Thursday, 22 September 2016


A look back at NZ Football in the month of August 2016

Football Fern, Anna Green, is disappointed that she is unable to play Pokeman Go in the athletes village in Rio saying “I wish I could run around the village catching Pokemon. I just can't get it on the phone, it's fine, but it would have been something fun to do”

The All White's confirm a friendly against Mexico to be played in Nashville, USA in October. Coach Anthony Hudson says there is “no game bigger than Mexico and nothing bigger than playing at the Confederations Cup” err maybe Germany and the World Cup!

Wellington Phoenix blow a 2 goal lead and crash out of the FFA Cup 3-2 to Western Sydney Wanderers. Ernie Merrick said the game confirmed for him that he needed to sign a quality defender and quality center back.

NZ's Football Ferns go down 2-0 to World Champions USA in their opening game at the Rio

Wellington Craft Brewer, Garage Project, has secured pourage rights for Wellington Phoenix games for the next 3 years. They will also make taps available for other Wellington Independent craft brewers
Garage Project - Yellow Fever beer coming soon?

A busy day for Paul Ifill, he signs for National League newcomers, Tasman United in the morning and then scores a hat-trick for Wairarapa United in a 4-0 win against Wellington United in the evening.

Tasman United also launch their new kit, traditional Nelson colours of Blue and White in Hoop style ala QPR. The away kit is brilliant – Orange & Black!!!!

Capital Football appoint Emma Evans and Sam Morrissey as co-coaches for the Womens National League. Evans was on the coaching staff last season and is Women's Development Officer at Capital Football. Sam Morrissey is currently head coach of Petone in Capital Premier

Chatham Cup upstarts North Wellington are thrashed 6-1 by Three Kings United. Waitakere City, who have 40 year old ex All White Ross Nicholson, in goal beat Caversham 2-0 while Miramar Rangers beat Cashmere Technical 4-2 in Christchurch

The Football Ferns beat Colombia 1-0 in the Rio Olympics. The result is marred by a shocking decision by Zambian Ref Gladys to send Fern's captain Abby Erceg off in the 88th minute. The Ferns are appealing the decision.

Wellington Phoenix's Roy Krishna scores a goal for Fiji at the Olympics as they lead Mexico 1-0. It didn't last though Mexico won 5-1

Birkenhead United become the 3rd Auckland team in the Semi Finals of the Chatham Cup when they beat Forrest Hill Milford United 3-0

Wellington Phoenix sign Italian defender Marco Rossi. Rossi has played for Italy at U17, U19, U20 & U21 level and most recently was playing for Perguia. He also served a 1 year 8 month ban and coped a 20 000 euro fine for his involvement in the 2011-12 Italian Match fixing scandal (he didn't report that fixing was going on at his club, Bari, at the time)

Ernie Merrick says he doesn't run around kicking as many people as Ben Sigmund did!

FIFA overturn Abby Erceg's red card, meaning she will be able to take the field for the Fern's last group game against France

Abby Erceg in action Photo Enzo Giordani

Miramar Rangers are drawn away for the 9th consecutive time in the Chatham Cup, this time to Birkenhead United. Both teams have had only away games this year in the Chatham Cup, however Birkenhead United have traveled 60km to play their 4 games, Miramar meanwhile will have traveled 2000km!
Three time winners Waitakere City will host Three Kings United in the other semi final

August 10th
Team Wellington announce Central United and Auckland City Youth coach Jose Figueira as their new coach for the forthcoming season

The Football Ferns go out of the Olympics after losing 3-0 to France

August 11th
Football Ferns coach Tony Reddings makes a call for increased funding for his team saying they still have a lot of potential!

August 13th
Riki Herbert has put his hand up for the vacant managers job at Central Coast Mariners

August 15th
Wellington United win the Women's Central League. Despite the game against Palmy Marist being a decider, Capital Football fail to bring the actual trophy along

August 16th
Auckland City's Michael den Heijer signs with Dutch club NEC Nijem youth team
All White Chris Wood scores a stunning overhead kick for Leeds against Fulham

August 17th
There has been 3 in 2 years and now 2 in a week!
After playing Mexico in Nashville, USA, The All Whites will travel to Washington DC to meet the USA. The game came about as the USA's planned game against Ghana fell through after Ghana couldn't get a waiver on travel restrictions from FIFA

