Brooklyn Northern United 1
National Women’s Knock-Out Cup Round 1
Sunday 15 May 2016
Due to Central League clubs receiving byes or out-of-town away ties, the only games in Wellington for Round 1 of the National Women’s Knock-Out Cup were between Capital Premier League sides. I had a choice of Kapiti Coast United v Victoria University, or Petone v BNU.
Ease of travel and a familiarity with BNU meant I chose the latter game. Two teams separated by a point in a congested mid-table Premier League.
The previous time that I saw Petone in this Knock-Out competition was the 1997 Final in Napier. A crazy game where Three Kings United beat Petone 7-5. Petone reached 4 consecutive finals in the 1990s, but failed to lift the Cup. I only saw half the number of the goals in this match, but Petone again scored 5 of them.
BNU were the visitors to Memorial Park, Petone—on the artificial turf next to the Capital Football headquarters. There was a typical Wellington breeze which gave a slight edge to BNU’s back in the first half and picked up slightly in the second half. But Wellington based teams should be accustomed to playing into or with such a breeze. So it shouldn’t be considered that much of a contribution in what was the trite ‘game of two halves’.
In the 14th minute, Fiona Pou-Walker of BNU had a shot tipped over the bar by the Petone goalkeeper for a corner. The corner went out of play at the near-post for a goal kick. From the goal-kick, Pou-Walker won the ball again and played a curling pass to left-of-centre to pick out Maddy Cooper. the BNU striker placed her first-time shot past the goalkeeper to give BNU the lead on the quarter-hour mark.
Petone were winning possession in the BNU half, but the shots and crosses were being easily collected by the BNU goalkeeper Alex Karantze. When BNU did get some possession together they strung some short passes together and then made a more threatening attack than the attempts Petone could muster. The problem was getting it to the midfield to start such moves off.
Petone equalised in the 37th minute as Vanessa Olson came from the left to receive a through ball in the centre and equalise. There was only 2.5–point control as one of the ARs failed to appear and a volunteer took the flag for one sideline, but only to signal ball out of play. Some in the BNU camp thought there was an offside before the goal.
Five minutes after half-time, Pou-Walker took a free-kick from the BNU left and placed it perfectly for a header for Hannah Lee-Marwood. It looked like a certain goal, but the Petone goalkeeper pulled off an astonishing save, pushing the ball around the post. BNU were left to ponder afterwards what might have happened if they’d taken a 2-1 lead. Instead, two minutes later, it was Petone who had such a lead when Topaz Lloyd Saunders danced past a BNU player in the penalty area and cracked a shot in, off the near post, to give Petone the lead.
Petone stepped up the pressure after that and dominated the match to deservedly win.
Midway through the half, it became 3-1 when Lloyd Saunders spun with the ball on the edge of penalty area and Heather Williamson (who had come on as sub 15 minutes prior) from her own team reacted first, took the ball from her and powered it into the net.
It became 4-1 with quarter of an hour remaining when Williamson put the ball through to Michelle Barr who put her shot inside Karantze’s near post.
Petone put an emphatic mark on the result in the last 10 minutes when Barr curled a shot from right to the top left corner after BNU had failed to effectively clear the ball.
5-1 the final score. I could end with a cliché about how Petone found themselves in the hat for the draw for the next round, but that didn’t eventuate according to the draw tweeted by NZ Football. BNU were mistakenly in the pot and drawn to host Central League leaders Wellington United. NZ Football later amended the draw so that it is now Petone who are to host Wellington United on Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
Categories: NZ Women's KO Cup
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.