W-League debutant Samantha Whyte gets some attention from a Waterside Karori defender
DIAMONDS START DEFENCE OF W-LEAGUE TITLE WITH WIN Monday 15 April 2019 Words WUAFC Media Photo TJF Photo
Wellington United Diamonds began their defence of their W-League title with a 2-0 win over W-League newcomers and last season's Capital Premier Champions Waterside Karori on Saturday at Newtown Park.
It took just three minutes for the Diamonds to open their account, when a return shot from a corner hit the crossbar and then hit Waterside Karori midfielder, Katie Barrott, who could do nothing to stop the ball landing in the back of the net.
Diamonds who already had six players out, with five away in Dallas with the NZ Secondary Schools girls teams and Asha Strom also out, were dealt a further blow when the tenacious Liz Crowe was forced off after 20 minutes with an ankle injury.
Despite this Diamonds dominated the first half and on the rare occasions that Waterside Karori did get neat the United goal it was easily dealt with by keeper Roni Lipi and the defensive trio of Rosie Wild, Sophie Dijkstra & Sarah Alder.
Diamonds gave six players W-League debuts, with Sophie Dijkstra and Nea Blackman getting deserved starts, while Jemma Catherwood, Amanda Parlane, Samantha Woolley and Samantha Whyte all impressed from the bench and received a special mention from coach Guille Schiltenwolf saying that while it was their W-League debuts, they looked as if they had been playing a long, long time in it. Samantha Whyte had a particular memorable day capped off in the 68th minute when she found herself about 20 yards out from goal and unleashed a screamer of a shot, that gave Waterside Keeper, Aoife Gallagher-Forbes no chance and made the score 2-0 and that was how the game finished
Waterside Karori coach Bill Robertson said he was pleased with his sides performance, particularly in the second half. "The W-League was always going to be a big step up and we had the toughest challenge in Wellington United first up. We have a couple of new faces and were playing a new formation, this game gives us a good indicator of where we need to be in terms of fitness, ball retention and speed of movement"
Diamonds coach, Schiltenwolf said "I couldn't be prouder of the application and personality of this team. They have left everything out on the pitch for each other. That is why we are a family."
Other results in the W-League saw Palmerston North Marist beat Seatoun 6-1, Wairarapa United beat Petone 2-0 and Western Suburbs edged Victoria University 1-0 The Women's leagues take a break over Easter and the Diamonds next game is away to Wairarapa United on April 27th
Match Details Saturday 13 April 2019 Newtown Park Wellington United (1) 2 (Own Goal, Samantha Whyte) Waterside Karori (0) 0