In a busy day for NZF they also submit a bid to host the 2020 Futsal World Cup

Jeremy Brockie turns down a big offer from another South African club (believed to be Mamelodi Sundowners) and signs on with Super Sport United for 4 more years

August 18th  
Some brilliant planning from the powers that be will see New Zealand take on New Caledonia at QBE Stadium on November 12th KO 7:30 just 5 minutes before the Wellington Phoenix kick off against Central Coast Mariners in Canberra in the A-League!
August 19th
Wellington Phoenix sign striker Adam Parkhouse from Manly United

August 20th
Wellington Olympic win the Central League coming from 2-0 down to beat Stop Out 4-2

Wellington Olympic celebrating the Central League Photo The JourneyFan
August 22nd
Christchurch United announce they are to partner with the Christchurch Football Center and Christchurch Football Academy. A move that has effectively saved the 6 time National League & Chatham Cup winners from extinction.

August 23rd
Marco Rojas has been released by German club VfB Stutgart

Ex All White, Kris Bright continues his bid to have more clubs than Lydia Ko, signing for Northern Irish side Linfield, his 15th club in 13 different countries
August 24th
Nic Millichip from Kataikati FC is named junior coach of the year and will get to go to the Club World Cup in Japan with Auckland City

Referee Sarah Jones has been appointed to as an A-League assistant referee for the 2016-17, while Anne-Marie Keighly has been named as a referee for the Premiership in NZ

Oceania make a bid for administrators of the year botching the Champions League draw, once they get it sorted Auckland City get drawn with Lae City Dwellers (PNG), Vanuatu champions (still to be decided), runners up Solomon islands. Team Wellington get Fijian champions (still to be decided), New Caledonia's Hienghene Sport and the winners of the qualifiers

Mainland Football are to name the grandstand at English Park in honour of All White legend Steve Sumner
Steve Sumner in front of the newly named Steve Sumner Stand at English Park Photo Stuff

August 25th
Korouch Monseff is named coach of Northern Football women's team, he will be assisted by NorWest United's Chris Acott

Marco Rojas signs for Melbourne Victory

August 26th
A day for International signings in the National League, Tasman United sign Swede Ermal Hajdari. Canterbury United sign University of California Americans Kris Schultz & Matt Wisenfarth

August 27th
The National Women's Knockout Cup will be an all Northern Federation affair after Forrest Hill Milford United demolish Cashmere Technical 6-0, while Glenfield Rovers edge past a spirited Upper Hutt City 1-0

Ex Team Wellington coach, Matt Calcott has a new job as coach of the Cook Islands U20 side

August 28th
Another cup final, another all Northern Federation affair, this time in the Chatham Cup, 1st division Waitakere United hammer Premier division Three Kings United 6-1, while Birkenhead United beat Miramar Rangers 3-1

Andy Peat is named new coach of Auckland City Youth. Peat was part of the coaching team for the Canada women's team who achieved a bronze medal at the Olympics

Ex National League player Terry Boylan will assist Paul O'Reilly at Southern United. Graham Marshall takes control of the youth team

August 29th
After 2 Chatham Cup wins and 4 consecutive Mainland Premier League titles, Cashmere Technical coach Scotsman John Brown is stepping down to spend more time with his family

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Island Time

Waiheke United 5 Norwest United 1
AFF / NFF Conference
Onetangi Sports Park, Waiheke Island
Saturday 10th September
Attendance : 120 or so

The Curva del Waiheke Photo : The JourneyFan
What follows may be described as a tale you won't believe, it involves ferry's, buses, angry chickens, early kick offs, drum beating fans, hitchhiking, the police, dodgy builders and chili calamari! (oh and a little bit – a very little bit of football!)

Having decided to head to Auckland for Chatham Cup final, it dawned on me that the games would be on the Sunday and there was the possibility of taking in some football on the Saturday. So I contacted Enzo from In the back of the net. He was keen on heading to Whangarei to watch some crazy Italians but had also been invited to Cambridge to watch a crazy ex All White's (Mike Groom) team in their cup final. I had it suggested to me that I should take in the star studded Central United over 35's team which includes the likes of Ivan Vicelich in their ranks, but in the end it was the crazy ultra fans of Waiheke United that won the day.

I had heard about the Waiheke United ultras from an article Enzo had written and also a piece in the mainstream media . They have several nationalities playing at the club, the predominant one being Argentinian. With this they bring a passionate and noisy support with flags, banners and drums. Not bad for a club which plays at about the 5th tier of NZ Football.

