Cambridge have moved into clear second place of the Waikato Women’s second division with an emphatic 6-0 win against local rivals Te Awamutu Pink Ladies.
The match at John Kerkhof Park was the first in a four-team play-off that will decide the competition, after those teams finished at the top of a full division in a full round of eight games was played.
The steadily improving Cambridge team – whose only loss this season was against TA Pink Ladies in June – effectively won the derby in the opening quarter-hour.
After only six minutes, captain Steph Upton set up Marie O’Neill to open the scoring.
Five minutes later, Upton doubled her team’s lead.
And while Te Awamutu were still catching their breath, Olivia Sutherland made the score 3-0 after only 13 minutes.
Sutherland provided the pass for Upton to increase the margin to four goals in the 39th minute.
Turning around at 4-0 down, the visitors put up more resistance in the second half, restricting Cambridge to two late goals.
The first of those, with two minutes left, was a well-directed volley from O’Neill which curled into the top corner after she cleanly connected with a Sutherland corner.
As the final whistle approached, Lorena Harrera set up Sutherland for the sixth goal.
Coach Jamie McKean named Georgia Methven – who is playing her first season of football – as the Hill Homes Player of the Day.
The win extended Cambridge’s unbeaten run to seven games.
The clean sheet underlines the progress of goalkeeper Aimee Feingberg-Danieli and a defence that has conceded only three times in their past six outings.
Our club’s official photographer Louis Roberts was at the game – please click on image to open to full size
Cambridge meet third-placed Te Awamutu at John Kerkhof Park next Sunday (August 23) at 11am.
A week later, they travel to Thames for what could be a top-of-the-table clash.