The attraction of three Coastal Spirit matches in as many days (including two premier league 1st v 2nd clashes) proved the motivation for a visit to Christchurch. A trip further enhanced when I discovered that one of my favourite bands Street Chant (from Auckland) would be playing the Christchurch leg of their Hauora album tour on the Saturday night. Here’s my weekend in terms of hauora: four walls of the whare / wellbeings (physical, mental, social, spiritual):
Cashmere Technical 3
Coastal Spirit 0
Mainland Women’s Premier League
Friday 15 April 2016
Cashmere Technical dominated possession for the first 45 minutes, but it looked like Coastal’s stubborn performance would see them to the halftime break level. But in stoppage time, Megan Shea rose high to head a corner in to give Cashmere the lead.
It was a tough game; challenges were flying in from both sides; usually hard but fair.
Coastal Spirit have a relatively young team this year. I can recall seeing two of Tech’s starting eleven play senior football before some of the Coastal players were born. Tech have also recruited a couple of players who were playing for Coastal last season; the international experience of Annalie Longo and Ashleigh Ward a gain for Tech. Before the match, I had to further rearrange my favourite Football Ferns list when I learned that Meikayla Moore (a Football Fern who had played for Coastal before moving to Auckland) has signed for Tech. Moore came off the bench for the final twenty minutes. Around that time Monique Barker was the eventual benefit from a failure to play out of the back and made it 2-0.
Beth Elliott appeared as a sub for Tech in the final 10 minutes and promptly scored a third as Coastal tired, but were still pushing to try to get something out of the match. A record-equalling league defeat for Coastal. Disappointing for me and Coastal, but 2 to 4 more times remain this season for Coastal to beat Tech.
It has been heartening for Coastal supporters to see the player profiles being drip-fed to the website where players have been expressing their commitment to the club.
Coastal Spirit 0
Cashmere Technical 2
Mainland Men’s Premier League
Saturday 16 April 2016
Saturday night 5 pm kick-off on the English Park turf meant that there was the opportunity for players from other reams in the clubs to get along to support, and there were pockets of vocal Coastal Spirit supporters around the ground. The sometimes irreverent crew on the embankment near the scoreboard occasionally found themselves drowned out by the nuanced behind-the-goal support.
Another top-two clash with Coastal unbeaten before this match. Tech had recently completed the transfer of Canterbury United’s Michael White from Ferrymead Bays and had a host of other Canterbury United players. Coastal have a new coach this year. Ekow Quainoo is working to instil the Coastal Way including progressive, and expansive attacking football in the team. There have been glimpses of the unwavering mental strength to come out on top this season, but it needs to be more consistent against the top teams.
Coastal took the match to Tech and the end difference was the mental focus with Tech more composed when taking chances. A super match of football to watch (if we ignore the result).
Coastal’s new signing Matt Carruthers hit a free-kick onto the angle of crossbar and post; the rebound was saved, as Coastal looked to take the game to Tech. But it was Tech who made the most of their opportunity with Michael White on the end of a quick break to calmly finish 0-1.
Coastal continued to match Tech in the second half except when it came to finishing. In stoppage time, Coastal had a great chance to equalise but the corner of the goal wasn’t picked out and it was straight into the Tech keeper’s arms. Tech went down the other end, won a free-kick, and Danny Boys powered a shot into the goal for a 4th minute of stoppage time goal. The over-the-top celebrations will probably ensure that Coastal are even more motivated (but hopefully more mentally-focused) in the next meeting between the two. I wonder if Tech will have Ben Sigmund by then?
Thankfully, I had an opportunity to blow out the previous days’ frustrations with Street Chant playing the darkroom on Saturday night. Minisnap, and a couple of The Transistors kicked the night off, an intimate venue and a great night.
Coastal Spirit 3
Tasman United 1
Mainland Women’s Premier League
Sunday 17 April 2016
The third game of the weekend was Coastal hosting Tasman United. The teams had previously met in Nelson in Coastal’s first match of the season, where Coastal won 2-0.
Coastal took the lead when a Chloe Jones corner was headed in at the near-post across the keeper by a Tasman defender. 1-0 Coastal at half-time and I had yet to see a Coastal player score in 5 halves of football.
Coastal started much stronger in the 2nd half. Emma Turnbull had a shot hit the post and that was followed in a future play as Olivia Smith had a shot from distance also hit the post.
Mel Cameron then sent a super ball to Lily Bray on the Coastal left. Bray beat the first challenge then cut inside and placed a curling shot towards the post but found the goal instead, 2-0 to Coastal.
Ten minutes later, Tasman had a goal back. A disputed free-kick found its way to a Tasman player who shot hard but straight at goalkeeper Whitney Hepburn. Yes, Whitney Hepburn, usually found at the base of Coastal’s midfield diamond, had the gloves for today’s match. Despite a first half clean-sheet, she couldn’t hold on to the Tasman shot and it spilled behind her and she was unable or recover the ball as it headed towards the far post with Tasman players charging towards it. Ruby Smith being credited with goal. 2-1.
Tasman were still in a celebratory mood when a minute later Turnbull went down the other end and placed her shot into the goal to restore Coastal’s two-goal advantage. 3-1.
Coastal captain Chloe Jones was injured while defending Coastal’s lead, the high foot challenge not being spotted by the referee through the crowd of players. Jones passed the armband to Hepburn for the final ten minutes which sets up a potential question for a future quiz night, about Hepburn being goalkeeper/captain.
Tasman kept up their efforts and had a stoppage-time shot hit the near post. Final score in the Sunday match. 3-1 to Coastal Spirit.
To paraphrase Street Chant’s lyrics completely out of their context: If every day had been Sunday, I’d forget to be depressed.
What others said
- Match report from The Press
- Match report from Nelson Mail
- Coastal Spirit MPL match report
- Coastal Spirit WPL match reports
Phil Clayton's feet are registered with Brooklyn Northern United but—despite having moved back to Wellington from Christchurch in 2011—his heart is still bonded with Coastal Spirit FC.