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Missing in action

Western Springs 1, Glenfield Rovers 2
Seddon Fields, Auckland, March 25 2018

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All systems go!**

Everyone’s favourite regional football league (the Northern Regional Football League in case you were wondering) got underway last weekend. And what an opening round it was! New kids, both of which I’m a big fan of, Bucklands Beach and Cambridge, got impressive first up wins. Competition nice guys Franklin United picked up a big three points. Birko’s team of teenagers prevailed against Three Kings, Waiheke kept their incredible unbeaten home run going a step higher than the club has ever been before and Melville absolutely slaughtered poor old Oratia to record their best ever start to a season.

Unfortunately I witnessed none of it.

I worked most of last week coughing and sniffling through a niggly cold and given it was pouring with rain on Saturday afternoon I decided that not getting pleurisy was probably something worth bearing in mind and stayed in bed.

When Sunday came the weather was looking much healthier and the whole bed gambit seemed to have paid off. Feeling much better, my attention turned to the fixture list.

I could have gone to Onehunga Sports v Bay Olympic at Waikaraka Park, and to be honest that was my plan to begin with. But then I thought, actually, the match-up wasn’t filling me with excitement. Maybe I should leave my first NRFL game of the year until next week when there is a full list of fixtures to select from. I hadn’t been to any women’s pre-season friendlies this year, so the final of the NFF Pre-Season Tournament seemed like a great way to rectify that as well as being an excellent opportunity to witness one of these two sides lift a piece of silverware!

It proved to be one of my better fixture choices in the end too. While the reigning double winners dispatched their Westie opponents 4-zip after kicking off an hour late across town, at Seddon we got a genuine thriller that went down to the wire and was decided right at the death.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Glenfield are as strong looking as always and have a history of doing well in this tournament. Springs on the other hand have had a difficult time of it, losing their newly appointed first team coach a few weeks ago to health problems, and apparently there has been something of a kerfuffle in appointing a replacement that has seen a few players up sticks and leave. Given that on top of all this the hoops were soundly beaten in their last outing midweek, I wasn’t expecting them to put up much of a fight in this match.

But as it happened they did more than just put up a fight – in the final wash they were a tad unlucky to lose this! Just undone by two decidedly self-inflicted goals.

Glenfield appeared to dominate possession and time on attack but there wasn’t a lot in the way of final product, and what zing there was largely got snuffed out by New Zealand under 20 keeper Nadia Olla who has transferred to Springs from Norwest United in the offseason. Springs on the other hand looked quite dangerous on the counter and on another day could have scored a couple more than they managed here.

It was Olla’s mistake early in the second half that led to Glenfield’s opening goal though – unable to control a cross, the ball fell to Helena Kelderman who was able to stab home into an empty net.

It looked for a while that the single goal would settle it, but with about ten minutes of the game remaining Lily-Rose Dyer was released into space and levelled for Springs.

But a few minutes after that the final blow was struck when a Glenfield corner glanced in off the head of a Springs defender to seal the win without the need for death strikes.

Lots of food for thought for the season ahead! Unfortunately I will miss the start of Northern Women’s Premier Division in a fortnight’s time too. I will be in Wellington on Labour Party business, but am hoping to catch a Capital Premier game while I’m there. With any luck, featuring ITBOTN’s Ella in action for Vic Uni…

Regardless of that though, it’s probably only fair that the Northern women get the same treatment the men got for round 1 anyway!


**Except COMET of course…

Categories: NZ Northern Women's Premier

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

4 replies

  1. Hi Enzo. In your write up you omitted to mention Wanderers excellent 4-1 away win at Western Springs on Saturday in the Northern Premier league.

    A couple of great things to notice from a club youth perspective. Against Springs we had 9 players of the Matchday Squad of 15, who were 19 yrs old or younger.

    Our Reserve were even younger and they handled themselves incredibly well against a very physical and older Western Springs Reserve team.

    Our Northern League Women’s squad are full of up and coming youngsters too and I look forward to seeing them in action in a couple of weeks.

  2. If you want to see a young mens team why not pop along to Shepherds Park on Friday and watch a re-match of the 2016 Chatham Cup Final Birko v Waitak. Birko have a very very young team this year but hjave looked good in pre-season and may be the surprise package of the year!!!

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