Auckland Football have earned their first victory of the 2016 National Women’s League campaign after convincingly beating Central Football 5-1.
It was a delayed kick off at Michaels Ave after the original venue of Riverhills Park was deemed unplayable by the referees.
The match got underway at 2:45pm and it didn’t take long for Auckland to take the lead with Nicole Mettam and Tessa Leong linking up after nine minutes to provide Alosi Bloomfield with the opportunity to strike from 18-yards. And so she did, finding the top corner of the net.
Auckland were in control of possession at this point and were rewarded with Leah Mettam getting on the scoresheet straight from a corner kick to make it 2-0.
Former Auckland Football representative Hannah Robert pulled a goal back for Central in the 56th minute from the penalty spot after Georgia Martin was pulled up for fouling Tilly James.
This spurred on the Auckland side and two minutes later Central were picking the ball out of their own net thanks to Tessa Leong netting the first her brace for the afternoon to make it 3-1.
In the 83rd minute substitute Annie Byrne made it 4-1 towering above Central’s defence to head the ball into the net via a pin point Leah Mettam corner.
Byrne then turned provider in the 87th minute, out pacing her defender to tee up an unmarked Leong who just had to tap the ball into the back of the net.
Auckland coach Tracy Wrigley was understandably pleased with the result, especially for her players who have been putting in the effort whilst being on the wrong end of results.
“I am really pleased for the players, it’s pretty tough for them to turn up week in week out and put in the effort.”
“We have some terrible training times and the groups attitude has been outstanding, so I’m really pleased for the playing group.”
Leong – one of Aucklands stand-out players this season – was really happy to finally get a win.
“It was really good to finally get a win, I think we played quite well, we held possession quite a lot and created a lot of chances.”
Auckland have the bye next week but will be searching for their second win when they travel to Dunedin to face Southern United on Saturday 26 November to complete their National Women’s League campaign.
*Thanks to Ellerslie AFC for providing Michaels Ave for the match today at such late notice and to all the volunteers who helped transport Central Football from Riverhills Park. Also big thanks to the Fencibles United ball girls for making the trip across.
Auckland Football 5-1 Central Football
AF: 9’ Bloomfield, 41’ Leah Mettam, 58’ 87’ Leong, 83’ Byrne
CE: 56’ Robert
Auckland: Emery, Steele (64’ Philpot), Toailoa, Martin, L Mettam, N Mettam (80’ Dewell), Bloomfield (75’ Bloomfield), Richards (80’ McWhirter), Millynn, Cunningham-Lee (73’ Byrne), Leong
Central: Wylie (85’ Gallagher-Forbes), Bennett (85’ J Barry), Paterson, Phillips, Woodhead, E Crewe, E James, Morton, Robert (85’ Van Lienen), T James (76’ S Crewe), Lyne-Lewis (76’ M Barry)