The bottom half of the National Women’s League saw some change as Auckland United won and Southern United shared the points with Northern Rovers in Sunday’s fixtures.
United’s win lifted them to eighth place while the draw did no favours for either Southern or Northern Rovers in their efforts to catch the league’s leading sides.
Main photo: Bree Johnson (9) turns away after scoring one of her goals for Auckland United against Central Football.
Here’s our round-up of Sunday’s fixtures:
Auckland United beat Central 9-3 in rain-disrupted match
The league’s bottom two teams shared a dozen goals after rain disrupted the start of Auckland United’s game against Central Football.
Heavy rain forced the transfer of the match from Keith Hay Park to Seddon Fields, home of Western Springs.
The move, on the end of a long trip from the lower North Island, was the least of Central’s troubles as United pounded them throughout the first half.
Leading 5-0 at the break, Central did well to fight back and eventually lost the game 9-3.
The United assault in the first half saw age group international Ruby Nathan score twice in the opening 20 minutes, both times carefully placing her shot around the ‘keeper.
Then Bree Johnson showed the art of timing runs into the box.
She scored a hat-trick with goals in the 28th, 32nd and 43rd minutes, all from close in and down to her ability to anticipate her opportunities.
In the second half, Manaia Elliott struck a peach of a shot from 23 metres to make it 6-0.
Then Maya Vince scored after some clever play by substitute Emmelin Bowala.
In the 76th minute, Johnson struck her fourth, this time a lofted shot over ‘keeper Annie Foote.
Central pulled back a goal in the 82nd minute when Jana Niedermayr hooked a shot over her shoulder to score a clever goal from a corner.
Substitute Lilly Dowsing scored Central’s second in the 86th minute after good work by captain George Furnell down the right flank.
United made it 9-2 as the game entered stoppage time, when Foote fumbled a Nathan corner across her own goalline.
In added time, Kasey Cavell scored Central’s third.
Draw could be costly in race to catch league leaders
Southern United and Northern Rovers shared the points in a 1-1 draw but did neither any favours in their hopes to catch up with the league leaders.
The game was even and hinged on two key moments in front of goal.
The first was after 40 minutes when a penalty was awarded against Rovers as they defended a corner.
Hannay Mackay-Wright walloped the spot kick hard and high into the net to give the Southern side a 1-0 lead going into half-time.
Rovers levelled in the 53rd minute when Danielle Canham got into space and rifled the ball home from 10 metres.
Rovers remain seven points behind second-placed Western Springs, missing the chance to get within five of their rivals.
Southern’s point lifts them above Canterbury United Pride and into the top half of the table.
Games played on Sunday October 30, 2022
Auckland United 9 (Ruby Nathan 12′, 21′, Bree Johnson 29′, 32′, 43′, 76′, Manaia Elliott 61′, Maya Vince 75′, own goal 90+1′)
Central Football 3 (Jana Niedermayr 83′, Lilly Dowsing 83′, Kasey Cavell 90+3′)
Southern United 1 (Hannah Mackay-Wright 40′ pen)
Northern Rovers 1 (Danielle Canham 53′)
Game played on Saturday October 29, 2022
Capital Football 1 (Sammi Preval 90 + 2′)
Canterbury United Pride 2 (Rebecca Lake 69′ pen, Chloe Bellamy 83′)
Game played on Friday October 28, 2022
Western Springs 2 (Lara Colpi 74′, Arisa Takeda 86′)
Eastern Suburbs 4 (Tayla O’Brien 16′, 69′, Deven Jackson 30′, Charlotte Carroll 48′)