This was the last game of the round, against a fired up Birkenhead. It is fair to say that Birkenhead play a very “physical” style of football (some say they lack style and are just physical) which would prove a challenge for the younger Te Atatu squad.
Birkenhead started very strong, looking to “muscle” possession and dominate in the midfield. But Te Atatu kept their composure and played a quick passing game. Birkenhead created a number of shooting opportunities, but Cilla in goals was more than up to the task, with some athletic saves.
However Te Atatu has one of the best defences in the league. The combination of Clara (Shorts) in the centre (an absolute rock), Tracey on the right and Wendy (of left wing fame last week) on the left. No matter how much pressure Birkenhead created, (and there was a lot) Clara and co kept tackling and laid the foundation for a true “defensive win”.
At the other end, Helena, Bronwyn and Tracey appeared to have left their goal scoring boots at home, with nothing really looking to trouble the Birkenhead keeper. However late in the second half a long range shot from Helena towards the top left saw the Birkenhead keeper off balance. With one eye on Bronwyn following the shot in, she got a hand to the ball, but fumbled it into the next.
A 1 nil win, created on the defensive prowess of player of the day Clara. That ended the first round with the girls placed first equal with East Coast bays having played 7 and won 6.