With just days between games, Tauranga City have been focusing on recovery.

The squad enjoyed their third victory of the Northern League Football first division season on Anzac Day - and they hope to make it two in a week with another clash today.

Perseverance is what has paved the way to Tauranga City's latest win, securing a 3-1 victory over North Shore's Fencibles United on home ground at Links Avenue Reserve on Thursday - their second of three fixtures in nine days.

The match began after a moment of silence and Tauranga were rewarded for having the better start of the two sides, when Josh Nelson calmly converted a penalty in the 30th minute after one of his players was brought down in the 18-yard box.


Tauranga continued to control the game with a solid defensive line and a sharp midfield pressuring Fencibles into turnovers. But the visitors' goalkeeper helped minimise the damage with a handful of saves. Fencibles equalised four minutes before halftime and even though both teams had chances to take the lead before the break the score remained 1-all.

Leaving Fencibles' defence scrambling on several occasions, Tauranga were again the better side after the restart.

After two goals inside five minutes midway through the half, the home team secured the win. The first came from set play with an unmarked Riley Bidois controlling a long free kick to score his team's second goal, followed by Connor Hinz darting down the right flank and scoring from long range.

Tauranga coach Nic Millichip said after a frustrating middle period of the game there were concerns on the sideline.

"It was one of those sort of days were you thought if didn't put one away you were going to end up with a draw or even worse. But we stuck to what we were doing and we did know at set piece they would threaten us and that is where they scored their goal," Millichip said.

The win lifted Tauranga to fourth equal with Bucklands Beach on the first division table but they have little time to savour the win, as they head to the North Shore, where they played seven days ago, to face Takapuna in round six of the season.

Millichip says the days since the win over Fencibles have been about recovery.

"If we can take how we played [against Fencibles] and put more chances away we should be in a good position. On the face of it they [Takapuna] should be a stronger challenge."


In the second division, McDonalds Ngongotahā Men's NRFL first team are still searching for their first win of the season after a 2-1 loss to Cambridge on Thursday but coach Andrew Gibbs is pleased with his side's effort against the competition leaders.

Cambridge scored in the third minute and then doubled their lead in the second half before Ngongotahā's Sean Kim scored the team's first goal this year with a diving header.

Gibbs wanted an improvement in attitude from his side after four losses to start the season and said that came through on Thursday.

"In the second half pushed forward looking to get back in the game and we left ourselves a little exposed at the back and they took one of those opportunities. We battled back really well and we dragged a goal back with some really good build-up. I was really happy with the reliance we showed."

Ngongotahā also have little time to rest as they head to Auckland today to take on Waitakere club Oratia United.

"They are a very good side and they will be very organised and they came down from the first division last year. I still feel our goals were a bit soft, we don't need to concede those kinds of goals. If we can keep working on that desire and urgency in goal-scoring situations, I feel we have a lot more goals in us."