Western Springs and Eastern Suburbs, the two unbeaten teams in the Women’s National League, meet under Friday night lights to start a crucial weekend for the competition.
The eight-team competition has reached its halfway mark and the two Auckland clubs have become favourites to fill the table’s top two places in December when the grand final settles the title.
But if either side is to falter, and allow a late challenge from Northern Rovers or Southern United, it starts with a stumble at Seddon Park on Friday.
If Springs were to lose, for instance, and Northern Rovers won on Sunday, it would close the gap to five points.
Main photo: Western Springs have been one of the in-form teams of the season so far.
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It makes for an intriguing weekend when the vagaries of scheduling have matched teams against their nearest rivals.
Southern United have found form, beating past champions Canterbury United Pride on Labour Monday, and they’ll be strong at home against a Northern Rovers adjusting to the loss of key player Michaela Foster, who has signed for the Wellington Phoenix.
Meanwhile, Auckland United — whose season has been disrupted by the absence of key players on national age group duties — will look for a confidence-boosting victory against winless Central Football.
Here’s the weekend’s fixtures:
Game to be played on Friday October 28, 2022
Western Springs (2nd) v Eastern Suburbs (1st)
Seddon Fields, Westmere, 7.30pm
Game to be played on Saturday October 29, 2022
Capital Football (6th) v Canterbury United Pride (5th)
Petone Memorial Park, Petone, 2.30pm
Games to be played on Sunday October 30, 2022
Auckland United (7th) v Central Football (8th)
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 2.30pm
Southern United (4th) v Northern Rovers (3rd)