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Same but a little different

Glenfield Rovers 2, Forrest Hill Milford 0
McFetridge Park, Auckland, July 12 2015

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One day, two cups! Yesterday was Chatham Cup round of 16 day and New Zealand Women’s Knockout Cup quarter-final day all wrapped up and rolled into one. This presented Auckland with a multitude of rare opportunities to go out, on a brilliantly sunny winter’s day, and watch some of our top football clubs compete in national competitions. For me there was no option though. I have a rule – when the Chatham Cup and Women’s Knockout Cup clash I will support the ladies every time.

That meant two trips to McFetridge Park in two weeks to watch the same two teams on both occasions! Not that I minded. Last week I wrote that the league game between Glenfield and Forrest Hill Milford felt a bit like a dress rehearsal for the main event this week. This drew a bit of gentle critique from the FHM camp, after their 1-0 win, in the form of a comment on the post by Graham Seatter. I was therefore keen to trot along yesterday and find out if I was right or not. Would this encounter be more intense than the previous one?

The answer is maybe a little bit.

Of course both these sides wanted to make the Knockout Cup semi-finals! And whatever happened, with these two arguably the strongest teams left in the competition, whoever emerged victorious was always going to be finding themselves in a strong position to lift some silverware in 2015. For a bit of additional motivation, it was also a repeat of last year’s final, won 3-2 by Rovers. And FHM would also have been hoping for a good send off for Briar Palmer, for whom this was her last game before she heads off to play in Melbourne.

Having said all that it started off pretty much like a carbon copy of last week with FHM dominating and looking good for a goal or two. But Glenfield managed to hold them off, with particular thanks to Pam Yates who pulled off some nice saves over the course of the first half hour or so… Then the breakthrough occurred! Only problem was it was scored by FHM’s Daisy Cleverley at the wrong end of the pitch from her team’s perspective…

After that, Glenfield seemed to grow in stature and managed to apply some pressure of their own on their visitors. They particularly appeared to dominate after the half time break, especially once they really grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck via Belinda Van Noorden, who latched onto a Stephanie Skilton assist and effectively killed the game off with about half an hour left to play. From that point on things never really got going again and Glenfield cruised to a nice win that completely turned the tables on their 1-0 defeat of a week ago.

We now know the identity of three semi-finalists. In addition to Glenfield we also have Coastal Spirit, who dispatched Dunedin Tech 4-1 in Dunedin, and  Massey University, who dispatched Wellington United 2-0 in Wellington. That gives us three of last year’s four semi-finalists joining us again! Joining them will be the winner of the Eastern Suburbs vs Western Springs quarter final, which will be played on Sunday August 2 at Madills Farm.

Coastal Spirit have been struggling in the Mainland league by their usual high standards, only leading Cashmere Technical by one point with the latter team looking forward to completing two games in hand. Massey trail Seatoun by five points in the relatively weak Central League. And Rovers have already beaten Springs twice this season. They lost 2-1 to Eastern Suburbs back on April 6 but I still think they would fancy their chances against Paul Marshall’s charges in a cup semi-final or final.

Last week Graham Seatter said the focus, for FHM, was well and truly on the league not the cup. I wonder where Glenfield would say their focus now lies?

Categories: NZ Women's KO Cup

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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