Lynn Avon 0, Forrest Hill Milford 4
Ken Maunder Park, Auckland, June 8 2014
I couldn’t help myself. As I have written before, my plan with the major cup tournaments this year was to continue to follow the team that wins each tie I attend. This means that my next scheduled New Zealand Women’s Knockout Cup game is not supposed to be until the June 29 Claudelands Rovers quarter final in Hamilton. But that just wouldn’t do! There were a couple of games on today and the thought of missing all the fun was simply too much to stomach. So what harm could be done by heading along to this tasty little fixture just down the road from me in the Westy suburb of New Lynn? After all, the winner of this game meets Claudelands next so it’s not like I’m breaking my pact to keep following the winner each time!
There were a couple of extra incentives too, as of course there always are. I haven’t been to a game at Ken Maunder Park in far too long. May 2012 to be exact. Ironically, that day it was also to witness some Women’s Knockout Cup action, but even more ironically a pretty substantial chunk of today’s Forrest Hill squad happened to be playing for Lynn Avon that day. Looking over the photos I took both then and now, there are some shots of the two occasions that bear a stark similarity with each other aside from the colour of the shirts.
With that in mind, it must have been a tough game to watch today from a Lynn Avon fan’s perspective. Traditionally a powerhouse of the women’s game in Auckland, they are not used to lean patches and they certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed watching their ladies fairly comprehensively pwned today by a lot of players they have previously had on their books. And it was one of their former players who in particular inflicted most of the damage.
In my recent experience Forrest Hill Milford games have tended to be the Palmer and Rollo show, with Under 20 internationals Briar Palmer and Emma Rolston combining to inflict the vast bulk of the hurt. But today it was very much the Tayla O’Brien show, as the wiry wide attacking player was into everything like a terrier and involved herself decisively in three of the four goals.
The opener was a Michelle Windsor nod home from a Briar Palmer corner. Then from that point on, it was all O’Brien. FHM’s second came when she spotted Lynn Avon keeper Corina Brown off her line and executed a perfectly weighted chip over her head from well outside the penalty area. The third came in the second half when an O’Brien corner found its way in unhindered. And the fourth was an Emma Rolston scud missile that would have come to a halt in Murmansk if the net hadn’t gotten in the way… after it was chested into her path by O’Brien. Player of the match? I’d suspect so.
So on marches the Forrest Hill juggernaut! Can anyone stop them? We may or may not find out on the 29th, when Claudelands will be waiting on their home ground in the Tron and hopefully boasting a full strength line-up including a restored and reinvigorated Sarah McLaughlin (No pressure Macca!). This should be FHM’s toughest test this season. Tune in to see what happens. I for one can’t wait.
Categories: NZ Women's KO Cup
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.