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Brooklyn Northern United 1 Petone 1 aet
BNU won 4-3 on kicks from the penalty mark

NZ Women’s Knock-Out Cup
Round 1
Sunday 14 May 2017
Wakefield Park

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

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Round 1 of the National Women’s Knock-Out Cup, and I attended the reverse of the fixture I saw at this stage last year—in 2016, Petone progressed to the next round of the Cup.

BNU had won 2-0 at Petone earlier in the season in Women’s Capital Premier League, which is the nominal second tier (no promotion available from Premier into W-League, which contains the ‘top-5’ Capital teams).

BNU had emerged as one of the four sides that have broken away at the top of the Premier League, but suffered their first league loss the previous week (going down to a last-gasp goal to Victoria University who went top of the league). Petone have had a couple of recent wins to lift them into 5th place with a game in hand but still a sizeable gap up to the top 4.

Petone’s stand-out player was Libby Boobyer, who played in the National Women’s League for Northern Federation during the summer. She was getting frustrated early on with her teammates not reacting correctly to her instructions. On 20 minutes, Boobyer herself went on a solo run, but scuffed her shot wide. BNU also had a couple of chances including a corner which hit the near post.

Petone took the lead in the 28th minute, after BNU gave the ball away from an attacking throw-in deep in the Petone half. A ball lobbed over the top of the defence. A perfectly-timed run from Tracey Robertson, beating the offside trap. The attacking midfielder was in on-goal, and shot powerfully past the advancing BNU goalkeeper to make it 0-1.

At the end of the first half, a defensive mix-up with players leaving the ball to each other, saw Amanda Hewitt through on goal. The BNU keeper, Alex Karantze, saved on the edge of the penalty area. BNU broke to the other end. Gemma Jones shot from distance. It was caught by Petone keeper, Amy Collins. Halftime Petone led by one.

Petone almost threw away the lead in the first minute of the second half. Collins, in goal, cleared the ball into Rachel Ryan’s face. Fortunately, the goalkeeper’s blushes were spared when the ball rebounded back into her hands. Instead, it was Ryan who was red-faced from where she was hit by the ball and there was a brief stoppage while she was assessed for injury.

BNU equalised in the 53rd minute. Gemma Jones sent a ball through to Sophie Wilkinson who hit it first time on the volley, with enough weight to get it over the goalkeeper to drop down and slowly bounce over the line. 1-1. If there was a player on the field capable of being successful with such an audacious attempt, it’s Wilkinson.

BNU had period of dominance after that but couldn’t take any of their chances. It was somewhat predictable that Petone would have a period of their own dominance towards the end of the 90 minutes, and they came close to snatching a late winner. Hannah Carey had a shot which produced a great save from Karantze, while Boobyer had a shot from a narrow angle which Karantze saved at the expense of a corner. But 1-1 it finished at the end of 90 minutes and extra warm-up time for the Division 3 teams scheduled to play on the ground at 3pm.

Each side had a couple of half-chances in extra time, but it was still locked at 1-1 after the additional 30 minutes.

It was a horrid set of kicks from the penalty mark. Two balls were lost over the high fence behind the goal. This meant a wait as another ball had to be found for BNU captain, Chelsea Ferrier, before she could take her penalty (which she scored with a powerful shot). Many of the shots were off-target or easily saved. It was 2-2 after five kicks from each team and it was left to takers number 6 to show how it should be done. Petone’s Emily Strik placed hers in the bottom corner, while Sam Telfer for BNU put hers in the top corner. Petone’s 7th was another high-and-wide miss. So, it was left to Hayley Bertelsen to score for BNU to send the home team through to the next round.

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BNU have progressed to Round 2, where the W-League sides who had a bye through Round 1 have their first matches. It is mid-table W-League side, Seatoun who will host BNU; the tie to played on Queen’s Birthday weekend at the beginning of June. BNU will be looking to cause an upset, but will be aware there will be a step-up needed. Petone lost 0-4 to Wellington United in last year’s second round.

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

Categories: NZ Women's KO Cup

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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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