Past champions Canterbury United Pride lost 4-1 at home to leaders Eastern Suburbs in the third round of Women’s National League fixtures.
Northern Rovers routed Central Football 9-0 to confirm the increasingly-apparent gap between the four Auckland clubs — who fill the top four spots in the league — and the rest of the country.
Striker Kelli Brown scored five for Rovers in the one-side game at Massey University.
Main photo: Kelli Brown … led the way for Northern Rovers. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Here’s our round-up of latest games:
Canterbury slip further off the pace with home defeat
Hopes of a seventh national title for Canterbury United Pride already look forlorn after a 4-1 loss at home to league leaders Eastern Suburbs.
The win at English Park leaves Pride trailing Suburbs and Western Springs by six points after only three rounds of competition.
The Pride badly needed a win but the game could hardly have started worse for them.
After only 37 seconds, Juliette Lucas was brought down by Pride ‘keeper Una Foyle.
It cost Foyle a yellow card — fortunate too that it wasn’t red — and gifted a penalty that Lucas slotted in the net to get Suburbs off to the perfect start.
The game was fairly even for the first half until Suburbs doubled their lead in the 39th minute.
Lucas got into space and struck an accurate cross into the path of Deven Jackson, who turned the ball into the net.
Up 2-0 at half-time, Suburbs came out the better side in the second spell, quicker to the ball and relaxed in possession.
In the 71st minute, Jackson was left unmarked and she had plenty of time to line up a shot for her second goal.
Three minutes later, Canterbury found a spark when substitute Lisa Evans struck from the edge of the area, to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
Any hopes of a Canterbury revival were dashed as the game went into its final minute.
Suburbs’ Tayla O’Brien set up substitute Nicole Mettam for a tap-in goal that wrapped up a 4-1 win for the Lilywhites.
Northern Rovers show no mercy in 9-0 drubbing
A ruthless Northern Rovers overran Central Football 9-0 with striker Kelli Brown bagging five goals.
The Auckland visitors went ahead in the first minute and before Central had even touched the ball.
A well-constructed passing move put Brown in the clear and she calmly put the ball in the net.
Central put up some resistance till midway through the half when Brown weaved through a mass of defenders to score her second.
In the 37th minute, Brown completed her hat-trick.
As the half continued, Central wilted and allowed Rovers in for two more goals; the first from Rene Wasi in the 39th minute, the other from Leanna Ryan who shot into the net from an angle after 42 minutes.
The sides swapped ends with Rovers cruising and 5-0 up.
Immediately after the restart, Brown scored her best goal of the day, curling a shot from the edge of the area into the far side of the goal.
In the 49th minute, Ryan scored her second, from close in.
Brown added her fifth goal a minute later, running onto a ball into the box and deftly scooping it over ‘keeper Annie Foote.
Rovers were content to dominate possession for the second half, making Central work for every scrap of the ball.
The most spectacular goal of the day came in the 72nd minute when substitute Maisy Dewell struck a shot from 35 metres and it flew high into the Central goal.
For Rovers, it was a regulation win and a chance for coach Benjamin Bate to try a few positional changes — Michaela Foster, for instance, played a deep holding role, to good effect.
For Central, the season already looks like it’s going to be testing when playing the top sides.
Prince double kickstarts Southern United’s season
After a couple of heavy losses in the opening rounds, Southern United badly needed a win to revive their season, and it came in a 2-0 win at Petone Memorial Park.
Both goals were scored by 20-year-old Jasmine Prince, who plays her winter club football for Roslyn-Wakari.
She swung the game in Southern’s favour with an excellent goal after six minutes.
Receiving the ball out wide, she cut inside her marker, lined up a shot on her left foot and belted it from the edge of the area into the roof of the net.
Half an hour later, Prince benefitted from a mix-up in the Capital defence that gifted her the ball in the penalty area, and she took advantage with her second goal of the day.
In the second half, both sides played the ball around the park but created few real chances and the South Islanders were happy enough to bank their 2-0 win.
The result leaves Capital Football winless, and ahead of Central Football only on goal difference.
Games played on Sunday October 2, 2022
Central Football 0
Northern Rovers 9 (Kelli Brown 1′, 24′, 38′, 48′, 51′, Rene Wasi 39′, Leanna Ryan 43′, 50′, Maisy Dewell 72′)
Canterbury United Pride 1 (Lisa Evans 75′)
Eastern Suburbs 4 (Juliette Lucas 2′ pen, Deven Jackson 39′, 72′, Nicole Mettam 90′)
Capital Football 0
Southern United 2 (Jasmine Prince 7′, 37′)
Game played on Saturday October 1, 2022
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Auckland United 0
Western Springs 3 (Rina Hirano 9′, Sophia Dyer 77′, Jess Innes 90+3′)