Power shift in city women’s football
Hamilton Wanderers secured a dominant 5-0 win over cross-town rivals Claudelands Rovers to move to third in the LOTTONRFL premier women’s league.
On Wednesday night, more than 100 people descended onto Galloway Park to watch the first Hamilton derby game of the 2018 winter football season.
Hamilton Wanderers had five former Claudelands players in their starting line up as Helen Talbot, Kelli Brown, Emma Cawte and Ella Golding all made the switch to Wanderers at the start of the season.
Claudelands were still without striker Leanna Ryan, but started the game well with the larger share of chances in the first half, and came close hitting the crossbar 20 minutes in.
Like previous games however, they were unable to put away the chances when they were presented with them and on the stroke of half time it was one of the five former players that gave Wanderers the lead.
Kelli Brown was given too much space to run into on the right wing after picking up a loose ball and was able to place her shot calmly past Claudelands keeper Georgia Williams.
There was an extended amount of stoppage time for an injury to Wanderers goalkeeper Georgia Candy who was down for five minutes. The added time brought comments of concern from some Claudelands fans who believed the seven minutes added was unjustified.
More anger ensued from Claudelands when Wanderers found a second goal at the end of extra time giving them a 2-0 goal lead at the half time break.
In the second half Claudelands continued to fight and create chances, but were unable to find the back of the net.
Wanderers then proceeded to turn on the style as tired legs kicked in for their opposition.
Kim Maguire was left in too much space in the box and was composed in her finish putting a third past Williams.
Substitute Chelsea Elliot then got in on the act with a free kick from third yards out.
Her shot looped over Williams and found the gap to dip in between the keeper and crossbar and put Wanderers 4-0 up.
In the dying minutes of the game Brown scored her fifth and the goal of the game finding the back of the net from the smallest of acute angles.
Using her pace down the right side of the pitch, she beat the Claudelands defence and fired the ball past Williams.
The win now moves Wanderers up to third and level with Forrest Hill on the table. Wanderers will have the chance to further climb the ladder on Sunday when they return home to play Western Springs.
Claudelands are still without a point all season and will now head to Papakura on Sunday with their last chance to pick up points in the first round of fixtures.