We’ve managed three games in 11 days which has been a tough ask for this end of the season, but what an 11 days!
Knockout Cup Quarter Final v Palmy North Marist
First up we had PNM in the Knockout Cup Quarter Final. Leading up to this game we’d won a game apiece, and drawn 1-1 so it was always going to be a tight game. These games are always tough physical battles and this was no exception. Both teams were throwing everything they had into it, which was reflected in the half time score of 0-0.
The second 45 was just as tough as the first, and we managed to get on the score sheet when PNM gave the ball away in their defensive third and Lena de Ronde capitalised by driving a cross into the 6 yard box and Emma Main nipped in front of her defender to tuck the ball away. 1-0. PNM are the sort of team that never gives up, and they struck back after a ball over the top was picked up by their striker and they slotted the ball into the far post tying the game up 1-1. Cup matches need a result, and so into extra time we went. Both teams were showing the effects of a long hard tussle, but through sheer grit and determination we pushed forward, and sent a cross into the box for Lena de Ronde to pop up at the far post driving the ball into the net to take us 2-1 up. Chances went the way of both teams after that, with PNM coming agonisingly close to an equaliser after a deflected shot spun away from Cushla Lichtwark hit the base of the post and rolled along the goal line before Emma Lavery cleared it away. The final whistle was a relief, and we were ecstatic to be heading to the National Knockout Cup Semi Final round once again.
W League v Wairarapa
The following weekend saw us travel away to bottom placed Wairarapa in a game that we knew could win us the league if we got the three points. Wairarapa have steadily improved throughout the season and their position at the foot of the table belies their performances thus far. They certainly got just rewards, as they pounced on a mistake at the back and went ahead 1-0 after only 15 mins. Not at all the start we were looking for. We struggled to get back in to shape, or apply any pressure and we were getting the basics wrong so we were glad to go into halftime so that we could reset. The second half was much improved, and we were able to equalise through a 30 yard finish from Kennedy Bryant. We started to grow in confidence and polished build up from the defence was finished by Sarah Gregorious to put us in the lead 15 mins later. Wairarapa were starting to tire, and we began to dominate, with Grego netting her second of the day, and Ellen Stirling rounding us out with a final score of 4-1. CHAMPIONS!
Kelly Cup Semi-Final v Wharfies
The celebrations were long and hard that evening, but it was back into it on the following Tuesday, where we played Premier side Karori in the Kelly Cup Semi final under lights at Maidstone park. Karori are second in the Premier division and they played like it, they kept a strong shape, and played some good football in phases, but we had the luxury of a lot of possession, and 35 mins in Lena de Ronde put us ahead meeting a cross in mid air and slotting the ball home.
1-0 at halftime, but feeling in control, we headed out for the second half. Again we dominated possession and territory, and Karori began to show signs of fatigue. We continued to press, and midfielder Dani Turton found herself in space around 30 yards out, took the shot and it flew into the far post, a spectacular finish from one of our youngsters. Karori were resolute, and stuck to their plan, and found themselves in behind our defence, the resulting shot required an excellent save from Cush, managing to palm the ball away for a corner. We pressed on, and found the net a further 3 times, with Ellen Stirling, Grace McRobie and Kennedy all getting on the scoresheet. Final score 5-0 and off to the Final we go.
Next up… W League v Wellington Utd
This week in our final league game we host Wellington United whom after beating PNM last week have leapfrogged them into second place. Despite not being able to catch us on the table, they will be keen to prove themselves, and we cannot take them lightly. We welcome Utd to Maidstone and up to the club afterwards.
Our first Womens team have never won the league in the top flight before, and this group, supported by those in the years before them have made history for our club. Make sure you stick around after the match for celebrations as the team will be presented with the inaugural W League Trophy and winners medals by Capital Football.
Vs PNM – Carolyn O’Reilly
Vs Wairarapa – Lena de Ronde
Vs Karori – Dani Turton
Check out the photos from these games in our Women’s Gallery