About Beauty Richmond Swan's player Hannah Cook battles for possession with FC Nelson's Huri Bakhshi-Rodriguez during their 1-1 draw in their top of the table league clash at Victory Square on Saturday. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Stalemates in two top of the table football clashes

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FC Nelson women’s coach Richard Scott is hoping his team can take heart from their 1-1 draw with table-toppers About Beauty Richmond Swans at Victory Square on Saturday.

A Hannah Bibby goal was cancelled out by a Maria Gibney free kick.

“We are very strong defensively and in the midfield, and I think that showed against a team that had been winning their games by quite a margin up until now.”

While FC Nelson appeared the happier with the result on a boggy pitch, Swans coach Nick Goody says his team was capable of producing much better.

“I think FC Nelson did a brilliant job in shutting us down and throwing us off our game, and we didn’t get the chance to play as freely as we would have liked with that pressure and on an average pitch.”

Nick says he was thrilled the Swans went through the first round unbeaten and didn’t see the result as a stumbling block.

“I think we’ve been the best team in the competition so far,” he says. “We’ve only conceded four goals and scored about 25 after our first seven games.”

Richard says his side was at full strength for the first time this season and he felt neither team deserved to lose, so a draw was a fair reflection.

In the top of the table men’s league match, Richmond Athletic battled back from two goals down to draw with Nelson College 2-2 at The Broads.

Goals from Joe Turner and captain Chester Gaskin cancelled out a strong start from Nelson College.

Richmond coach Matt Campbell says the slow start cost his team a match they could have won.

“Sure, it was great to get a share of the points from where we were in the game, but you have to ask why were in that situation in the first place.

“We have to find ways of being switched on for a full 90-minute performance.”

Matt says his team is aware this was the point of the season last year where things fell apart for them and they are eager to avoid a repeat of those efforts.

“Last year we were undefeated after our first seven games and then it all went downhill from there,” Matt says.

“We’ve got a few more experienced players this year but hopefully the guys from last year can learn from what happened.”