Menu Home

Remote Control

Central Football 0
Northern Football 3

National Women’s League
Sunday 16 October 2016
Memorial Park, Palmerston North.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Opening day of National Women’s League season! With it being such a short season (6 matches each then playoff/Final), I ensured I travelled from Wellington to Palmerston North to get a glimpse of last year’s champions in action. Augmenting the crowd were others who had travelled including Brandon (from Phoenix City podcast), yomcat (photographer for this blogpost), and kiwicanary (another football photographer). The combination of photographers meant that each goal had a remote-control camera behind it, which seemed to excite the shutterbugs.

Central have several players from the Palmerston North Marist club, many players from Taranaki and a handful from Hawke’s Bay. They’re coached this season by Matt Kilsby. Jane Barnett has moved to Northern, so Central have replaced their main striker with TJ Lyne-Lewis. It’s been many years since Central have qualified for the playoffs, and not many are tipping them to break that sequence. Central set-up with 4 at the back (Amber Phillips and Kate Bennett in the centre), 2 players in front of the back four, 2 wide players, and an attacker in-behind Lyne-Lewis up-front.

Northern have lost some key players from last season. Emma Rolston and Aimee Phillips (scorers in last year’s Final vs Mainland Pride) among others such as Bel van Noorden, Erin Nayler, Evie Milynn. But they have some talented replacements including Liz Milne, Kate Loye, Jane Barnett and Emma Turnbull (née Proctor) (scorer for the Pride in last year’s Final) and many others. They are coached this season by former Canterbury United men’s coach Korouch Monsef. Anna Leat, fresh from a starring role in the U-17 Women’s World Cup Finals, was in goal for Northern. The back four were Claudia Bunge, Liz Milne, Nicole Stratford, Tessa Berger. Turnbull and Catherine Pretty played in front of them. Loye was an attacking midfielder behind a front 3 of Barnett, Cara Lonergan, and Katie Rood (one of the stars they’ve retained).

Northern had the first chance when Rood took the ball off Amber Phillips and charged towards goal. Phillips recovered and made a sliding challenge from a difficult angle to deny Rood a shot on goal.

Northern took the lead in the 26th minute. Lonergan was fouled. An unfortunate late challenge as the ball appeared to be running away from the Northern striker.

Barnett and Loye stood over the ball for the free-kick from right-of-centre. Loye took the free-kick, left-footed curling over the wall and hitting the inside angle of crossbar and post to her right and dropping into the net.

Northern were in control, but lacking the effectiveness in the final third. The Central defence was well-organised but it seemed Northern lacked the patience to pass it around them, opting for long-passes that weren’t likely to come off. However, Central didn’t seem to know what they wanted to do with the ball when they gained possession. They were fine if it was a quick counter-attack, but trying to string a few passes together they seemed to run out of ideas.

There were some great individual match-ups that were fascinating to watch in this match: Bennett/Rood, Phillips/Barnett, Turnbull/Rose Morton, Berger/Lyne-Lewis.

There was a 15–20 minute period of Northern domination until Milne lobbed the ball onto the Central crossbar. Two minutes later and Central’s Ella James performed a similar feat at the other end. The ball held up in the wind and dropped down over Leat’s head onto the top of the crossbar.

Barnett’s best to chance to score for Northern against her old Federation was shortly before half-time. Bunge crossed the ball to the far-post. Barnett’s turn took the Central defender out of play, but her shot was wide of the near post.

Northern made a half-time sub. Saskia Vosper replacing Turnbull. Vosper came on to right-back, Bunge shifted across from right to left-back, Milne pushed into the midfield.

Although, Central had the first chance of the half—Lyne-Lewis drawing a diving save from Leat—it was Northern who stepped up the tempo, playing their passes quickly and increasing the pressure on the Central players with the ball. But it took some time for the pressure to turn into goals.
In the meantime, Libby Boobyer replaced Lonergan to add another ex-Central player to the Northern line-up in the 58th minute.

In the 74th minute, Loye played the ball to Rood who, after drawing two defenders, laid the ball square for the run of Milne. From right of centre, she shot a mid-height curler inside the right-hand post. 0-2.

Four minutes later, Bennett pushed Rood inside the top of the penalty area and Northern had a penalty. Rood initially looked like from her run-up that she was going to strike the ball with power, but readjusted as she saw the goalkeeper dive and placed it firmly into the other side of the goal. 0-3.

In the second half, Northern weren’t accounting for the wind (a breeze from the direction of the main entrance) and their corners were being delivered behind their target players. Central ended the match with succession of corners of their own at the other end, but couldn’t force a consolation goal.

Their best chance had been in the 88th minute when Leat misjudged her clearance playing the ball to Central’s Emma Crewe but she was unable to successfully lob the ball back over Leat who had advanced well out of her goal.

The 3-0 win for Northern sees them in 2nd place behind Canterbury United Pride who won 4-1 at Auckland. WaiBop and Capital drew 2-2 in the other match, with Southern having the first-round bye.

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

Categories: NZ Women's National 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.

%d bloggers like this: