Northland FC held on for dear life to beat Onehunga 3-2 in their season opening AFF/NFF Women's Conference match at Tikipunga.

The home side roared out of the blocks as Georgia Green finished off a classy attacking raid.

Northland doubled their lead not too long after as Bethanee Witt found herself one on one with the goalkeeper before calmly slotting the strike.

Onehunga weren't able to make much of any attacking opportunities that came their way as Northland's defensive core worked hard.


Witt added a second for herself shortly before the break to give Northland a strong 3-0 strike.

Onehunga had a prime opportunity to get on the board with a penalty, but Northland goalkeeper Leah Botica was more than up to the task, pulling off a brilliant save.

Northland were short of a gallop in the second half and Onehunga sensed an opportunity, scoring twice early in the second spell.

However, Northland hustled defensively to hold them out and pick up the three competition points.

Meanwhile, Northland FC came away with a hard-fought point in the Lotto NRFL Division Two against Ngongotaha, who only brought 12 players with them from Rotorua and defaulted their reserves game.

The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges, pinning the boys in blue back with an aggressive press but couldn't find a way through. Shane Stanners pulled off an improbable treble save in the 20th minute to maintain the status quo.

The home side came back into the game midway through the half and got a breakthrough two minutes before half time.

Picking up a ball in the Ngongotaha half, Scott Burgess beat two players and rounded the keeper to tap home ensuring the home side went into the sheds a goal up.

The lead only lasted 18 minutes, however. A Joel Crawford corner led to a goalmouth scramble and two decent penalty shouts for challenges on Calvin Erick and Burgess, but Ngongotaha cleared their lines and broke away to equalise through their captain Luke Barker.

The game then became a war of attrition, with each sides' defence cancelling the other out.

Head coach Dan Johnston rued missing out on the three points.

"In the end I think a draw was a fair result. It was a real battle out there in tough conditions, and although I'm disappointed that we couldn't hold onto the lead you can't really begrudge Ngongotaha a point."

Northland are on the road again next week to face NRFL newcomers Bucklands Beach.