Despite the scoreline this county cup tie was a closely run affair, with North only securing victory late on.
Being a local derby both sides were highly motivated, though at times it lack the quality that may have been expected. For first fifteen minutes the game was largely played in the middle third, a string of errant passes and a lack of penetration caused little goal mouth action at either end. North opened the scoring on around the twenty minute mark, a piece of great skill by Jordan Cross saw him superbly volley in James Turners well taken corner. The game continued to be scrappy, North gave away a series of needless free kicks in dangerous positions, though with a combination of some fine saves from North keeper Sam Oliver and misplaced kicks Carterton failed to capitalise. North almost added a second on the break, Steve Dobson’s shot being smartly turned around the post by the Carterton keeper Kane Lewis. Just before the break, North’s influential centre back Jordan Cross was stretched off with a nasty ankle injury.
With North having to reshuffle, they initially looked a little vulnerable, in the first few minutes of the half Carterton did have the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for off side. Carterton had plenty of possession at this stage, but North’s reshaped back four stood firm. On seventy minutes North added a second, Josh Burnham fired in a low corner kick which found its way to James Minchin who fired home from close range. Carterton came back with vengeance, they almost pulled one back from a penalty kick after one of their players went over rather theatrically, though the kick was weak and Sam Oliver saved comfortably. North finished strongly adding a further two goals in the last five minutes, the first being a great strike from Fraser Wylie drilling the ball in bottom corner from twenty yards. The final goal was really well manufactured, some lovely passing found Adam Burnham free on the left he unselfishly knocked a pass into Steve Dobson who neatly steered the ball past the Carterton keeper. North’s good start to the season continues, but they must be wary of complacency.