Wellington United's Cam Burnell is fouled by Stop Out skipper Steven Gulley
THE SMOOTH & ROUGH FOR DIAMONDS Wednesday 8 May 2019 Words Dave Webster, WUAFC Media Photo TJF Photo
Saturday was a day of contrasting fortunes for Wellington United's first teams at Newtown Park.
The day started with the Women's Diamonds taking on new W-League side Petone. Petone had finished 4th in the premier division last season four points behind the Sapphires, however the late withdrawal of Upper Hutt City from the W-League saw them promoted. And while many expected them to be easy beats, they had already proved the doubters wrong with a 3-1 win over Palmerston North Marist.
The Diamonds were almost back to full strength with all their NZ Secondary Schoolgirl and University Futsal reps back on board. Missing only Lucy Jones and Genevieve Berry through injury. It was a formidable side for Petone to face. Petone seemed to know this and played what looked like an 8-1-1 formation, hoping to hit Diamonds on the break. But this Diamonds side are a force to be reckoned with, if in the unlikely chance Petone managed to get past Asha Strom and Nea Blackman in the midfield they would be met by the back three of Sophie Dijkstra, Rosie Wild and Sarah Alder and after that there is Samoan international keeper Roni Lipi. It helps when they all are playing on top of their game as they were today, earning extra praise from coach Guille Schiltenwolf.
It took just seven minutes for Diamonds to open the scoring when Jemma Robertson tapped in her 47th goal for the club. United really should have been further ahead at the break with just the crossbar and a propensity to hit the ball straight at Ariana Gray in the Petone goal keeping the score down. Captain Sarah Alder doubled the score with a penalty after Jemma Robertson was tripped in the box and outstanding Coco Murphy completed the scoring with two minutes to go.
Schiltenwolf said he was extremely proud of his team, "We controlled the game and we knew how to manage it. The girls knew when to speed it up and when to slow it down and when to be physical"
With the smooth comes the rough, well that's what they say apparently and the rough did come in the second game of the day! Although it wasn't until the second half. The United men's team still looking for their first win of the season started well against a polished Stop Out side who were coming of the back of a 3-1 win over Wellington Olympic. It really was a game of two halves, United creating problems for Stop Out in the first half and as Stop Out coach Scott Easthope said, "they were playing a game which stopped us playing our natural game and made it very frustrating for us". United could probably have felt hard done by that they were 2-0 down at the break.
The second 45 minutes are not something that United have taken a particular liking to this season and today it was a particular bad disliking. Two quick goals to Stop Out five minutes into the second half, got the United players heads down and they never recovered. Stop Out were clinical, albeit aided by some poor defending they went on to score 12 goals and inflicted Wellington United with their record ever defeat.
United had looked to be turning a corner in recent times, picking up two points on the road and pushing defending champions, Napier City Rovers to the 92nd minute before conceding a last minute winner. Even in the first half of this game they were looking as if they could get something from it, Coach Rapha Christians will be spending his week trying to work out how to get his players to realise football lasts for 90 minutes not 45!
This weekend sees the first round of the Chatham & Kate Sheppard Cups. The women have a bye, while the Men will face Capital Premier side Victoria University at Boyd Wilson Field, (Kick Off 3:30pm)
Match Details Saturday 4 May 2019 Newtown Park
Ultra Football W-League Wellington United (1) 3 (Jemma Robertson, Sarah Alder (PEN), Coco Murphy) Petone (0) 0
Ultra Football Central League Wellington United (0) 0 Stop Out (2) 12 (Corrales 4, Gulley 3(1 Pen), McLenzie, Cunniff, Jackson, Henderson, Soromon)