Footballsouth's Jordan Walker (left) challenges
Canterbury's Meikayla Moore during the national league
women's match at Tahuna Park yesterday. Photo by Gerard
There was no fairy-tale home ending in the national
women's league for Footballsouth as Canterbury claimed a 2-1
win at Tahuna Park yesterday.
It was the season in microcosm as Canterbury was allowed the
freedom of Tahuna to go 1-0 ahead after only three minutes
when Ashley Ward punished a square, undermanned defence and
dashed through to beat keeper Lara Malcolm.
Gareth Turnbull's Canterbury side gave Footballsouth a lesson
in steady positional play, strong tackling and pace in
In reply, not a lot got past Maia Vink and Monique Barker,
and it took a while before Footballsouth managed to get its
passing game going.
Kushla Glover was steady in midfield, and the explosive
pairing of Shontelle Smith and Chelsea Whittaker made runs
that threatened the visitors' defence.
Given a chance to get her head up, Una Madden showed
excellent technique to lace a 30m shot that left Canterbury's
crossbar vibrating like a tuning fork.
Then a free kick by Madden created chaos in keeper Lilly
Alfeld's goal as waves of attackers hacked at the ball, and
some brave blocking by Canterbury eventually cleared the
Hopes for a 1-0 halftime scoreline were snuffed out, however,
when another calamitous lack of concentration allowed
Canterbury to race away and double the score.
Some fine tuning by coach Nick Rzepecky gave Footballsouth
better balance in the second half, but Canterbury's pacey
Ward and Lilly Dabner forced Malcolm to race off her line
several times to smother breakaways and shots.
As it has done in every game this season, Footballsouth
worked desperately hard, and Pelatia Schwartzfeger showed
athletic pace to break away twice, but it was from a classic
left wing attack that Sam Murrell delivered an enticing far
post cross that Jordan Walker hammered home for a 2-1
Substitutes and fresh legs maintained the home side's
impetus, but Canterbury's old heads sensibly played a
possession game that ran down the clock, and clinched a win
that earned a place in the playoffs.
Turnbull commended Footballsouth's spirit, especially in the
second half, but said his side "came to clinch a playoff
place and are glad to have done that".
Rzepecky lamented yet another soft start that probably cost
his team the game. His player of the day was Sara Stannard.
Ashley Ward, Monique Barker
Halftime: Canterbury 2-0.