By Logan Smith
In a round of crosstown clashes in Auckland and Wellington, an interesting match-up awaits the South Island sides in the Women’s National League, with Southern United and Canterbury United Pride clashing at Logan Park.
Southern United, after an excellent start to the season with nine points in four games, occupy third place.
The Southerners have put up three wins in a row over Wellington Phoenix Reserves, Western Springs and Wellington United and can keep the pressure on the other contenders with a win against the Pride this weekend.
Main photo: Southern United … an excellent start to their campaign.
Canterbury United Pride have historically dominated this matchup and finished higher than Southern, but have made a slow start to the Women’s National League.
However, after cruising to a 3-0 win over Ellerslie in the last round, they will have ambitions of building some momentum and beating their closest geographic rivals would be a good place to start.
Recent years have been closer, with the teams finishing level on points last season while in 2021, Southern United clinched the South Central Series title with a 5-3 win over Canterbury at Logan Park, which also hosts Sunday’s clash.
Southern’s impressive versatility thus far will make them tough to prepare for, with a more defensive approach favoured against Eastern Suburbs and Wellington United, yet they employed high-pressing football and had plenty of shots on goal against the Phoenix Reserves and Western Springs.
Margi Dias and Amy Hislop are their best-known attacking threats, but others across the park have also shown an ability to contribute with goals and assists.
Canterbury have only scored one goal fewer than Southern so far, but will miss sharpshooter Britney-Lee Nicholson who is away with the Futsal Ferns.
They must improve their defensive record soon, but last weekend’s clean sheet against Ellerslie will help their confidence.
With both sides winning last weekend and going into the final five games of the season, and players that will be familiar from South Island League meetings, it all promises to be an exciting matchup in Dunedin.
Lauren Paterson, Hayley Julian, Amy Simmers
Hannah Mackay-Wright, Toni Power, Samantha Woolley, Jemma Wilson, Marissa Porteous, Tahlia Roome, Freya Partridge-Moore, Saffron Hare
Rose Morton, Maddy McCormick, Kendrah Smith, Abby Rankin, Katie Mawdesley, Jemma McCormick, Shania McIntosh
Jemma Wilson, Margarida Dias, Amy Hislop, Georgia Kennedy, Zara Pratley, Bee Park, Raegan Potter
Canterbury United Pride
Amber Bennett, Una Foyle, Scarlett Gray, Madeleine Iro
Shannan Delany, Ellena Firth, Lily Fisher, Xanthe Jane, Grace Johns, Ashley Mclean, Olivia Paul, Meg Simpson, Georgia Smith
Jonelle Arthur, Jasmine Barney, Chloe Bellamy, Amber De Wit, Rosie Hayman, Whitney Hepburn, Darsha Keogan, Amelia McAllister, Anna McPhie, Charlotte Mortlock, Denva Perrott, Abigail Platt, Minah Van Dam, Maia Wilkinson, Dorothy Yek
Lainey Altieri-Need, Khara Bouterey, Petra Buyck, Nicola Dominikovich, Lisa Evans, Elise Jackson, Sara Mann, Isla McPherson, Laura Newman, Britney-Lee Nicholson, Alison Noniewicz, Aimee Phillips, Katie Pugh, Charlotte Roche, Giselle Rynvos, Jayda Stewart, Lara Wall
Game to be played on Sunday October 22, 2023
Southern United v Canterbury United Pride
Logan Park, Dunedin, 12.15pm
Logan Smith is a passionate football fan and volunteer, based in Dunedin, covering the Southern League.