By Logan Smith
Coastal Spirit and Cashmere Technical will face off in a crucial title race fixture as the Women’s South Island League ventures into its fourth round of action with three Matariki games.
Earlier, at 12.30pm, Dunedin City Royals will look to keep themselves in title contention against winless UC Football at the Dunedin Artificial Turf, while Nelson Suburbs host Otago University at Saxton Fields.
In the highlight fixture, it’s Coastal Spirit against Cashmere Technical at English Park, kicking off at 2.45pm.
Game of the week
Coastal Spirit and Cashmere Technical both harbour serious title ambitions, and their clash looks to be pivotal in what will only be a ten-round league.
Coastal Spirit have been the dominant team in Cantabrian women’s football in recent years, winning the Mainland competition on six consecutive occasions from 2017 to 2022.
But it’s Cashmere Technical on top so far in the Women’s South Island League, with three wins in three games compared to Coastal’s one win and one loss.
Both come in off a superb result — Coastal Spirit securing passage to the Kate Sheppard Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over the Royals, while Cashmere’s last game saw them smash Otago University 6-0.
Player to watch
Wellington Phoenix youngster Alyssa Whinham (19) is spending the A-League off-season at Coastal Spirit, and made a real difference against the Royals last Sunday, scoring the only goal of the game and showing her creativity and willingness to run at defenders.
Backing up into a big league game, she could be a key figure once again for Coastal Spirit should she take the field against Cashmere Technical.
Otago University suffered with a weakened lineup in their last outing against Cashmere Technical, on the wrong end of a 6-0 pummelling.
But I fancy them to bounce back this Friday against Nelson Suburbs and grab their second league win.
I’ll go for a late winner securing the game 1-0.
Games to be played on Friday July 14, 2023
Dunedin City Royals v UC Football
Dunedin Artificial Turf, Dunedin, 12.30pm
Nelson Suburbs v Otago University
Saxton Fields, Nelson 12.30pm
Coastal Spirit v Cashmere Technical
English Park, Christchurch, 2.45pm
Logan Smith is a passionate football fan and volunteer, based in Dunedin, covering the Southern League.