I met Enzo at the Waiheke Island ferry terminal and discovered we were to be joined by Yellow Fever stalwart, KiwiBardy. So on a gloriously sunny day be boarded the ferry to the picturesque island of Waiheke. An Orca decided to accompany the ferry but by the time we got our cameras out it was off. Then it was on to the bus and a 45 minute tiki tour around the Island, why is it football grounds always seem to be at the end of bus routes?

The angry birds Photo Kiwibardy
We alighted from the bus at the entrance to Onetangi Sports Park and were confronted by a mass of angry birds, well a hell of a lot of chickens, and rather than run away as chickens usually do these ones came towards us looking for food, or maybe they thought Kiwibardy was trying to communicate with them as he tweeted on his phone!

A 10 minute walk later we heard the drums and a comment they must be warming up sounded plausible until we turned the corner and saw the game was underway. I asked a spectator what the score was and was told 4-0 to Waiheke, and that the game was 10 minutes into the second half.

We soon discovered that despite the coming from a country where football is number one, even the Argentinians had succumbed to the traditional Kiwi way of life and had got the game moved to an early kick off so they could get to the rugby in Hamilton later that night (I suppose it was Argentina that were playing)

Still we got to see a bit of football and 2 more goals as the game ended 5-1 to Waiheke. The Ultras lived up to their reputation and was worth the visit alone. It was also great to see the team join in the singing and dancing after the final whistle.
Waiheke's Alejo Villasana attempting to fly Photo The JourneyFan
Waiheke United players joining the fans after the game Photo : The JourneyFan
With there being no bar at the ground we decided we should start walking back towards the bus stop. KiwiBardy suggested that we should try hitchhiking and stuck out his thumb, almost immediately a car stopped, I am using the term car in the loosest possible terms here, it was a pretty small 2 door hatchback with no back seats!

Now none of us are really known as small guys, I'm 6”1 , Enzo is a couple of inches taller than me, while Kiwibardy may be slightly shorter he is not someone who could be described as small either. Our potential driver seemed to think our size and his lack of a back seat would be no problem and told us to jump in. So we did, Enzo took the front, while me & Kiwibardy clambered on to the myriad of builders tools that were in the place of the back seat (this also led to our collective imagination being engaged for a tenth of a second and coming up with the name of Bob the Builder for our driver). Surprisingly we managed to get in reasonably easy, I went to close the hatch but Bob the builder had decided to drive off by then so rather than risk falling out the back of the car I left it.

"Bob The Builder"
Bob liked to talk and after a big up of the Waiheke United fans (he was a rugby bloke but goes because the crowd was brilliant), a short synopsis of his life and how he ended up on Waiheke, he launched into a rant about cowboy builders and the NZ building code, it was such a good rant that when Kiwibardy finally managed to get a word in, and it was a word agreeing with Bob, Bob was having none of it and shot KiwiBardy's argument down!!!

So there we were, 3 big blokes and Bob the Builder cruising along in a Tardis like hatchback, with the hatch up and the inevitable happened.......a police car went past us the other way, he obviously clocked us and started slowing down to turn around. I said to Bob that he may want to pull over before the cop did, Bob agreed this was a good idea not least because he stated that there was a good chance he was over the drink drive limit!

Bob's cunning plan, which was worthy of Blackadders Baldrick, was to jump out the car and go to the Pizza shop, this was thwarted by the Pizza shop being closed! Bob didn't have a plan B and by now the policeman had pulled up and was checking out the car. Again we engaged our collective imagination and came up with the name of Policeman Pat for the cop.

I'm not sure what it was maybe it was the Policeman Pat's seeming amazement that us 3 big blokes had managed to fit into the Tardis hatchback, maybe he bought my sob story about coming all the way from Wellington to see Waiheke United play only for the game to be moved to an earlier time (unlikely), but most likely he was enjoying spending a beautiful day on Waiheke Island covering for his Island based colleagues which had got him away from a Friday night Queen Street patrol and was struggling to believe what he had come across.

In the Tardis Car Photo KiwiBardy
Policeman Pat turned out to be a nice bloke who let us off with a telling off. Now most people would take a cop letting you off as a cue to thank him and get away from there (especially if there is a chance that you could be over the drink drive limit) but Bob the Builder liked to talk and came out with the immortal line “I was assaulted last night” and proceeded to show Policeman Pat his black eye.

