Taradale women's footballers draw but top table
After two weeks off with a bye followed by a weather-enforced cancellation Taradale's Federation Cup women's footballers were keen to return to action on Sunday.
However, this meant making the long trek west to face New Plymouth Rangers in Taranaki. The poor weather which greeted the team in New Plymouth on Saturday night when they arrived hadn’t improved by Sunday and necessitated a last-minute ground change.
New Plymouth played the first half with the wind and went into the break with a 2-0 lead with Golden boot leader Holly Kleinsman scoring one but Taradale (pictured above) were far from disheartened knowing they would have the strong wind at their backs in the second half.
Taradale pulled one back early in the second half with Sam Waru on her debut for the club finishing off some good team build-up with a clinical finish. Taradale then piled the pressure on which eventually paid off with captain Cara O’Neill scoring to keep her snapping at Kleinsmans heels in the golden boot race just one behind.
Taradale almost pinched all three points when a free-kick from Jess Gates rattled the goal post but in the end, had to settle for a point for the draw which puts them up to the top of the table one point ahead of next week’s opposition Palmerston North Marist who failed to capitalise on their game in hand with a loss to bottom place Whanganui.
Both Taradale and New Plymouth Rangers deserve some kudos for playing some attractive football in terrible conditions. For Taradale Jamie Evans had another strong game in the midfield and Waru slotted into the team well.