Thrilling win vs Tau­ranga

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Toko­roa AFC got its Fed­er­a­tion Two league cam­paign back on track with an in­cred­i­ble up­set win over Tau­ranga City at Mount Maun­ganui on Satur­day.

The 2-1 score line was all the more re­mark­able given the enor­mous weight of pos­ses­sion the home team en­joyed as they bat­tered Toko­roa for 90 min­utes, but ran into a brick wall de­fence led su­perbly by club stal­wart Gareth Wil­liams and young tyro Cody Ch­ester­man.

Un­der con­stant pres­sure Toko­roa were forced to play deep and hard­work­ing mid­field­ers David Wright, Billy Man­they and Neil Slater were called upon to buf­fer the back four.

Against the run of play, vet­eran striker Dar­ren Man­they wound back the clock and re­minded ev­ery­one of his qual­ity with a mag­nif­i­cent free kick that caught the keeper nap­ping from 25 yards.

Tau­ranga re­sponded in the sec­ond half and equalised af­ter a con­tentious off­side call that set up a grand­stand fin­ish. Sub­sti­tute Michael Fitz­patrick stole all three points with a su­perb in­di­vid­ual goal af­ter break­ing free and bury­ing the ball hard and low across the keeper.

A ner­vous last 10 min­utes saw Toko­roa’s young goal­keeper Adam stand firm with a se­ries of crit­i­cal saves and the fi­nal whis­tle was met with cheers of de­light from the large trav­el­ling band of sup­port­ers.

Cap­tain John Reid can hardly have played in games as sat­is­fy­ing as this as the boys in green showed what work rate and team spirit can achieve.

Toko­roa are at home this weekend against tra­di­tional ri­vals Cam­bridge and will wel­come back Chris Teague, Des­mond Phillips, Ro­man Masters and Con­nor Wood in what should be an in­ter­est­ing se­lec­tion dilemma for coach Neil Slater.

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