We started to shuffle away and towards the bus stop, when Policeman Pat, probably wanting to get away from Bob the Builder, asked where we were going and offered us a lift. So it was away from the Tardis Hatchback into a 4 wheel drive Police car, and lots of dirty looks from people trying to work out what we had done wrong.

On arriving in Oneroa, I took us up to a cafe\bar that I knew had Waiheke United FC scarfs and pennants on the wall, only to find that it was closed (they apparently close at 12 on a Saturday!). Deciding the Polo club type place was probably a bit too posh for us we found a bar with a great view only to discover it was closing! Luckily they directed us to a bar downstairs from them and we finally got a well earned beer and a snack of Chilli Calamari, which Enzo proceeded to adorn his pristine white shirt with.

As we headed off to the ferry, we agreed it had been some day. But it wasn't quite over as we got closer to the ferry so did the departure time so we had to run the last 500 meters, which I was impressed I managed! And we got on to the gangplank only to be told the ferry was full and we couldn't get on!

It was a somewhat fitting end to what had been an adventurous day and I think if I did it again, I'd like to get the kick off time right and see more of the football next time!

Waiheke Island ferry leaving without us Photo KiwiBardy


Footnote : Congratulations to Waiheke United, who this weekend won the Conference and with it promotion to Northern League Division 2.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Birkenhead United 3 Waitakere City 2
Chatham Cup Final
QBE Stadium, Auckland
Sunday 11th September 2016
Attendance 4216

The Chatham Cup Photo The JourneyFan

The 89th Chatham Cup Final took place on Sunday at QBE Stadium in Auckland between Cup final debutantes, Birkenhead United, and Waitakere City, three times winners who were making their 7th appearance in the final.

The game was preceded by the 23rd National Women's Knockout Cup Final, between Glenfield Rovers and Forrest Hill-Milford United. So all 4 cup finalists came from the Northern Football Federation. This, we were told in the program by NZF CEO, Andy Martin, “ a unique occurrence and one that has only taken place once before, in 2001.”

Now just to prove that it's not only the CEO of NZF that can make gaff's, I made an elementary one. Having not seen either club play before and unusually not having done my homework, I somehow managed to confuse the teams! Even when I thought it was odd that Glenfield Rovers were singing how high do you want the goal at their own player I never clicked until talking to someone at half time! 

So if you want to know what happened in that game check out reports from

I did get some photo's which are here

While Waitakere City had the cup pedigree of the 2 finalists, they could technically claim to be the underdogs as they had spent the season in Northern League Division 1 (which they won), while Birkenhead United still have a mathematical (but unlikely) chance of winning the Northern Premier Division. Saying that Waitakere City had managed to beat 2 Northern Premier teams in Glenfield Rovers (1-0) and Three Kings United (6-1) and Football South champions, Caversham (3-1) en route to the final.

Birkenhead United hadn't had an easy route to the final with only 1 game played at home, the semi final, a 3-1 win over another team that hadn't had any home games Wellington's Miramar Rangers. While Birkenhead United's away travel distance of 60km was dwarfed by Miramar's 2000km, all but one of their games (a 7-2 win over Fencibles) was against Northern Premier league opposition (Western Springs 2-0, East Coast Bays 5-3 & Forrest Hill-Milford United 3-0).

Both teams had players with experience with ex All White's in Waitakere City's goalkeeper Ross Nicholson and player-coach Jake Butler, while Birkenhead United had Jarrod Smith and current All White, Sam Burfoot.

Ex All White 40 year old Ross Nicholson (WC) Photo The JourneyFan

The game started with a flurry of Yellow cards, ref John Rowbury issued 3 in the first 4 minutes and it was up to 7 by half time. It seemed the game wouldn't finish with 22 players on the field. It didn't but it was a surprise that it wasn't until the 97th minute before Birkenhead United's Ryan Cain was sent off for a 2nd yellow card.

The teams were pretty even but it was Birkenhead United that went into the break 2-0 up thanks to 2 Jarrod Smith goals and that was a fair reflection as while Waitakere matched Birkenhead and despite the hard work of Dylan Manickum up front they were unable to create many chances, and when they did they found Damian Hirst on top form.

