Thrilling win vs Tauranga
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.