By Jonno Ross
The absence of Auckland United’s leading scorer, Tessa Leong, might give Eastern Suburbs an edge as the two sides line up in this weekend’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.
The sides are expected to contest a closer game than the reverse fixture in April when United won 3-0.
Here’s our preview of the round:
Eastern Suburbs (4th) v Auckland United (2nd)
Madills Farm, Auckland
10.30am (rescheduled from 1pm)
Eastern Suburbs will want revenge on Auckland United this weekend, after losing 3-0 in the reverse fixture at Keith Hay Park back in April.
Since that defeat, they have gradually improved, scoring 23 goals.
But, interestingly enough, their opponents can boast a goalscoring record exactly the same.
Suburbs go into this game with some sort of advantage, knowing Auckland United’s and the league’s leading goal scorer, Tessa Leong, is out with a knee injury.
The league’s next two highest goalscorers are in the Lilywhite ranks, with Juliette Lucas (7 goals) and Jade Parris (6 goals).
Auckland United are trying to play catch up with Northern Rovers who are four points ahead in the league, and are yet to be defeated, so all United can do is to just try and win their games and hope for Rovers to slip up.
A loss for United could see them slip to third and the risk of being overtaken by Western Springs.
A win would keep them hot on Rovers’ tails and keep the title race alive. Containing Lucas and Parris could well the key to United’s chances.
Other fixtures (with current league placings)
Tauranga City (8th) v West Coast Rangers (5th)
Links Ave Reserve, Tauranga, 3pm
Western Springs (3rd) v Hamilton Wanderers (7th)
Crum Park 2, Auckland, 2pm
Ellerslie (6th) v Northern Rovers (1st)
Michaels Ave Reserve, Auckland, 3pm
Last weekend’s games
Friends of Football writer Jonno Ross is a former New Zealand U-20 goalkeeper who is the team manager for Mount Albert Ponsonby. He supports the All Whites, the Football Ferns, the Wellington Phoenix and Arsenal.
Our coverage of Northern League and Lotto NRFL men’s football is made possible through the support of our partners at Cube, specialists in print, design and signage. We encourage clubs and businesses to consider Cube when looking for professional help in their branding and promotional planning.