The 2nd half saw more of the same, yellow cards, half chances created, Birkenhead United looking the slightly better team. With about 10 minutes to go I started to think about heading round to the tunnel to get some photos of the crowd and the cup presentation. Just then Birkenhead broke and Dan Morgan managed a shot that beat Ross Nicholson but Waitakere City were saved by the post. That moment would have won the cup for Birkenhead had it gone in but what it did was seem to spark Waitakere City into life and within a minute some dogged persistence from the excellent Dylan Manickum mixed with a bit of panic in the Birkenhead United defence made the score 2-1. 

Waitakere City were on the up and then they got a penalty which Keegan Linderboom made no mistake in putting away. Waitakere City almost sealed a stunning win in the 91st minute but Hirst kept Adyn Kettle's shot out.

Linderboom scores from the spot Photo The JourneyFan
The first period of extra time was all Waitakere City. Birkenhead United's 21 year old keeper Daimian Hirst, tipped a shot over the bar, 5 minutes later he was beaten by Steven MacDonald but his shot found the post instead the back of the net. Birkenhead United looked relieved when the ref blew for half time.

Daimin Hirst tips the ball over the bar Photo The JourneyFan
Nicholson drops the ball

Then it was Birkenhead United's turn to attack and when a cross came in, Ross Nicholson had what looked like an easy catch, it may have been the presence of the huge Ethan Galbraith or his own defender, James Olausen that put him off, who or whatever it was he dropped the ball and Galbraith swiveled and shot to make it 3-2 and the 41st different name on the cup was Birkenhead United's.

The game had gone from being a reasonable one that looked as if it would end 2-0 to one of the all time classic finals, both teams and their supporters made it a fantastic day and a great advert for local football (big up to NZF for getting the games on to Sky TV)

Birkenhead United 3 (Jarrod Smith 2, Ethan Galbraith)  Waitakere City 2 (Dylan Manikum, Keggan Linderboom (PEN))

Congratulations to Birkenhead United – 2016 Chatham Cup Winners


Tuesday, 6 September 2016


Upper Hutt City 3 Seatoun 0
Sunday 4th September
Petone Memorial
Attendance : about 100

Upper Hutt City players with  Kelly Cup Photo The JourneyFan
The 44th final of New Zealand's oldest women's football trophy was played on Sunday between Upper Hutt City & Seatoun.

Seatoun have dominated this competition in recent years appearing in 14 of the last 17 finals, winning 11 of them. Upper Hutt City's predecessors Upper Hutt United were the first ever winners of the Kelly Cup way back in 1973 when they beat Naenae 2-0. Since then Upper Hutt teams have made 4 appearances in the Cup, Upper Hutt United lost 2-1 to Palmerston North Saints in 1974. Upper Valley Wanderers lost 8-2 to Petone in 1993 and Upper Hutt City lost 3-2 to Seatoun in 2006 & 2008.

Last season Seatoun did the double of the Central League and Kelly Cup, but this season hasn't been as good to them managing only 4 wins in the league and finishing 4th 19 points of 1st place.

The young Upper Hutt City team have had a pretty good season, just missing out on the Central League title by 3 points to Wellington United and getting to the semi final of the National Women's Knockout Cup where they met cup holders Glenfield Rovers and while many in Auckland were saying they'd do well to keep Glenfield to 6 goals, they played well and only lost 1-0 to a late goal.

So today's game was both teams chance to get some silverware for the season.
The teams had met three times this season, twice in the league and once in the Knockout Cup each time the result was 1-0 to Upper Hutt City.

It took Upper Hutt City 10 minutes to open the scoring through Emma Main. The game was fairly even although Seatoun were having trouble breaking down the solid Upper Hutt defence and when Main got a second 5 minutes before half time it was a deserved goal for Upper Hutt City.

Julia Baldwin (Seatoun) & Kennedy Bryant (UHC) battle for the ball The JourneyFan

The second half was more of the same, Upper Hutt created several opportunities but their shots always seemed to pick out Seatoun's keeper, Anna Wittman-Wenzel. Their defence was solid though and Seatoun just couldn't get past it. Then with 10 minutes left Upper Hutt City's captain, Mikaela Hunt fired in a shot from about 20 meters to make it 3-0 and secure the Kelly Cup, a fitting finale for Hunt who was playing her last game for Upper Hutt City as she's off to Otago University next year.

UHC Captain Mikaela Hunt with Kelly Cup The JourneyFan

So congratulations to Upper Hutt City on winning the Kelly Cup and finishing their season with some silverware. Kudos as well to Seatoun who while having a disappointing season are still a quality team and I wouldn't be surprised if they are back challenging for the top spot next season.

