Capital's Dani Ohlsson scores the winning goal against Canterbury United The JourneyFan

National Women's League
Saturday 1st December, 2018
Petone Memorial Park
Att : a 100 or so, several dogs and a visitor from Auckland

It was the last home game of the season for Capital and while they were in a  position where they couldn't make the finals, they were in a position to still influence them as they hosted 2nd place Canterbury United Pride. The game was also more poignant as Capital Coach Emma Evans had announced during the week that she had a new role as Women's development officer for the Oceania Football Confederation, so this would also be her last home game after three years in charge.

It was going to be an interesting game as Canterbury United were with out the talismatic Annalie Longo as well as goalkeeper Victoria Esson who were away in New Caledonia for the World Cup qualifying with the Football Ferns, however it could be balanced out as Capital were missing Sarah Gregorius and Anna Green who were also in New Caledonia.

Despite the fact Capital hadn't beaten Canterbury since 2014, they were still being picked to get a result by several (including The Return Fixture Podcast's Helena Wiseman, who is normally quite negative when it comes to Capital, maybe her visit here last week has softened her up a bit!) I chickened out a bit and just said it'd be a close game.

Capital's Charlotte Wilford-Carroll and Canterbury's Kate Taylor battle for the ball The JourneyFan

The tone of the game was set from the start when Capital's Micky Robertson burst down the right wing in the first minute and sent a cross in which Lilly Bray in the Canterbury goal got to just before Capital's Anna Mcphie. It was just the 16th minute when the scoring started when Kennedy Bryant launched a screamer from about 30 meters out into the top corner. But this lead lasted all of one minute when Canterbury United's Whitney Hepburn obviously thought whatever you can do so can I and hit a similar screamer into the top corner from about 30 meters out!

Emma Main (CAP) The JourneyFan
10 minutes later, Emma Main, who had been moved from playing up front at the start of the season to right back made a burst into the penalty area cut inside just before reaching the by line and curled a lovely shot into the far corner. 

Canterbury were next to get the ball in the net, but it was called offside, although there was some debate as to whether or not it was, but two minutes after this Cody Taylor broke through and many believed she was offside, but no flag went up and she made it 2-2.

At half time it was commented by the visitor from Auckland, a Mr Ruane who was enjoying a day trip to the NZ home of womens football, that it could quite easily end up 5 all the way it was going. Both teams were playing an open game and attacking making it a very enjoyable spectacle whichever side you were backing.

Despite the promise the goals didn't come as quickly until about half an hour in to the second half when Cody Taylor got her second of the day to put Canterbury 3-2 ahead. A few years ago that would likely have been the game for Capital, but since Emma Evans has been in charge they have been a team that fights right to the end and never gives up and they didn't, the goalscoring machine that is Micky Robertson didn't get on the score sheet today but did create a brilliant assist for Meisha Boone to slot home and even up the scores.
Then she did it again breaking down the right and despite seeing the keeper off her line, resisted the temptation to shoot and crossed it to Dani Ohlsson who gave Lilly Bray no chance and gave Capital a 4-3 lead with just a couple of minutes to go.

Emma Evans Top coach...yeah definitely 
But still they didn't give up and Capital's find of the season Charlotte Willford-Carroll who had been having an outstanding game in midfield hit the post and then Anna McPhie who had been battling away all game on the left wing almost got another, both players were deserving of goals based on the performances they had put in but they ran out of time and the game ended 4-3 to Capital.

It was a fitting home farewell to coach Emma Evans who with her team has done a great job of revitalising Capital, making a finals appearance in her first season and effectively building a new team each season as she dealt with the high turnover of players in the Capital region, hopefully whoever comes in to replace her will keep that culture and excitement around the Capital team.