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Second-half blitz sees United home

Amber Phillips, right, scored a hat trick against Victoria University. PHOTO/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Six goals in the second half had the Tumu ITM Wairarapa United Women cruise to a 7-0 victory over Victoria University in the Central W-League on Saturday.

Playing into a very strong wind in the first half, on the Boyd Wilson Turf, Kelburn, United created several chances but managed to convert only one, when Flo McIntyre found the back of the net.

A change of tactics by coach Paul Ifill in the second stanza, to keep Victoria pinned in their own half, worked a treat.

United used the wind to perfection and completely dominated territory and possession, and when they didn’t have the ball, they forced the opposition into errors.

Central defender Amber Phillips used her height to advantage, scoring a hat trick of goals, all from headers off pinpoint corners from captain Ana McPhie.

But the goal of the game went to Dani Turton. The central midfielder, who is making a habit of having long range attempts, hit her shot beautifully from near halfway to comprehensively beat the stranded goalkeeper.

Turton also tried a similar shot into the wind in the first half only for the ball to ricochet off the crossbar.

That came after another long-range attempt in the match against Wellington United Diamonds

United’s other goals on Saturday came courtesy of veteran striker Meisha Boone and the pacey Sydnie Williams.

Ifill said the team played very well in tricky conditions.

“The wind was incredibly strong, the pitch was small, there were no dugouts, it was poor.”

He said: “It’s hard to pick out any individuals, all the players including the subs put in a really good shift.”

Ifill said it was important to keep the momentum going after the previous Saturday’s victory over Wellington United Diamonds.

“It was nice to follow up with a very good win. You don’t want to follow up the ‘Lord Mayor’s Cup’ with a poor performance and the girls did well.”

United will have two weeks before their next fixture.

They have been given the bye in the first round of the Kate Sheppard Cup, the national women’s knockout tournament, which will be played on Saturday.

Their next outing in the W-League will be at home on Saturday, May 18, to competition stragglers Seatoun, who have yet to win in the league.

United will have to do without their coach for that match.

Ifill will be playing for the famous Wallsend Boys’ Club in the annual Hong Kong Masters.

The club is famous for producing players who have gone on to successful professional careers.

The most notable are England goal-scoring legend Alan Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 internationals for England and played 559 matches for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, and Michael Carrick, who was capped 30 times by England and played 316 games in a glittering career for Manchester United from 2006 to 2018.

The Hong Kong Masters involves seven-a-side games played on a three-quarter sized pitch.

Ifill will need to overcome a hamstring injury, which had him miss the United men’s Central League loss to Western Suburbs last Saturday.

He is hopeful the injury will be right for him to be on the bench for Saturday’s Chatham Cup clash with Upper Hutt City.

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