Big wins for Comets, Westland United
There were two big wins in the women’s football this weekend, with the Comets winning 6-0 against the Goblins and Westland United winning 5-0 against the Dragons.
In the early kick off, the Comets came out firing scoring in the first minute. The Goblins worked hard in defence, but were constantly on their toes and went in 3-0 down at half time. More of the same followed in the second half, with great goalkeeping keeping the Comets tally to six. The Goblins’ player of the day was Annie Molloy. Jacinta Borer earned the Comet’s player of the day after scoring a hat-trick, with the other goals coming from Rosa Cooper, Georgia Goddard and Lammie Lamason.
In the late kick off, Westland United also started off with a flurry of goals, scoring three within the first 10 minutes. The first goal from centre midfield Celine Stokowski came after only a few minutes when her cross turned into a shot with the aid of the blustery conditions at Arthur Fong, helpfully curling it into goal above the keeper’s hands. A couple minutes later striker Haley Pugh was rewarded with a goal when she powered through several defensive players for a nice finish. Shortly after, striker Kat Curnow slotted the ball into goal near the far post following a cross from Stokowski.
The Dragons settled things down and put pressure on United but good defence, especially from Jess Jackson at centre fullback kept them scoreless. Unfortunately, an own goal by the Dragons off a Stokowski corner kick made the game 4-0 for United at half time.
The Dragons played well in the second half, dominating the centre of the filed at times and started getting shots off. Curnow had a go in goal for the second half and did well to maintain Westland’s clean sheet. United didn’t let up though and Ngawai Tahi took the ball up the right wing from a goal kick to cross to Pugh to make the score 5-0.
More attempts on goal from United were close but not close enough. A beautiful hit across the face of the goal from Pugh didn’t find anyone at the far post and a power strike from far out saw Stokowski hit the inner post. The Dragons had chances too and Amelia How almost got a consolation goal in the last minute to add to her top goal scorer tally but it hit the crossbar leaving the score 5-0 at end of game.
United’s player of the day was striker Haley Pugh, as her quality footwork and juggling skills managed to get her around many a defensive player and rewarded her with 2 goals. Shelley Larsen earned the Dragon’s player of the day.
There is a bye for all teams next weekend, but Westland United and the Comets will be eyeing up the next round on the 2nd July, when the two in-form teams play against each other. Kick-off is at 1.15pm. In the other game, the Dragons will play the Goblins at 12.00pm.
In the men’s competition, Westport Cos were handed three points to extend their lead at the top of the table after Westland United were unable to make the long trip up to Westport. Marist faced off against Grey United at Arthur Fong, in what turned out to be a cracking game.
Both sides had some early chances, but it was Marist who made the most of theirs in the first half. Juan Lawrence found himself in some space in the Grey United box and drew a great save from Franko Horridge, but the ball fell back to Lawrence to finish the rebound. A header from James McLean from a corner was goal bound, only for Gavin Collins to clear off the line and maintain Marist’s lead. Josh Furze lead another Marist break down the left wing and put a great cross right across the face of the goal for an easy finish for David Lowe, to give Marist a 2-0 lead going in to half time.
Grey United, with the wind behind them, put the pressure on in the second half and had most of the chances. Blake Hodgson put in a lot of great running up front for Grey United and created several good chances, but a combination of bad luck and great defending from Marist, especially from goalkeeper Ethan Kelleher, prevented Hodgson from finding the net. Grey United finally pulled one back, after a perfectly placed corner from Daniel Horridge found Anton Merkushev at the back post to score with a header.
Marist kept the pressure on, with Will Payton putting in a great performance in the middle of the field, and Furze kept the United defence on their toes the whole game. It was Marist’s player of the day, Ethan Kelleher, that made the big difference, putting a great performance in goal, including rushing off his line to prevent a clear chance for Horridge. Grey United’s player of the day was Hodgson.
All in all, this was a positive performance for both sides. If Marist can maintain their hard work in defence, good passing football and continue to take their chances up front, they will be expecting to earn plenty more points before the season is done. Marist travel to Hokitika next weekend to face Westland United in a 2pm kick off. Grey United will welcome the bye, but their performances are improving.
Next week sees Paroa resume action after this week’s bye with a home game against Westport Cos. Westport have a 100% record since their only defeat on the opening day of the season, when they lost to Paroa, and they know a win will put significant distance between the two teams. The game kicks off at 2pm at Arthur Fong.