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One of those things

Western Springs 2, Claudelands Rovers 0
Seddon Fields, Auckland, April 6 2015

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The seven games of Football I watched on my Easter break…

Friday: Waitakere City 2, Melville 1.
Saturday: Takapuna 4, Ngaruawahia 0.
Sunday: Roma 1, Napoli 0; USA 4, Football Ferns 0; Auckland City 2, Hawkes Bay 1; Wellington Phoenix 0, Melbourne Victory 3.
Monday: Western Springs 2, Claudelands 0.

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Yes, you guessed correctly, the odd one out is ‘Roma 1, Napoli 0’ – the only game in my Easter football watching marathon that went the way I hoped it would! One out of seven. One seventh. A little over 14%. Whichever way you prefer to express it, it’s miserable in anyone’s language. Weaker football fans would be in a tailspin today. Cowering under their duvets and refusing to come out for neither tea, nor Gingernuts. But not I! I am made of much tougher stuff than that.

The fact that that I am writing this in the foetal position while clutching a teddy bear is really beside the point.

Attempting to look on the bright side, there are two consolations.

The first one is obvious – Roma 1, Napoli 0. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, worse than a gloating Napoli fan and if my Giallorossi had lost that one we would have slipped back into third behind Nazio, I mean Lazio. Roma Napoli is the ‘Derby del Sole’ or ‘Derby of the Sun’ and a derby win is always sweet even if Roma is still a bloody frustrating team to watch right now…

The second consolation is that amongst the six losses by teams I am fond of, there were two very good games that were most enjoyable despite the results. Waitakere City vs Melville, which went right down to the wire and provided probably the most enthralling second half of football action I’ve seen so far this year, and Western Springs vs Claudelands.

The match at Seddon Fields didn’t go down to the wire like the one at The Fred, but it was compelling in different ways.

Springs were rewarded for their early dominance with goals from Rebecca Tegg and Melanie Gooch in the 20th and the 27th minutes respectively and this two goal cushion ultimately proved too tough for Claudelands to overcome. But instead of lying down, they gave it a pretty good shove by working their way back into the match as the first half progressed and, from where I was sitting, dominating the second half. Unfortunately they were just missing the final flourish as a combination of excellent defence, the crossbar, and some stunning work between the sticks by Springs keeper Ashleigh McNaughton kept the reds off the score sheet.

I spent the entire first half of the game at the end at which Claudelands were attacking, optimistic that I would be ideally placed to enjoy and photograph my favourite women’s team  celebrating some kick-arse goals. When that didn’t eventuate by half time I decided it might be prudent to stay there so I could both get some photographs of Springs players and not jinx my team any further… But I couldn’t sustain it. Like a moth to a flame I was drawn down the other end, despite the unfavourable light for photographs, as the action at and around the Springs goalmouth became too compelling to miss…

It wasn’t to be for Claudelands yesterday, but I have said a few times this year that they are a very, very good side and nothing I saw yesterday dissuaded me from that view. They should be encouraged both by their second half showing and the way the league is shaping up. It seems almost everyone is beating everyone and, unlike last year, it looks more than likely that whoever wins the 2015 Women’s Premier division will do so having tasted defeat a couple or three times – so all is not lost!

We have a fascinating season ahead!

And with that in mind, Teddy can go back on the shelf now…

Categories: NZ Northern Women's Premier

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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