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Following orders

Glenfield Rovers 0, Forrest Hill Milford 1
McFetridge Park, Auckland, July 5 2015

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It’s been a criminally long time since I went to some women’s football – over a month. I hang my head in shame. June 1 at Riverhills was my last game. That day I watched Glenfield put fifteen unanswered goals past poor old Fencibles.

It was truly a tough choice – where to head today. This was the undisputed match of the round. Both teams tied on the same points tally in second place in the league, four points behind Claudelands Rovers. Both needing a win to stay in touch with the surprise runaway leaders. With the Hamiltonians across town playing a relatively straightforward fixture against Lynn Avon, draws and losses for these two were always going to result in a savage blow to their title ambitions. Worth mentioning also that it’s a local derby. So it had all the makings of a tough battle.

On the other hand, the lure of my beloved Claudelands was strong for me. I haven’t seen them play for far too long. They are out of the cup so don’t have a game next week as far as I’m aware, then I’m in Melbourne to watch my even more beloved Roma play Real Madrid and Manchester City at the MCG the week after that so realistically it’s going to be a long wait before I can see the ladies in red play again.

Two things clinched my decision to ignore my heart and head for McFetridge – the first, I’m not going to lie, was Jeremy Ruane instructing me to on Twitter (along with something about an eye patch I’m to remove). Sometimes you’ve just got to do as you’re told by your elders and betters! And the second thing was the fact that before today I hadn’t seen Forrest Hill Milford play at all this season – that’s a horrendous oversight that needed rectifying. It’s not just tokenism mind, FHM contains some of my favourite players to watch in the league, which means that ultimately deciding to head to the Shore was no chore at all.

It was a strange game at times though – probably not helped by the fact that these two sides play each other in the cup at the exact same time and at the exact same place exactly one week to the second from today’s kick-off. So while both sides desperately needed points here, and obviously wanted to win, still, it had that feeling of a dress rehearsal about it.

Who wanted what today? Who wants the league and who wants the cup? If the cup, being a national competition, takes priority, do you show your opposition everything you’ve got today? Do you go for broke and risk injury knowing that even if you lose today, there’s still time to make the gap back up again? All I really know is things seemed a little bit flat, particularly in the first half.

Both sides enjoyed their periods in the ascendency in the game, but overall I thought the 1-0 result in favour of Forrest Hill Milford, earned via a Tayla O’Brien second half goal, was a just reflection of proceedings. It could, of course, have gone either way, particularly late in the second half when Glenfield were knocking on the door a little bit and things got pretty interesting. But I can’t help feeling like the real game between these two is still yet to come.

I guess I had better come back next week and find out if I’m right or not, hadn’t I? As long as that’s ok with you JR! 😉

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.

2 replies

  1. Leagues are usually considered by most to be more important than Cup competitions at all levels of the game – apart from those who don’t win the League!. The outcome of a League is not affected by the draw which can create uneven situations in a Cup competition in terms of the progress of one team compared to another. And one result is all that matters in the Cup whereas in the League it comes down to 18 matches. Forget the “national element” in the Knockout Cup – the Northern League is what matters! So – no, FHM were definitely not playing a warm-up” game last Sunday.

  2. Thanks Graham, that’s interesting. A number of clubs do tell me that their focus is on the Cup, but that’s usually on the men’s side of things. There is a bit of prestige and national media coverage you get from winning a cup that you don’t necessarily get for winning the Northern League. And I’m sure your comment would have been identical had Glenfield got the points on Sunday! 😛

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