Also kudos to Capital Football who produced a program for this game and the Curtain raiser – The Executive Shield Final (won 3-0 by Island Bay United over North Wellington)

While I'd be saying see you all next season, the Women's National League starts in just over a months time (October 16th) so bring it on!



Upper Hutt City - Kelly Cup Champions 2016 The JourneyFAN

Monday, 5 September 2016


Wainuiomata 2 Naenae 0
Capital 1/2 playoff  
Petone Memorial
September 3rd 2016
Attendance : 200 approx

The season is coming to an end so there is less and less football to watch (there was actually none last weekend, hence no blog). Saturday had the annual Phoenix preseason game at Kapiti Coast United against a Central League XI. With quite a strong Central League side named this looked like it could be a good game to watch. But that would be too easy and when I spied that two smaller Hutt Valley clubs were playing each other in a playoff to see who would be in next year's Capital Division 1, that's where I decided to go (oh and Petone was easier to get to for me than Kapiti!).

Naenae had finished 2nd bottom in Capital 1, while Wainuiomata had finished 3rd in Capital 2. As Waterside-Karori Cougars had finished 2nd and couldn't be promoted due to their already being a Waterside-Karori team in Capital 1, Wainuiomata were given the chance at promotion via today's playoff.

The two clubs, besides being based in suburbs of Lower Hutt, are not dissimilar in size and history. Naenae were founded in 1948 were a founding member of the Central League (Div 2) in 1968 and while they spent most of their years in Central League around Division 3 & 3 South they did get up to the top division a couple of times. 

Wainuiomata were founded in 1959 were also a founding member of the Central League (Div 1) and spent most of their time in Division 2 or 3 but did get to the top division a couple of times.

This was the 45th meeting of the clubs 1st teams, of the 40 known results Naenae held the edge with 19 wins to Wainuiomata's 14, while 7 have been draws. Naenae's record win against all clubs and Wainuiomata's record loss is a 1970 Chatham Cup game which Naenae won 11-0.

Wainuiomata fans take over Petone's club rooms Photo The JourneyFan

I'm used to getting strange looks when I tell people what games I'm going to see, however that's usually from non football people, but when I mentioned this one even football were looking at me oddly! I had seen Naenae play already this season when they lost to Marist and there were about 20 people watching, given the Phoenix were playing elsewhere I was expecting the crowd to not me a lot more than that. So I was well surprised when I turned up and it seemed that half of Wainuiomata had come over the hill for the game (well OK not that many, but still a couple of hundred).

There are no programs published at this level and I didn't arrive early enough to take a pic of the team sheet from the ref. I was told however Wainuiomata were making full use of their youth policy, as their regular keeper had been injured, and in goal was Ralph Chenery who has made over 400 appearances for Wainuiomata!

Wainui's Ralph Chenery - over 400 appearances PHOTO : The JourneyFan

At this level, unless you have been watching a team all season, you never really know what you are going to get, the skill level obviously won't be as high as Central League but then that's the beauty of the game you can always get the unexpected.

As it was the teams in the first half appeared evenly matched, although Wainuiomata did have more attempts on goal, while Naenae struggled with this which helps explain their total of 19 scored for the season. As the game went on there were a few “tasty” challenges from both sides and the referee dished out a few yellow cards, he did well keeping a control on the game, especially with a loud vocal crowd which was dominated by Wainui fans.

Photo : The JourneyFan

Wainuiomata's coach is Graham Watson who has been around the Wellington football scene for years, I remember him as coach of Lower Hutt City when they played in the National League in the late 90's. They didn't have a great season, finishing 2nd bottom and sometimes the football was dire, but you always knew you'd get some entertainment just from watching Graham Watson on the sideline. He seems to have mellowed a bit and it looked as if Naenae's coach had given his players more of a rev up at half time as they came out looking the better team for about 20 minutes.

But then the turning point, Wainuiomata played a through ball and the striker found himself onside and with the Naenae keeper almost in front of him, the fact the Naenae keeper was half way up the pitch allowed the striker to knock the ball past him and then follow the ball as he shepherded it into an empty net.

