Goals by new signings Chelsea Elliott and Michaela Foster helped Northern Rovers overpower champions Eastern Suburbs in the latest round of Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League games.
The defensive duo were playing for Hamilton Wanderers as recently as a week ago, when they played in the Kate Sheppard Cup final against Wellington United.
But a relocation to Auckland has seen them join Rovers who already look a force to be contended with after their win at Riverhills Park.
Elliott, a former striker turned defender, put her new side ahead in the 22nd minute before Olivia Page levelled for Suburbs five minutes later.
Main photo: Michaela Foster celebrates her goal with captain Talisha Green. Image: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Then, Rovers hit Suburbs with a double blow before half-time.
First, Courtney Noble scored in the 37th minute and then New Zealand U-20 international Foster pushed the lead to 3-1 as half-time approached.
In the second half, Suburbs worked their bench to good effect, bringing on Mackenzie Longmuir who scored within two minutes of coming on for Foster. Ten minutes later, she added her second goal.
Noble finished the rout with a goal four minutes from the end.
Ellerslie stay top with win at Wanderers
A Kathryn Gow double in the first half keeps Ellerslie with a 100% record after two rounds, and keeps them top of the table.
Wanderers were without a number of players who have moved to Auckland, Christchurch or Australia after their Kate Sheppard Cup exploits and this game marked the start of a new era for the side.
Lonergan strike enough to halt Western Springs
A goal from Cara Lonergan after 29 minutes was all that separated West Coast Rangers and visitors Western Springs at Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai.
The result was enough to leave Springs and Eastern Suburbs, two of the powerhouses last season, in the bottom half of the table.
Tauranga in with a chance till double strike from Leong
Abi Witney-Collins made history for her club when she scored in the 59th minute, the side’s first goal since its promotion from WaiBOP’s Federation League last season.
She levelled the score for Tauranga on the hour after the Bay side had fallen behind in the first half to a goal from Auckland United’s Milly Clegg.
At 1-1 with half an hour left, and in front of a supportive Links Ave crowd, Tauranga looked hopeful of at least a point.
But United’s futsal international Tessa Leong, who is a former WaiBOP national league player, struck with two goals in as many minutes to ruin the day for the home side.
Games played weekend of April 2/3, 2022
Tauranga City 1 (Abi Witney-Collins 59′)
Auckland United 3 (Milly Clegg 25′, Tessa Leong 70′, 72′)
Eastern Suburbs 1 (Olivia Page 27′)
Northern Rovers 6 (Chelsea Elliott 22′, Courtney Noble 37′, 87′, Michaela Foster 41′, Mackenzie Longmuir 67′, 78′)
Hamilton Wanderers 0
Ellerslie 2 (Kathryn Gow 25′, 45′)
West Coast Rangers 1 (Cara Lonergan 29′)
Western Springs 0
Let’s watch it again
Here are highlights from the round 1 game between Ellerslie and Tauranga City. Our thanks to Northern Region Football for making the video:
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