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National Women's League: Southern back in the running

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Title hopefuls Southern United have put themselves back in the running for a berth in the National Women’s League final, taking advantage of the inactivity of Auckland to move into third on the table.

Each member of the top three recorded a win this weekend, the Canterbury United Pride continuing to prove they will take some budging from top spot while the Northern Lights are still snapping at their heels after also picking up three points.

But it’s Southern who will be most satisfied with their work as they look to make the final for the first ever time. They were expected to take maximum reward as WaiBOP, who have picked up only one victory so far, came to Dunedin and they did so in straightforward style.

Southern were two goals to the good after a first half bookended by strikes to Renee Bacon and Amy Hislop before the job was completed late on by Emily Morison.

While the win leapfrogs Southern over 2017 champions Auckland, they are still two points behind second-placed Northern after the Lights accounted for Capital 2-0 in Wellington.

Chloe Knott, who was wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Claudia Bunge, got the scoring underway early on but the visitors had to wait until virtually the last kick of the game to make sure of the points through Catherine Pretty.

The win was necessary for the Lights to keep in touch with Canterbury, who remain very much on track for the minor premiership but were given some difficult moments by Central on their trip to Palmerston North.

The Pride were only one goal ahead by the break and that did not even come from the boot of one of their own players, the unlucky Jana Niedermayr turning the ball into her own net.

A real ding-dong battle then ensued in the second half as a goal from Canterbury’s Chloe Jones was swiftly followed by an Eve Barry effort for Central and that pattern was repeated soon after, Lara Wall putting the visitors further in front before Charlotte Lancaster kept Central in it.

It wasn’t until the closing stages that Canterbury finally pulled away for good, Gabi Rennie and Jayda Stewart both striking late on to make the final score 5-2.

For the table and more information on the National Women’s League please click here

National Women’s League Match Week Nine

Central 2 (Eve Barry 53’, Charlotte Lancaster 80’)

Canterbury United Pride 5 (Own goal 3’, Chloe Jones 49’, Lara Wall 70’, Gabi Rennie 88’, Jayda Stewart 90 + 2’)

HT: 0-1

Capital 0

Northern Lights 2 (Chloe Knott 2’, Catherine Pretty 90 + 3’)

HT: 0-1

Southern United 3 (Renee Bacon 1’, Amy Hislop 41’, Emily Morison 87’)

WaiBOP 0

HT: 2-0

BYE - Auckland

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