A bitter southwesterly blowing across Kamo Sports Park rubbed off on North Force's premier side as they implemented an ice-cold performance to beat Manukau City, 3-2.

Manukau brought with them a brutish brand of football, but it was no match for North Force's cool, calm and collected finishing skills that sealed the deal in the dying stages.

North Force coach Russell Baddeley was ecstatic with his team's ability to remain composed.

"It wasn't very pretty," Baddeley said. "Very scruffy, very physical and very high intensity [through] the whole 90 [minutes]. You can see why they've managed to win a few games because they put a lot of pressure on mentally and physically, but our boys stood up to it and managed to get home so it was huge."


With a tight scoreline throughout the game, both teams were at each other's throats from the get go.

The referee and linesmen also copped verbal abuse from the visiting side resulting in one player being sent off and a few others nearly following suit.

Regardless, North Force were able to play on with an intensity that has been lacking of late.

Well-executed goals in the second half from Andrew Dunn and Jason Teal elevated North Force's lead to 3-2 after a tight, 1-1 first half. "I was very pleased with the discipline," Baddeley said. "[It was] a huge three points for us - what we've got to do is get that level of intensity and physicality every week [because] we've got the quality to pick off the goals and get the results."

With a renewed sense of enthusiasm and the pot of gold secured from under the rainbow that hovered over the park during the match, Baddeley said his team would look to maintain their controlled brand of football. "If we got another one [goal] that would've made the last 15 minutes a lot more comfortable but we're excited to get the three [points for a win].

"If we hadn't have got a win here we'd be eight points behind them and that's getting too much.

"Now the gap's one [point] on them and other results went our way yesterday so [we're] very much near the top of the table."