Wairarapa United 3 Wellington Olympic 2
Men's Central League
 Wairarapa United 0 Wellington United 6
Capital Football W-League 
Memorial Park, Masterton
Saturday 10th June
Att : 130, Cost $5

A double header, with the women's game as the main game! Almost unheard of, although this was more an accident of the draw than anything planned and Wairarapa United obviously saw the men's game as the main game, as the tannoy announcer only stayed for that game.

It was between the defending champions, Wellington Olympic and one of the favourites for the title this season, Wairarapa United. Wellington Olympic's title defence hasn't been going to plan, only two wins so far, sees them in the relegation zone. That's not to say they haven't been competitive, they have drawn four games and with the exception of a 4-1 defeat to Napier City Rovers, all their losses have been by a single goal.

Wairarapa United were in second place going into this game and scoring an average of almost four goals a game. They had only lost two games, one of which was 4-3 to Wellington Olympic.

The first half was a pretty even affair, with only a Sam Mason-Smith penalty giving Wairarapa a 1-0 lead going into half time. The second half was when things started to happen. Two minutes in Wairarapa's Ermal Hadjari curled a shot past Scott Basalaj in the Olympic goal and it was 2-0. Three minutes later, Olympic pulled one back when Luis Corrales fired the ball into the top corner from close range.

Wairarapa's Turipa gets the ball but collects Corrales as well The JourneyFan

Then mid-way through the half, Luis Corrales broke into the penalty area, Rapa's keeper, Coey Turipa, lunged at the ball and got to it first but unfortunately for him he also collected Corrales in the aftermath, which resulted in a penalty, not that the Wairarapa United players agreed, but the ref waved away their protests and Mario Barcia slotted it home from the spot to make it 2-2.

Shortly after this, Paul Ifill, hit a lovely cross from just inside halfway which found Hadjari and after a bit of ping-pong between him, the post, the keeper and a defender the ball finally found it's way over the line to make it 3-2 and give the game to Wairarapa United.

Alison Vilsack (Wgtn Utd), Emma Kuzcona & Billie Cook (Rapa) The JourneyFan

The W-League game wasn't expected to be as close, the last time these teams met it was 8-0 to Wellington United and Wairarapa United have managed only three goals all season.

So when it was only 1-0 at half time it would have seemed a bit of a surprise, while Wellington United had started with effectively their reserve side, Wairarapa were playing pretty well and putting up a good defence, the big question was would they be able to keep it up for the second half? 

The short answer was no, in the first 10 minutes of the half Topaz Lloyd-Sanders and Megan Wozniak had extended the lead to 3-0 and then Wellington United made five substitutions bringing on regular starters Jayme-Lee Hunter, Asha Strom, Alison Vilsack, Maggie Jenkins & Hope Gilchrist. Hunter & Jenkins got a goal apiece with Ella Wilson completing the scoring to make it 6-0.

Towards the end of the game there was an incident where two players had ended up on the ground and as they got up they clashed, not something that you usually see in the women's game, after the match it emerged that the Wairarapa player had allegedly made a racist comment, which was why the Wellington United player reacted. There was a lot of discussion on the field at the end of the game between the management of both teams, whether the matter was going ot be dealt with internally by Wairarapa or an official complaint was going to be laid I don't know and my efforts to find out have been met by silence.

Whatever happens, it's a real shame that in this day and age we still have things like this going on. There is no place for it in the game or society and it really takes the gloss of the a pretty good performance by the Wairarapa United team.