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Similar sides meet in Preliminary Final

The Preliminary Final brings together the second-placed Capital side at home against the third-placed Mainland team with only goal difference separating the two squads after seven rounds of the regular season.
Both teams accumulated identical four win-two draw-one loss records with their round three match-up also reflecting how even the two sides are.
Each side took a point in Petone in late October as a pair of Junior Football Ferns made their scoring mark; Belinda van Noorden’s first half opener for Mainland was cancelled out by Emma Rolston’s equaliser with 12 minutes to go in a game heavily impacted by a traditionally strong Wellington wind.
Both sides will have senior internationals on show on Sunday with Mainland’s current pair of Football Ferns; Annalie Longo and Meikayla Moore facing off against former internationals Hannah Wall and Caitlin Campbell while each side also contains a raft of U-20 internationals.
The similarities extend to the approach of the teams and the coaches involved with Mainland’s Gareth Turnbull aware of the near mirror image his side will encounter on Sunday.
“Sunday’s game brings together two even teams, which are evenly prepared,” Turnbull said.
“Both teams have a similar style of football; like to play through the thirds and retain possession more so than the opposition.”
Turnbull’s side are aiming to go at least one better than 2012, where the Mainland team were beaten in extra-time in the last four by Auckland Football.
“Last year our goal was to make the semi-finals and that’s the mental shift we’ve had from last year.
“We were probably satisfied in making the semis last year but anything less than a win this time will be disappointing.”
“They are a happy group and are excited for the opportunity to do their thing. The team are quite comfortable and confident in their ability to get through.”
For their part, Capital head into Sunday’s clash aiming to defend their unbeaten home record at Memorial Park in 2013 and coach Paul Greig is pleased with his side’s preparation.
“The girls have done well this week,” says Greig, “the goal-setting session we had this week was really good and some of the stuff the girls have said they want to achieve this week is excellent.
“We understand what we’ve got to achieve. Understanding and delivering on the roles and responsibilities we’ve worked on is going to be important.
Greig’s plan for his side group again underlines the similar approach of the two coaches: keeping the ball is priority number one.
“We’ve worked a lot on our possession and we want to dictate play. We’ve got key areas to target and hopefully we’ll see that come out on Sunday.
“We know that they are organised and structured and will be hard to break down. This is an opportunity to show you can do something at the highest level.”
Sunday’s match kicks off at 12.30pm and will be refereed by Mel Knight.
ASB Women’s League 2013 – Preliminary Final
Sunday 1 December
Capital Football v Mainland Pride CFvMP
Memorial Park, Petone
Kickoff: 12.30pm
Referee: Mel Knight
Capital Football (from): 1-Corina BROWN (GK), 2-Bria SARGENT, 3-Tessa MCPHERSON, 4-Catherine BOTT, 6-Lucy STOTTER, 7-Maxine COOPER, 9-Hannah WALL, 11-Emma ROLSTON, 12-Megan ROBERTSON, 14-Briar PALMER, 18-Ellen STIRLING, 19-Ellen FIBBES, 20-Kennedy BRYANT, 21-Jayme Lee HUNTER, 23-Cushla LICHTWARK (GK), 24-Caitlin CAMPBELL
Coach: Paul Greig
Mainland Pride (from): 1-Lily ALFELD (GK), 2-Meikayla MOORE, 3. Laura MERRIN, 4-Emma PROCTOR, 5-Emily JENSEN, 6-Maia VINK, 7-Chloe WEBSTER, 11-Belinda VAN NOORDEN, 12-Lauren DABNER, 13-Aimee PHILLIPS, 14-Johanna HAMBLETT, 16-Annalie LONGO, 18-Whitney HEPBURN, 20-Briar GUYAN (GK), 21-Tessa LEWIS, 24-Geena GROSS
Coach: Gareth Turnbull
Story courtesy NZ Football Media.
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz


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