A brave Dunedin Technical pushed a star-studded Glenfield Rovers but ultimately couldn’t quite match the class of the North Shore side, losing 0-2 in an epic Women’s Knockout Cup semi-final at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin this afternoon.
Glenfield Rovers have an enviable record in the competition, appearing in five of the last six grand finals, including three wins. The Northern Federation side features the like of Football Ferns stars Liz Milne, Kate Loye, and Stephanie Skilton among numerous players who have represented their country at various levels.
Dunedin Tech knew that this would be a massive step up, but also a great chance to test themselves against some of the country’s best, in front of a healthy crowd that featured players and members from numerous Dunedin clubs eager to cheer on the locals.
The first half was a tense and tight affair – the visitors certainly dominated possession and looked to control the tempo, but struggled to create clear-cut chances on goal.
There were a few moments where Tech goalkeeper Jade Middleditch was called into action, but she was never troubled, plucking crosses from the air and intercepting a couple of through balls.
On the couple of occasions that Rovers managed a shot on goal, they lacked any power and were comfortable for Middleditch to deal with.
Meanwhile, Tech were looking to counter attack where possible, and while they didn’t create many first half chances themselves, winger Mikayla Gray was always a threat on the ball.
The hosts would have definitely been the happier side with the goalless score line at the break, and were even confident enough to play a higher defensive line to begin the second half, which perhaps surprised Glenfield as the stalemate continued into the second stanza.
The visitors thought they had finally broken the deadlock after the break when the ball was bundled into the Tech goal from close range, but the celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag, signaling offside.
Glenfield did however finally open their account after 57 minutes. A cruel bounce off a Tech player fell to the feet of the classy Skilton, who made no mistake this time in powering a shot past a helpless Middleditch for a 1-0 lead.
Rovers could have been excused for taking a more defensive approach after scoring, but instead they did the complete opposite, roaring into frantic wave after wave of attack.
Georgia Brown was at the heart of many of their chances, including a tasty low cross that Dayna Stevens couldn’t quite latch onto just a few feet from goal.
In the 68th minute however, Skilton was the provider and Brown the receiver, as she beat a couple of Tech defenders before rifling home to double the lead.
Tech’s heads could have dropped at this point, but instead they upped their own game further and created a raft of half-chances of their own. Again, it was Gray that was looking most dangerous, with one dazzling run leading to a through ball that was only inches away from team-mate Kaya Jones who was in a great attacking position.
Unfortunately, Tech couldn’t quite breach the Rovers goal and when the final whistle sounded it was Glenfield who can look forward to another final appearance.The home side however should all hold their heads high after pushing their illustrious rivals the entire 90 minutes.
Women’s Knockout Cup Semi-final
Dunedin Technical 0 – 2 Glenfield Rovers (S Skilton, G Brown)
– report & photos by Morgan Jarvis