The Wanganui Athletic Women's team suffered a heavy 11-0 defeat to Massey in the Women's Central League fixture at Wembley Park at the weekend.
For 30 minutes, the ladies of Wanganui Athletic looked to be holding their own against a far superior Massey team, but it only took two goals in a matter of minutes for it all to collapse around them.
It didn't help that Athletic players were dropping like flies with injuries in the first half, and early into the second half, forcing coach Shane Wye to go to the substitute bench perhaps earlier than he would have liked, but that was not the only thing working against him.
The ladies in red clearly lacked leadership in the middle of the park, and the composure and belief they had the ability to play the ball through the park to build an attack. Once Massey gained the ascendancy, Athletic looked to lose all shape and will to compete.
Even when they resorted to sending the ball from their defensive third directly toward a lone centre forward, who often had three or four players to deal with, and no support from a midfield pegged back on their own half, they were rarely able to even trouble the opposition keeper.
Massey, who have a record of scoring most of their goals in the second half, kept to form and kept Athletic constantly playing in their defensive third, relying on dogged defending from the likes of the experienced Sheena Kahl, to keep the attacks at bay. But Massey, who looked like they clearly deserved to be top of the table, controlled the pace and direction of the game for the entire 90 minutes.
Athletic will be looking ahead to their fixture against Valeron on the 13th, where they will be hoping their fortunes can change and they can find their first point of the season.
Meanwhile, the usually rampant Wanganui City Reserves suffered their first loss of the season with Castlecliff Saint Anthony's posting a 3-1 victory on Saturday sending the Saints to the top of the local league table.
St Anthony's are this season's bolters, and even at this early stage of the league look like they may have what it takes to challenge the incumbent Wanganui City Hammers in their title defence.
The St John Castlecliff 1sts ran riot over the Wanganui High School Athletic Internationals with a 7-0 victory, giving Castlecliff a much needed boost after a slow start to the season, while the Marist Bhoys fell 3-0 to the Wanganui Athletic Reserves in the 12:30 round.
The 2.30pm round saw the Castlecliff Braves walk away with bragging rights over clubmates Castlecliff United after taking the match 3-1, in what was a hard-fought battle.
Marist Celtic put eight goals past the Athletic Weekenders, who managed to sneak a solitary goal past Celtic in response.
The Weekenders will be looking to compose themselves for this weekend's fixture against the mercurial Marist Bhoys, and find their first points of the season.
In what proved to be a classic battle between two wily old foes, the Wanganui Athletic Cosmos walked away victors with a 2-0 win over an injury-depleted Marist Casuals side, while the Wanganui City Thirties put on a great display to capture another three points for their season tally after beating Wanganui Collegiate 3-0.
This win gives the Thirsties their second win in as many weeks, and will give them a great deal of drive for their match against the City Reserves, which promises to be a challenging match for them.