Ella Riley (Vic Uni & ITBOTN writer) goes flying Photo Enzo Giordani

Women's Capital Premier Division
Newtown Park, Wellington
Sunday 5th May, 2018

First of all, I have to say what an honour and a privilege it is to find myself writing for my good comrade Dave Webster on his illustrious Journeyfan blog, two-time winner of the NZ Football Media Award for best website and perpetual winner of the Hope Solo Trophy for most persistently aggrieved fan of a team that Roma beat fair and square in 1984. (Fair & Square or "giusto e sinceroin" in Italian actually means gifting the referee a $50k watch before the game! ;-) - Ed)
All joking aside though, Dave is a great sort and messing up his site with my uninformed drivel really was the least I could do after he chauffeured me around Wellington for two Sundays in the space of four weeks so I could go to some football in his lovely city. I sincerely hope this post doesn’t get my loser juice all over the place too much and ruin his chances of a three-peat.
The primary purpose of my trip down from JAFAtown this weekend was to attend a work conference that ruled out any football on Saturday. Thankfully New Zealand employment law gives you 90 days to file a personal grievance for such unjustifiable actions causing disadvantage as depriving a football fan of his or her passion for the grassroots game, so there is plenty of time to get that drafted after I have prioritised this write-up.
There is a weakness in my case though. Namely the fact that although there was a lot of good football I could have gone to on Saturday, Sunday did promise a tasty little clash in Capital Women’s Premier that arguably completely mitigated any losses I had suffered.
Going into this match, there were three unbeaten teams in the league after three rounds: Vic (or the University of Wellington™ for those who don’t want to confuse it with Victoria University of Kampala), the Sapphires and Waterside Karori. The Wellington United Sapphires are the defending champions, having won this division by five points last year after only one defeat – at the hands of this game’s opponents.

George Lawry (Wgtn Utd) tackles Sam Haseltine (Vic Uni) Photo Enzo Girodani

As for Vic, they had the chance to step up to the W League at the beginning of this year following the withdrawal of Stop Out from the top of the pyramid (a familiar tale for Northern League fans) but they rejected the invitation, instead preferring to earn promotion the old fashioned way. This was a good opportunity to prove that they made the correct decision.
Things were looking a bit shaky in that department early on, after Nat Olson opened the scoring for the home side in the 16th minute with a shot that Vic keeper Laurel Smith thought was drifting wide so neglected to attempt a save only to watch with some horror as it snuck inside her far post.
It was looking like 1-0 would be the score at the break, until we were treated to a seven minute goal blitz starting with a 40th minute equaliser for Vic courtesy of Georgia Moore. Just three minutes after that the visitors had the lead when a cross eluded several players who might have put it away only to find its way to Claudia Weller, who made no mistake with an open net before her. But before Victoria could celebrate a half time advantage, Jade Morrissey levelled things up once again for United in the second minute of time added on.
All things considered, 2-2 was probably a fair half time score, but from that point forward the second half largely belonged to Vic.
The winning goal was scored by Sam Haseltine in the 75th minute, a looping free kick from the right hand corner of the penalty area that eluded the outstretched fingertips of United goalkeeper Nicole Dalley and bounced in across the goal line.
Victoria University now share top spot in the division with Waterside Karori, who defeated Kapiti Coast United at Wakefield a little later in the afternoon. The clash between the two remaining unbeaten sides in a fortnight’s time will be well worth a look!

Sadly I don’t think I can make it though. After the Dundee United crack at the top of this post I may need to enter the witness protection programme if I want to return to our nation’s capital in the near future.

Enzo in his own words is a footbalholic. While he can be described as a successful left winger, an effective striker, able to shoot at 1/1250th of a second, none of this reflects his ability on the football field. 

Instead he writes and photographs the game at the blog site In The Back Of The Net.

NZFMA community writer of the year in 2015, his favourite teams are, a bunch of Italians that cheated Dundee United out of a European Cup Final in 1984 and anyone in NZ that will give him a free top or let him drink out of the Chatham Cup