Football is a game where one mistake can turn a whole match, and for WaiBOP National Womens' league team, it was just that, after they were defeated 1-0 by Southern United.

After losing 3-0 against Auckland Football Federation in the opening fixtures, WaiBOP was looking to bounce back against a Southern United side that had put six past Central United in round one.

On the sidelines for WaiBOP, head coach Nico Girard is not your typical football manager. While some coaches can be heard yelling from the dug-out, Girard seems to be focused on the development of his team, and can often be heard relaying instructions to his players, while incorporating learnings of the game into them.

That sort of coaching is getting the best out of his young WaiBOP squad, led by the dazzling display of Chloe Henderson, who floated around the midfield and striking positions causing difficulties for Southern United.


In goal, Georgia Candy put in a player of the match display to keep the score at 0-0 for 80 minutes, making a crucial one-on-one save late in the first half.

WaiBOP were at their best when they looked to build from the back, and moved the ball across the field of play on the ground. It was when Southern United started to up their pressure off the ball did WaiBOP look vulnerable.

On one occasion, Candy was forced into making a vital save after Rachel Major, who had been having a fine game to begin with, played a dangerous pass across the goal box.

At the other end of the field, WaiBOP was getting into good positions, and had ample opportunities to open the scoring, yet each time they were missing the final player to tap home the ball.

In the second half WaiBOP continued to grow into the game, again Candy and Henderson were spearheading that charge, with the latter coming close with a shot from distance.

Unfortunately for the home side, the hard work was undone when Emma Sizer mistimed a challenge in the box, giving Southern United a late penalty.

Amy Hislop stepped up for Southern and dispatched her penalty clinically to secure the 1-0 win for Southern.

Despite the result, this game had plenty of wins for WaiBOP's young team, and with striker Grace Wisnewski returning from international duties, she may just be the final piece in the WaiBOP jigsaw to help them secure their first win of the season.