Wainuiomata make it 1-0 Photo : The JourneyFan

This prompted wild celebrations from the Wainui fans and they broke into their club song (their version of It's a grand old team to play for) just as they finished it, the player who had played the through ball picked it up on the left wing cut inside and fired a shot across the goal and it was 2-0 to Wainuiomata.

1 minute later and it's 2-0 Wainui Photo : The JourneyFan

From then on it was all Wainuiomata, they were getting to the ball first, when they lost it they were chasing it down and winning it back. Naenae were still competing but Wainuiomata simply wanted it more and it showed. Watson had barked out instructions to his players to play towards the corners as that was where they were beating them and they did that. They didn't add to the scoring but 2-0 was enough to secure themselves a place in Capital 1 for next season.

How they will do, who knows but if they can get a crowd each week that was half as big and boisterous as the one that was at this game, they will make for a great day out.

Wainuiomata Promoted to Capital 1 Photo The JourneyFan

For more photos from the game click here

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Goals Galore


Kelly Cup Semi-Final
Petone Memorial
Sunday 21st August 2016
Attendance about 60

1982 : Pat Kelly (who cup is named after) presents Kelly Cup to Miramar's Marilyn Marshall

The Kelly Cup is in its 44th year and is New Zealand's oldest women's trophy. It is the premier cup competition for clubs in the Wellington and Lower North Island. Since the introduction of the National Women's Knockout Cup in 1994 it has slowly been losing some of it's prestige. There were only 8 entries this season, and one of them (Stop Out Central League) withdrew - the fact that Stop Out's 2nd team entered as well, doesn't help the prestige of the competition. The first round of this was played in April a full 17 weeks ago, it's almost as if Capital Football had forgotten about it, it is sad for a trophy and competition that deserves better.

The Semi-Final draw saw holders Seatoun visit Stop Out 2nds (and win 4-0) and the game I was at. Petone, currently 4th in Capital Premier hosting Central League runners up Upper Hutt City. It would also give Petone and newly appointed Capital Football National League co-coach, Sam Morrissery, a chance to actually see some of the players he may be in charge of in the coming National League season.

High scoring games are not uncommon in women's football, especially when there is a division gap between teams and today's game was definitely that!

Upper Hutt City make it 2-1 Photo : The JourneyFan
It went like this
  • 1st min     Petone         1-0
  • 6th min     Upper Hutt equalise 1-1
  • 13th min   Upper Hutt   2-1
  • 22nd min  Upper Hutt   3-1
  • 40th min   Upper Hutt   4-1
  • 43rd min   Upper Hutt   5-1
HALF TIME Petone 1 Upper Hutt City 5
  • 50th min   Petone         2-5
  • 57th min   Upper Hutt   6-2
  • 59th min   Petone         3-6 (Jade Morrissery gets a hat-trick)
  • 64th min   Upper Hutt   7-3
  • 68th min   Upper Hutt   8-3
  • 70th min   Petone         4-8 
  • 82nd min  Upper Hutt   9-4
  • 87th min   Upper Hutt 10-4
Petone                4 (Jade Morrissery 3, Own Goal)
Upper Hutt City 10 (Emily Morrison 2, Danielle Turton 2, R.Otte 2, Emma Main, 
                                Katie Barrott, Carolyn O'Reilly, Mikaela Hunt)

Upper Hutt City's 3rd or 4th goal  Photo : The JourneyFan
Despite losing by 6 goals, Petone did well and never gave up, and put 4 goals past a defence that has only conceded 10 in all competitions this season. Upper Hutt City hadn't played for a couple of weeks as their Central League campaign had been cut short by the mid season withdrawal of Valeron Wanderers, and it showed. They were rusty and making some silly mistakes on the ball and giving it away too easily. Petone probably showed them too much respect in the first half and didn't really capitalise on these errors, with the exception of a couple of uncharacteristic ones made by Upper Hutt keeper, Cushla Litchwark, who wasn't having a great day at the office.

The Kelly Cup allows for rolling subs and Upper Hutt City coach, Wendi Henderson, made full use of these giving everyone a run. Hopefully this helped as they come up against Glenfield Rovers in the Semi-Final of National Women's Knockout Cup next weekend and they can't afford to make the simple mistakes they were against Petone as they will get punished.

Click here for some photos of the game

The 44th Kelly Cup Final will be
Seatoun v Upper Hutt City
Petone Memorial
Sunday 4th September
Kick Off 1:15pm
Preceded by Executive Shield - Island Bay Sharkettes v North Wellington KO 11am