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Footballsouth narrowly lost 5-4 to a robust Central side in the Women's National League match played in windswept Palmerston North yesterday.
The strong wind was a major factor but, into the teeth of the gale, Otago's Chelsea Whittaker opened in spectacular fashion, shooting Footballsouth into a 1-nil lead in under a minute.
However, Central hit back with a goal that looked offside, then went on to achieve a 3-1 halftime lead.
In the second spell, Jordan Walker brought the deficit back to 3-2 with a well-taken goal.
Central replied to make the score 4-2 but on the bounce Alex McIntosh shot Otago back into contention 4-3, only for Central to pounce on a defensive error and make a 5-3 with little time left.
Playing well with the wind, Otago again cranked up pressure, and a well structured move finished with Shontelle Smith passing to Sam Muirhead, who laced Footballsouth back into contention at 5-4. But time ran out, and coach Nick Rzepecky had to be satisfied with his team's battling performance rather than the actual score.
"Footballsouth played with great skill and spirit. That was never better illustrated than by Kushla Glover, who was our player of the day.
"She drove the midfield onwards and played through a nasty injury that had her face covered in blood," Rzepecky said.