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Diamonds thump United at home

Molly Woodhead [green] was strong at the back for Wairarapa United. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

W-LEAGUE FOOTBALL

Tumu ITM Wairarapa 1
Wellington Diamonds 6

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Jemma Robertson shone for Wellington United Diamonds as the defending W-League champions crushed Tumu ITM Wairarapa 6-1 at Trust House Memorial Park on Saturday.

Robertson scored five goals in a classy display against the under-achieving home side.

It only took the prolific goal-scorer eight minutes to find the back of the net with a powerful shot which beat the goalkeeper at the near post.

Wairarapa United captain Tui Dugan [green] scored a brilliant goal.
The home side weren’t to be outdone and were rewarded for some creative play when captain Tui Dugan beat the offside trap and beat the goalkeeper from 20 metres with a brilliant finish.

Diamonds were fortunate to break the deadlock and take a 2-1 lead into halftime. A Diamonds defender clearly won the ball with a push in the back of a Wairarapa player, and moved the ball quickly for Robertson to score her second, when a free kick should have been awarded to the home side.

Wairarapa coach Paul Ifill said his team were well-placed at the break.

“I was happy going in 2-1 down, I actually thought we should have gone in level, and I said to the girls we need to get back into the game but don’t chase it too early,” he said.

The momentum fully swung Diamonds’ way immediately after halftime, with the visitors scoring three goals within seven minutes to put the game out of reach.

“In that period, we gave the ball away too much and when you give away the ball to a team as classy as them you pay for it,” Ifill said.

“You can get away with that some weeks but not against them.

“In six or seven minutes they scored three goals and were very clinical. Jemma Robertson was the difference today, she scored five and unfortunately we just couldn’t deal with her on the day.”

Diamonds continued to dominate but were fortunate to avoid a potential turning point halfway through the period.

Wairarapa striker Sam Whyte had just the goalkeeper to beat and had played the ball past her only to be taken out late by the goalkeeper on the edge of the box, in what could easily have been a penalty and a red card.

Robertson rubbed salt into Wairarapa’s wounds with a free kick from a wide angle perfectly placed over the head of the goalkeeper.

Ifill said Diamonds would probably go on to win the league, while Wairarapa just need to keep digging in.

“We’ve still got the Kelly Cup [knockout competition] to come at the end of the season and we’ll aim to win the cup and finish as high as we can in the league.”

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