By Jonno Ross
With half the eight teams playing Kate Sheppard Cup football this weekend, only one fixture goes ahead in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.
It’s a mid-table clash between West Coast Rangers and Ellerslie, two sides with similar records, suggesting a close match at Fred Taylor Park.
Here’s how we see the game:
West Coast Rangers (5th) v Ellerslie (6th)
Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai, 3pm
West Coast Rangers will want to make up ground on 4th-placed Auckland United, who are currently eight points above them.
More importantly, they will want to make the most of this opportunity to go four points clear of Ellerslie for a bit of breathing room.
Rangers haven’t won since round nine, when they beat Western Springs in an upset 2-1 win thanks to a double and 84th-minute winner from youngster Emily Lyon.
Interestingly enough, Lyon has only been in the starting line-up once in the league since, and Rangers have only picked up two points from a possible 12.
Ellerslie are coming off the back of two decent results, a well-earned 3-0 result away at Tauranga, and a hard-earned 2-2 draw against Auckland United last week.
They, like West Coast Rangers, will aim to finish as high up the league table as they can, and will be excited by the prospect of moving above Rangers in the league, and moving nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Despite losing 2-0 to West Coast in the reverse fixture, Ellerslie might feel they have more firepower, having scored more goals in the league with 20, while Rangers have scored only 11.
Mid-table battles can produce top contests and I think Ellerslie will get away with a sneaky 2-1 win.
How they stand
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.
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