Northern Rovers needed a penalty in extra time to overcome Western Springs in a close Kate Sheppard Cup second round tie under lights at Ngahue Reserve.
Age group international Michaela Foster stepped up to convert the penalty midway through the game’s period of extra time, required after the sides were deadlocked 1-1 after normal time.
Main photo: Michaela Foster … scored the matchwinner. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Rovers started best, going ahead through Danielle Canham in the 11th minute.
However, Sophia Dyer levelled for Springs in the 38th minute.
That’s how they turned around at half-time and in the second half neither could break through.
Referee Reza Al Rabea blew for the end of the 90 minutes and the two main rivals for Lotto NRFL’s Women’s Premier League title prepared to slug it out.
Both sides used their full quota of five substitutes as they looked for the breakthrough.
Rovers were awarded the penalty for a foul, and Foster kept her calm to score the matchwinner.
The win extends Rovers’ unbeaten run to 10 games this season while Springs will take heart from knowing they can match their rivals, at least for 90 minutes, and they have a league fixture still to come.
The Kate Sheppard Cup is made possible by the New Zealand Football Foundation
Game played Friday June 3, 2022
Western Springs 1 (Sophia Dyer 38′)
Northern Rovers 2 (Danielle Canham 11′, Michaela Foster 105′ pen)