Year of the underdog

Capital 5 Southern United 1
National Women’s League
Petone Memorial
Sunday 6th November
Att about 100

When I’ve written before about watching a game on a typical sunny Wellington day, most would have realised my tongue was firmly in my cheek. Today’s game was more typical of the weather you would expect when watching games in Wellington. It was a gusty, overcast day and during the game we got a smattering of rain and a couple of flashes of sunshine (even bizarrely at the same time at one stage!).

With the National Women’s League season only being 6 games long this game, Capital’s 2nd at home, was the halfway point of the season for them. It’s been a good season so far, they are sitting 2nd and are unbeaten and had a good 3-1 win over Auckland last weekend. Southern United meanwhile are bottom of the league and were coming of the back of a 8-0 thrashing from defending champions, Northern.

The game was heavily affected by the wind, it was pretty gusty at one point a penalty box clearance from a Southern United defender that would have normally found the midfield around the center circle went out for a Capital goal kick! 

Taylor-Lynch & Robertson Collide The JourneyFan
Capital started playing into the wind and despite this set up camp in the Southern United half. They were dealt a blow in the 15th minute when striker, Michaela Robertson, chasing a 50/50 ball collided with Southern United keeper, Catlin Taylor-Lynch. There were calls for a stretcher and while one was bought out, Robertson is made of tough stuff and she managed to eventually hobble off with what looked like an extremely sore hip.

She wasn’t replaced straight away, but being down to 10 didn’t bother Capital when 3 minutes later, Briar Palmer broke into the penalty area from the right flank and slotted home easily to make it 1-0.

Briar Palmer makes it 1-0 The JourneyFan

7 minutes later and against the run of play Southern United got an equaliser via Stephanie Lee. The game was getting played in the middle of the park, Capital battling against the wind and Southern United unable to use it to their advantage.

Taylor-Lynch takes out Emma Main
Capital finished the first half with a flourish. Emma Main, broke towards the penalty area, Taylor-Lynch came out for the ball and realising she was outside of her area and getting beaten by Main’s run she took her down with a late tackle and earned herself a yellow card. 

Capital’s free kick specialist, Maggie Jenkins, stepped up and in an almost identical free kick to her goal against Central two weeks earlier did the same thing to make it 2-1

Fan Brandon Clarke (@kiwibardy on Twitter) captured the moment with this video.

Capital had been looking the better team and with the wind you felt they would get a few goals and it only took two minutes into the second half for Jayme-Lee Hunter to make it 3-1. Five minutes later Maggie Jenkins had her second when she pounced on a loose ball from a defensive melee. Ten minutes later she thought she had a hat trick when another defence melee, caused by keeper, Taylor-Lynch’s, inability to hold on to the ball but it was ruled out for offside.

Maggie Jenkins gets her 2nd and Capitals 4th The JourneyFan

A couple of minutes after this, Capital had a corner and Briar Palmer stepped up and her corner ended up in the back of the net. From where I was standing behind the goal it didn’t look as if it touched anyone until it was over the line, but the officials deemed it was an own goal to Southern United’s Kate Guildford. It was now 5-1 to Capital and that was the end of the scoring

Capital have two games left and are currently in 2nd place two points behind Northern. The next two games will be their toughest, away to last seasons runners up Canterbury United Pride next week and then a home game against defending champions and favourites to win the league, Northern. However this team is playing well, the return of Briar Palmer seems to have lifted the team up a level and they seem to have the spirit that could cause an upset and this year does seem to be one for the underdogs.


Next Home game 
Capital Football v Northern 
Sunday 20 November 1:30pm 
Petone Memorial