Seatoun 6 Stop Out 0
Capital Football W-League
Seatoun Park, Wellington
Saturday 12 August, 2017
Att : 18

Seatoun AFC sporting their new strips The JourneyFan

With all the league winners and relegation in Wellington all but decided, it made picking a game to watch a bit more difficult than usual, but when I was looking at the fixtures, this one jumped out at me. Mainly because despite having seen Seatoun play several times, I had yet to visit them at their home ground (well except for the 1st half of the NWKO Cup game against Palmerston North Marist and I didn't write anything about that one). Also in the last round Stop Out had recorded a surprise 2-1 victory over Seatoun, so maybe they could do it again or Seatoun would be out for revenge, either way it would hopefully give the match a bit of an edge.

Seatoun were founded way back in 1909. Always a prominent Wellington club, their high point came in the 1950's when they won the Chatham Cup twice (57 & 58 - their 7-1 victory over Christchurch City in the 1958 final is the joint record highest score in a final) and five of their eight Venus Shield's. These days the men's first team play in Capital 2 and it's the women that have enjoyed success more recently. They set up a women's team in 1975 and have been ever present in Wellington Women's competition since then, They have won Wellington Division 1 twice (2002,03), the Central League four times (2006,07,08 & 15) and the Kelly Cup 11 times.

Stop Out are just 10 years younger than Seatoun being founded in 1919. They set up a women's team in 1979 and starting out in Division 6 rose through the leagues and despite winning the Premier Division in 1993, they opted not to enter the newly formed Central League and 1995 saw their last season with a women's team, that is until 2011 when the club re-entered the Premier Division, winning it in 2011 & 13 and gaining promotion to the Central League in 2015. 

With the Central League being discontinued at the end of last season, both teams find themselves in the six team W-League. While there are only six teams in the league there are effectively three sub divisions within it 1- the top three of Upper Hutt City, Wellington United and Palmerston North Marist, 2- Seatoun, 3- the wooden spoon battle between Stop Out and Wairarapa United. There has been very little movement on the league table, in fact apart from Wellington United and Palmerston North Marist jostling for second place the league positions have been pretty much the same since the forth week of the competition!

Seatoun have been unable to recapture the form that won them the Central League in 2015. They scored 54 goals in that season, in the two seasons since then (including this game) they have managed just 46 goals. It's hard to work out what's happened as the two top scorers from the championship winning season, Annie Olssen (18) and Grace Surridge (13) are still in the team, in fact the starting line up had seven players that were involved in that team. They did recruit 16 goal striker, Jade Morrissey, from Capital Premier team Petone in the off season but she hasn't been able to find the goal as much as she did in the lower division.

Stop Out have had a couple of huge thumping's this season, 17-0 & 12-0 at the hands of Wellington United, they managed a win and a draw against Wairarapa United, but most surprisingly they beat Seatoun 2-1, the first time they had beaten them since getting back into Women's football.

Jade Morrissey not tapping it in The JourneyFan
From the off, Seatoun laid siege to the Stop Out goal and had several near chances. Stop Out were defending well, it looked as if their game plan was to soak up the attacks and hit Seatoun on the counter attack. It nearly worked when they hit the crossbar with their first attack in the 20th minute, but two minutes later, Seatoun's Grace Surridge had the ball in the back of the net. On the half hour a long shot caught Stop Out keeper, Bex Williams, off her line, she managed to get back and slap it away from the goal line but only to the feet of Jade Morrissey who had a simple tap in. Two minutes later it was 3-0 when there was a foul at the edge of the area, Stop Out were busy organising their defensive wall when the ref pointed out the foul happened inside the area and it was a penalty. Seatoun captain Annie Olssen made no mistake from the spot.

Seatoun almost extended their lead four minutes into the second half, but Williams in the Stop Out goal made a great save and the rebound was fired into the underside of the crossbar and bounced away from the goal. Stop Out were starting top look better but you did get the feeling that Seatoun had eased off a bit as they were comfortably ahead. They made it four when Kelsi Rutune fired in a shot which hit the crossbar and fell to the feet of Morrissey for another simple tap in.

Seatoun completed the scoring with two more goals in the last five minutes, the first when Tessa McPherson broke through the line, although there was a suspicion of offside, it wasn't flagged and she slotted the ball past a static Williams. Then in the last minute substitute Danika Chhour lobbed the ball in from about 20 meters out, Williams who would normally have plucked a shot like that out of the air, failed to do so thanks to the blazing sun that was in her eyes and it was 6-0.

Danika Chhour makes it 6-0 The JourneyFan

There is one round left in the W-League, but all that is left to decide is who out of Wellington United or Palmerston North Marist will finish runner up to champions Upper Hutt City. After one season it's hard to say if the W-League is making a difference, there is still a massive gap within the division and having no promotion-relegation playoff doesn't really give clubs such as Waterside Karori, University & BNU much incentive to develop women's football, while clubs like Wairarapa United, Stop Out and Seatoun have the safety net of no relegation, how does that encourage them to step up their standard to compete with the top three?



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