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Woulda coulda shoulda

Glenfield Rovers 1, Forrest Hill Milford 1
McFetridge Park, Auckland, May 27 2018

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The choices of Northern League football games to attend this Sunday consisted of any game you like, as long as it was Glenfield v Forrest Hill Milford. Not that I minded too much. Any derby is always worth a watch, but this one was set up especially tantalisingly.

Table topping competition favourites Glenfield seem to have been experiencing a bit of altitude sickness at the summit in recent weeks – and their jitters seem to all be jittering at their home ground. An unexpected draw against Eastern Suburbs at the start of May was followed by a loss to Three Kings here a fortnight ago while either side of those home blips they got comfortable away wins at Western Springs and Papakura.

Meanwhile FHM have enjoyed a couple of comfortable and hopefully confidence boosting wins over Papakura and Claudelands in the talented young side’s last two outings.

Add all this to the way underdogs often tend to lift against their local rivals, and as I drove over to the Shore I wondered to myself if perhaps there was a chance we were in for a bit of an upset?

And it turned out we sort of were.

There was a significant dampener on the day though and believe it or not I am not talking about the damp weather. It came in the form of my photography luck, which was absolutely abysmal – and I say this with full acceptance that luck is like the only way to get a decent feed of pasta in New Zealand – you make your own.

First I started by setting up at the end FHM were attacking, which also turned out to be where very little was happening. After about fifteen minutes I decided I should probably move but first I wanted to scroll back through my images and check to see if I had anything usable at all of FHM going forward. This was when I discovered that I had been snapping away merrily for the whole game up to that point with no SD card in my camera. So I had no photos whatsoever.

This was annoying but not catastrophic. I hadn’t missed that much anyway. So I put a card in, stayed for a couple more FHM sorties into the Glenfield half then took off for the far end. This was, predictably enough in hindsight, the game’s cue to change its flow a bit and mostly take place right where I had previously been for most of the rest of the half.

Oh well. At least it was still 0-0 at the break. No key moments had been missed.

Then, six minutes into the second half, Rene Wasi was released into space. She surged into the penalty area and slotted the opening goal for FHM!

Now, the first rule of women’s football is the players don’t celebrate. But on this occasion, Rene absolutely let rip with a mighty screech of glee and the whole FHM team joyously piled in for an epic goal celebration the likes of which you very rarely see on a Sunday.

This all happened right in front of me, and as I was watching it through my camera viewfinder I was grinning from ear to ear because I knew that I was taking some of the best women’s football photos I have ever captured.

Then I excitedly started scrolling back to admire them and my heart sank again. I had taken my SD card out at half time to share some first half snaps on Twitter. And, you guessed it, I forgot to put it back in!

How anyone could be so stupid not once but twice in one day is completely beyond me, but there it is. I remain at this moment absolutely furious with myself.

But anyway, not to detract completely from a rather good game of football by writing exclusively about my own tales of woe…

While I was in a state of misery FHM had their tails up and were fighting like their lives depended on it, not only to defend their one goal lead but to try and double it! Glenfield looked rattled and they went close to conceding a second at least once. But slowly the black and golds worked their way back into the ascendency to the point where FHM were back under the pump.

When Maggie Jenkins scored for Rovers in the 81st minute it wasn’t the greatest of shocks. It had been coming. But with some solid defence for the Swans they closed out the rest of the match and held on for a well-deserved point.

The final whistle was my cue to slink home and ponder what systems and processes, checks and balances, safety valves, warning systems and redundancies I can put in place to stop a repeat of today’s unfortunate mishaps. A brain transplant seems the most pragmatic possibility…

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.

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