vs Avondale College - Wednesday 8 June
MAGS Girls First XI were unable to maintain their 100% start to the season with a 1-1 draw away from home against Avondale College on a ground heavy after the recent downpours.
An attack by Avondale in the first minute
resulted in a MAGS goal kick and hinted that this would be a
more hard-fought match than the team had encountered so far
this season. At first though, the normal script of early MAGS
pressure was followed, and a corner brought the anticipated
reward. The cross was swung to the near post into a melee of
players and the ball trickled over the line for a goal,
probably off an Avondale defender.
Minutes later, a more assured move was constructed as a Rachel Head pass was received some 20 metres from goal by Hannah Carter, who battled through a challenge and hit a fine strike that rebounded from the face of the crossbar.
Soon afterwards, a terrible mix-up in the MAGS defence gifted Avondale the equalising goal. A hopeful Avondale long ball was brought under control, but then an attempted backpass and a misunderstanding between the defenders presented an Avondale forward with the ball only metres from goal with only the keeper to beat. The score was 1-1 and the goal was the first one MAGS had conceded this season.
Initially, this appeared to be a temporary setback as MAGS won a succession of corners though without much danger from them. In quick succession, a Min Khanthee charge through the middle was halted by the combined Avondale defence and then two sumptuous passes split the defence, the first by Deven Jackson and the second by Rebecca Burrows, twice releasing Min Khanthee clear of the defence bearing down on goal, but the opportunities to re-establish the lead were not taken.
As the half came to a close, Avondale's attacks started to become more threatening, with a corner, a free kick and a central through ball causing some concern in the MAGS defence.
MAGS had the better of the possession through the second half, but Avondale were looking very dangerous on the break. Chances were falling to the Avondale strikers as the central defence were exposed one-on-one a number of times. Avondale were finding it too easy to move the ball through the central midfield areas, and MAGS were lucky not to be behind from one move where the striker stabbed the ball wide with only the MAGS keeper to beat.
Shortly afterwards, another strong run by the Avondale striker saw her outpace the MAGS central defenders and it needed a good diving save by Jo Kennedy from the drilled cross-shot to keep the scores level. Luckily for MAGS, the follow-up from the rebound was sent high over the crossbar.
MAGS threw more players forward in the effort to get the winning goal as the intensity built, but few goal attempts were on target. Min Khanthee picked up the ball on the halfway line and embarked on a great run down the left touchline taking her past player after player until she won a corner. Avondale were having great difficulty stopping the sinuous dribbles of Rebecca Burrows into the box. But still the Avondale keeper wasn't being seriously tested. Meanwhile Jo Kennedy was forced several times into saving the ball at the feet of the opposition forwards. A final opportunity arrived as Min Khanthee cut inside and unleashed a right-foot drive that cannoned off the face of the crossbar to safety as the keeper could only watch.
The team remain unbeaten and clear at the top of the table. Next week is a top-of-the-table clash against Massey High School. This will be one of the key matches of the season.
Jo Kennedy; Rachel Head, Eloise Morris, Shani Nakhid-Schuster, Holly Archer-Boswell, Parehuia Mackay; TJ Hetherington, Kelly Drummond, Sivitha Boyce, Hannah Carter, Rebecca Burrows; Min Khanthee, Deven Jackson, Audrey Bourneville
Goal; Own Goal
Report by parent supporter Brian Howorth