Upper Hutt City 1
National Women’s Knock-out Cup
Sunday 17 July 2016
A goal at the end of extra-time from Kennedy Bryant saw Upper Hutt through to the semi-final of the national cup.
It was a fine day, but the bumpy field at Seatoun Park made it hard to control the ball especially with an unpredictable bounce.
In the previous round, Seatoun got past Wellington United 1-0 in extra time on a field reported to be not very conducive to playing neat football.
Meanwhile, Upper Hutt had travelled to the Manawatu and scraped past Palmerston North Marist 4-3 with goalkeeper Cushla Lichtwark sent off and Mikaela Hunt having to go in goal. Hunt played a defensive central midfielder role in this tie v Seatoun.
Seatoun started with intensity, at pace with quick short passes, but the accuracy of their passes was hampering them. However, Annie Olsen was able to get behind the Upper Hutt defence a couple of times. The pacey Seatoun striker was forced slightly wide and elected not to shoot when that might have been a better option, rather than trying to find a team mate.
Olsen was substituted (perhaps pre-arranged due to fitness?) midway through the first half (Grace Surridge moving from wide to central striker). From then on, Seatoun’s pace slowed almost like they were playing for a draw.
Although, Surridge missed a one-on-one chance from a long pass from Tiffany Bock. Surridge’s shot beating Lichtwark, but the ball went narrowly wide. This was immediately after Ellen Stirling of Upper Hutt had a powerful volley go wide at the other end.
Upper Hutt were missing Emma Main (on NZ U-17 tour of China) who could have provided them with extra pace up front.
Emily Morrison had some of that pace, but her team-mates were at times having trouble supporting her in the front third. Morrison had several shots across the face of goal but they went narrowly wide of the far post. Morrison herself couldn’t get on the end of an across the face of goal from Kennedy Bryant in the first half.
Midway through the second half, Cara Chung received the ball back from Surridge. The Seatoun full-back was in on goal, but a defensive challenge before she could shoot sent the ball for a corner.
Ten minutes before the end of the second half, Nat Johnstone robbed the ball off Bryant and sent Surridge through one-on-one but her weak shot was straight at Lichtwark.
It looked like the match was headed for kicks-from-the-penalty-mark, but Upper Hutt scored in the 3rd minute of stoppage time at the end of extra time. Seatoun had tried to retain possession rather than create a final scoring opportunity. They lost possession. Upper Hutt found themselves two-on-two and ran at the defence. The eventual shot was parried by the Seatoun goalkeeper and Kennedy Bryant followed it up to place it into net to win 1-0 aet.
Upper Hutt will travel to holders Glenfield Rovers in the semi-final.
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.