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The orange and the green

Wellington United 1
Upper Hutt City 2

Women’s Central League
Sunday 31 July 2016
Wakefield Park 2

Words by Phil Clayton.
Photographs (and their captions) of this match by Michael Welsh (Dr yomcat shoots).

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It’s an exciting finish for the 2016 Women’s Central League title. With only two meaningful games remaining after this match, any of three clubs could win the League. Two teams (today’s protagonists) that usually play in orange and one (PN Marist) who usually play in green.

Upper Hutt won this match and have leaped above their opponents Wellington United to the top of the table.  Three points ahead of United and Palmerston North Marist. Upper Hutt have completed all their league matches, while Wellington United and PN Marist have only to play each other twice.

  • Two draws in the Marist/United matches see Upper Hutt remain top
  • A win and a draw (or two wins) will give Wellington United the title.
  • PN Marist would take the title with a win and draw (or 2 wins).
  • If Wellington United win one and PN Marist the other, then it would come down to three teams on equal points. Wellington United having a major advantage in goal difference going into the matches. Upper Hutt would have the worst goal difference in this scenario, and PN Marist would need at least a 7-goal margin in their win to overtake United.

The league has been dominated by these 3 teams; there’s a 19-point gap back to Seatoun in 4th place (although Seatoun will be looking to grab 6 points from their two matches against Massey).

Upper Hutt (in their change colours of white) started the stronger with some quick passing providing opportunities. After 6 minutes, Emily Morison found Main in the centre and her shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Natasha Ingram, the Wellington United goalkeeper. The ball bounced off the bar to the goalkeeper’s left and she was quick enough to regain position to catch Main’s header from the rebound.

Wellington United (in their home colours of orange) were caught offside several times. Unable to send their pacey players in behind the Upper Hutt defence, as the through ball was too late in coming. United’s midfield players were taking an extra touch. But as the half went on, United began to come into the game.

In the 41st minute, United’s Jayme Lee-Hunter had two shots, the first from a Hannah Wignall cross went wide, but in the next play Hunter’s shot was parried by Hutt goalkeeper Cushla Lichtwark and Michaela Robertson tapped in the rebound to give Wellington United a 1-0 lead at half-time.

Upper Hutt equalised on the hour mark, a long-range shot from Kennedy Bryant from right-of-centre went over Lichtwark’s head and dipped down into the goal.

Ellen Stirling replaced Morison midway through the second half and soon made an impact. Fouled for a free-kick which Stirling finished after Bryant’s shot was deflected. That gave Upper Hutt the lead in the 75th minute.

Wellington United made their 3 substitutions in the final 20 minutes, but were unable to affect the outcome.

Upper Hutt will be hoping for two draws in the remaining meaningful matches of the season, but neither Wellington United nor PN Marist have drawn any matches this season so far.

Words by Phil Clayton.
Photographs (and their captions) of this match by Michael Welsh (Dr yomcat shoots).

Categories: NZ Women's Central/W-League

Tagged as:

Phil Clayton

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.

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