm. Solid work from the Cambridge back line saw Hamilton North attacks snuffed out as they emerged with the centreback partnership of Cox and Lee rock solid. Pressure can tell, however, and a fierce cross from the right forced Cox into a desperate attempt to clear, facing his own goal, and the home side was one down as bad luck struck.
Shortly following this Hamilton North had a man sent off the field of play for swinging an elbow in a tackle, though both sides were a little surprised by the decision. Sensing a real opportunity to get the game back under control Cambridge pushed forward dominating possession and field position.
Work in the middle from the tireless Wilfried Weber and a settled Jardine saw three good chances opening up for striker Harper who was unable to convert. Good work down the right developing as the Dagnall-Gifford partnership took shape led to further Cambridge pressure, but the breakthrough refused to materialise.
Half time was all about focus and formation; and the need to press early in the second half. As time ticked on with the scoreline remaining in favour of the visitors Thomas turned to his bench and changed formation to allow more attacking players a chance to get amongst it. A sublime run and passing move from deep in midfield saw a good effort strike the woodwork as the home side flung everything forward.
The inspired introduction of Joe Kilgour wide on the left allowed the young player room to find space and run at the defenders. With normal time gone Kilgour rounded one, gave and received back a good pass and with aplomb drilled the much awaited equaliser into the bottom corner.
Man of the Match went to Kilgour with solid performances from Cox, Lee, Gifford and keeper Aberhart. Next week the Federation team is away to Kawerau hoping to build on this fantastic display of determination and belief.
Matamata 3 v Cambridge Federation 0
10 Apr 2010
The first match of the season is usually a tense affair, even before kick off. Coach Steve Thomas felt the nerves all night and he was not alone in losing some sleep. Drawn away to Matamata for the early kick off, the Federation boys were well prepared and ready to go out and win with confidence. Under a beaming sun in 22 degrees it was not going to be easy for either side. Captain Jamie Coomber won the toss and right from the whistle Cambridge looked to hunt down Matamata players in possession and establish a tempo.
Despite the intense drilling of coach Thomas over the past few weeks, his new look back line struggled to find width early on, those nerves playing on a few minds. Some solid tackling in the face of several home side attacks set the tone for the half; no Cambridge player giving an inch to the opposition.
The reds began to find some rhythm as the half pushed on, Dean Jardine pulling a few strings in the middle of the field. A near own goal for Matamata under intense pressure from Coomber and midfielder Paul Blackstock built further on Cambridge's sense of dominance.
Fullback Harry Gifford was instrumental in denying Matamata any good chance to respond, his man of the match performance thoroughly deserved as time and time again he hounded, won the ball, and found friendly feet. A spell of solid pressure and several corners from the home side led to centreback Steve Lee, on his Cambridge debut, conceding a penalty.
How this was awarded was as much a mystery to the Matamata players as it was to the visitors; Lee's timing and execution of the slide tackle was world class in the six yard box.
The penalty was scored. Immediately play returned to normal with Cambridge pushing hard for an equaliser in the dying minutes of the half.
Poor organisation and players pushed forward for an attacking free kick left Cambridge short at the back, and they were punished for the lapse, Matamata slotting home a breakaway second as the whistle blew.
Half time was a quiet affair, the boys feeling cheated to be 2-0 down. Coach Thomas demanded more from fullbacks Gifford and Collette, width the only way to create space for strikers Coomber and Joe Gifford. No changes were made. Within moments of the restart Matty Harper could have pulled one back, his header from Robert Cox's free kick sent over the bar. Minutes later Blackstock was clearly fouled from behind but somehow denied a stonewall penalty. Repeatedly Coomber was clipped and chopped and his frustration was added to by further poor decision making from the officials.
Central midfielder Jardine was struck twice in view of the referee and his assistant by a Matamata player, and his vehement demands for protection were rewarded with him receiving a yellow card for dissent. Frustration grew to fever pitch as the referee again and again stopped play against the visitors, repeatedly handing possession to the home side with time running out. The introduction of Josh Dagnall on the right wing showcased the talent of this exciting young player, impressing both managers and spectators. Soon after his introduction Collette was forced off and replaced by Joe Kilgour who also acquitted himself well. As Cambridge pushed still, refusing to sit back and accept the loss, a shanked finish wrong-footed keeper Matty Aberhart and saw the scoreline twisted to an unbelievable 3-0 at full time.
Down but not outplayed Cambridge are looking forward to hosting Hamilton North at John Kerkhof Park, kick off at 2.30pm.