Wellington United 0 Palmerston North Marist 2
NZ National Women's Knock Out Cup Round 2
 Newtown Park, Wellington
Attendance : 53 (including the guys doing athletics training)

What is it with Wellington United and cup competitions? They don't seem to like them that much, so much that its almost valid to do the old gag - What is the difference between a tea bag and Wellington United? 
The tea bag stays in the cup longer!

Wellington United first entered the NWKO Cup in 2010 and they are the only Wellington club that has entered every year since then. In that time they have played 13 games for 6 wins and 7 losses. Their best performance was in 2015 when they beat Seatoun 5-2 and Upper Hutt City 4-3, before going down 2-0 to Massey University in the quarter final. Massey were a bit of a nemesis for them knocking them out of the cup 3 times.

In that 2015 season Massey University got to the final, going down 4-0 to Glenfield Rovers. During the game the TV commentators talked about the great setup Massey had and how they were building for the future. This turned out to be a classic case of the commentators curse, as in the off season the coach left, and in the weird world of women's football where coaches seem to endear more loyalty than clubs, the majority of players left also. Palmerston North Marist were the club to benefit from this shift and were Wellington United's opponents today.

Palmer remonstrating with the ref over the ball having been played The JourneyFan
Wellington United were missing a couple of regular starters including their prolific striker, Michaela Robertson and Alice Cooke-Harvie, despite this they still dominated much of the territory and possession in the first half. So much so that when Marist's Hannah Fitzgerald put the ball past Tash Ingram in the 36th minute to make it 1-0, it did feel as if it was slightly against the run of play. 

It was a frustrating day for Wellington United, captain Jayme Lee Hunter had a surprisingly off day, Dani Ohlsson struggled with a solid and efficient Marist defence, Briar Palmer hit the post and when they did finally get the ball over the line late in the second half it was ruled out for offside. There was one incident just before half time that summed up Wellington United's day. They had a corner and the player placing the ball then rolled it over into play but left it sitting still as she ran into the penalty area, regular taker Briar Palmer ran over and took the ball wide to get a better angle for a cross only for referee, Simon Morris, to blow his whistle as he didn't realise it had already been played!

PNM's Hannah Fitzgerald getting up for the 2nd goal The JourneyFan

While United had an off day, this in no way should detract from the excellent performance of Palmerston North Marist.They are a team on a hot run of form at the moment, while United were dominating the game in the first half they were unable to do anything with it as Marist kept their shape and composure. It was seven minutes into the second half when they got a corner, Hannah Fitzgerald got up and her header hit the post before rebounding on to Tash Ingram's back and into the Wellington United goal. From this point on it was Marist's game to lose and there was no way they were going to that, and they rounded out another great performance with a 2-0 win and must be reasonably confident of making it to the latter stages of the competition. Wellington United meanwhile can sit down with a cup of tea and concentrate entirely on the league.