Petone v Wellington United

Petone 0 Wellington United 4
National Women's Knockout Cup Round 2
Petone Memorial
Sunday 5th June 2016
Attendance about 60

Round 2 of the rather awkwardly named National Women's Knockout Cup (NWKC). The Women's version of the Chatham Cup. It started life in 1994 and was known as the SWANZ cup. That name reflected the administration that ran the Women's game at the time. It now comes under NZF and has become the National Women's Knockout Cup. I suppose that at least the title tells you what it does, but you do get the impression it was named in the hope of a sponsor coming along and paying for naming rights.

When the draw for round 2 was done, NZF drew this game as BNU v Wellington United, which was a surprise to me (as well as BNU and Petone) as I had seen BNU go down 5-1 to Petone the day before in round 1. It was pointed out to NZF on Twitter and quickly rectified. So today it was Petone, currently 2nd in the Capital Premier division up against the Central League leaders, Wellington United.

Wellington United are a pretty good team, being unbeaten this season with 6 out of 6 in the league and if a Wellington team is finally going to get their name on the cup this team must be the favourites to do it (Incidentally, The closest a Wellington team has come to winning it was in the years 1995-98 when Petone were runners up 4 years in a row)
Even Synchronized attacking can't get past Petone's defence

Petone's coach Sam Morrissey, had obviously been down to the local NZ Transport agency during the week and purchased P-Class license's for his defenders as they parked a big blue bus in front of their goal! It was classic cup tie tactics when playing a superior team from a higher league, keep them out and hopefully surprise them on the break and potentially cause an upset.

Jemma Browne (Petone)
 The thing with classic tactics is its fine for the coach to set them out, but its the players who have to carry them out on the field and Petone's players took to their challenge like over zealous ticket collectors, ensuring nothing got past. On the few occasions Wellington United managed to get past the defence, Petone keeper Jemma Browne, proved more than capable of dealing with the threat.

It was the 60th minute before Wellington United managed to break the deadlock and it was something special when Jayme-Lee Hunter hit a half volley from outside the penalty area that Jemma Browne could do nothing about. 6 minutes later Francesa Grange made it 2-0 and it looked as if the floodgates would open. However Petone weren't having any of that and with the help of a couple of substitutions, managed to find another gear and continued to fight back against the skillful and speedy Wellington United attack.

Despite despite losing 2 more goals, both to talented Michaela Robertson, who must be one of the smallest players in NZ, they put in a hard shift and almost got rewarded with a goal when Heather Williamson managed to chip a shot over Natasha Ingram in the Wellington United goal only for it to agonisingly hit the crossbar.
Wellington United's Michaela Robertson

In the end it was the superior talent and skill of the Wellington United that won out. While 4-0 can seem like a thrashing, in the world of Women's football it is a respectable result against a higher division team who have been scoring an average of 8 goals a game and Petone can be justifiably proud of their effort today