The Easter weekend brought a bounty of goals, drama and six more editions of National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Women’s action that played out across two days of the long weekend.
This weekend saw the gap between the top two and the rest widen but the race for the rest of the spots is hotly contest.
Let’s get onto the review.
Match of the Round
Nepean FC vs Western NSW Mariners
The frustration continues for Nepean.
They were held to a 1-1 draw against a tough Western NSW Mariners side on a hot afternoon at Cook Park for this weekend’s Match of the Round.
Nepean FC have more draws than an IKEA desk with this result their third shared points of the season. Finishing remains an issue, as after Brittney Pelle equalised in the second half, they battered the woodwork but couldn’t find a way past the stubborn Mariners defense.
For Western NSW Mariners, this result represented progress. Anna Hunt picked up her fourth goal of the season, but the visitors were made to work hard in a tense second half, and as coach Josh Ward echoed in the post-match, this is a game the Mariners would’ve lost last season. This year, it was a point and they stay steady in the top five.
In the hot conditions, the contest took some time to get going. Both sides battled hard in the midfield for control. The Mariners settled first, taking the lead 1-nil in the 20th minute through youngster Anna Hunt to gut punch the home side.
Looking to respond immediately, Stefanie Trovato found a pocket of space for Nepean FC, the striker wrapped her effort against the post then winger Britney Pelle made a surging run down the wing before the effort went untouched across the area.
Western NSW Mariners continued to frustrate the home side, with some wonderful defense from Brydie Comiskey and Poorsha McPhillamy denied Nepean FC space before the latter had to leave the contest through injury.
Coming out for the second half, Nepean FC were quicker to the ball and positive in their play. Trovato picked the ball up again, inside the box but shot high. Much of the play went through young attacker Imogen Lane, who played as the outlet for Nepean FC in the second half.
Following up her two shots, Trovato turned provider for the equaliser after the hour mark. She flicked the ball over her head into the path of both Lane and Pelle, in the scramble, the latter tapped home for 1-1.
Nepean FC’s intensity and urgency ramped up in search of a winner. The home side started to dominate the midfield, regularly snatching the ball off Mariners defenders. Trovato looked to have found the second but her chipped effort was chalked off.
Substitute Bianca Galayini got into the act next, snatching at a chance from their renewed Nepean press as the traffic started to flow one way. Coach Alan Tasses urged his Nepean side to keep their effort up to avoid a third straight draw.
Pelle was the brightest spark for Nepean FC this afternoon. She surged into the area before she cracked an effort against the post then another substitute, Lauren Gaul headed over.
Captain Desiree Vassallo was the vocal heartbeat of the Nepean attack in the second half, and the defender rose highest to a corner 79th minute which was cleared then Jessica Elliott’s follow up volley was claimed.
The Mariners had a pair of chances just inside the 80th minute mark where they could’ve snatched the game. Teegan Courtney stormed down the right before a header whizzed over the head of Hunt. Next, the youngster broke the trap, cleared the Nepean FC keeper but was denied by the post then Vassallo.
Headed into the dying embers of the contest, Nepean FC tried to push forward again, Galayini swept an effort wide in their best chance, as the points were shared on a warm afternoon.
Speaking afterwards, Nepean boss Tasses remained frustrated at their inability to finish off contests but remained proud of their second half performance to dominate the contest.
“We created enough chances to win three games today – hit the woodwork several times. You can’t drop points in games like this after sticking it to APIA and Sutherland. Today was very frustrating, especially that first half.” said Tasses.
“Like anything, this has become a habit which we have to break. In patches we looked good today but again, it was that in patches. We have to be better than that if we are to make semi-finals this season in this competition.”
For Mariners coach Josh Ward, today was progress. His side would’ve lost that contest last season, now they have built up a strong platform and hopefully, can use this to take them to finals football.
“Conditions were tough out there today. The girls did well. I’ll take a draw away from home. We lost [Poorsha] McPhillamy who is the spine of our side which didn’t help. We could’ve stolen it at the end there as well.
“I think the draw was a fair result after losing a few players in that second half. This year we have started to pick up points away from home, in games that last season, we would’ve lost. Now, we gear up for a big game against Marconi in Bathurst.”
Monday 22 April 2019
Cook Park, St Marys
Referee: Darwy Ioanou
Assistant Referees: Declan Cotter & Emily Payne
Nepean FC 1 (Pelle ‘63)
Western NSW Mariners 1 (Hunt ‘20)
Nepean FC: 1. MALAS Narmin, 2. JACKSON Emma (15. WHEELER ‘45), 3. DAVIDSON Aisling, 4. ELLIOTT Jessica, 5. HANSEN Janie, 7. TROVATO Stefanie, 8. LANE Imogen (14. GAUL ‘76), 9. PELLE Britney, 12. WADDELL Alix (10. GALAYINI ‘55), 13. VASSALLO Desiree, 22. WHOLOHAN Emma (6. WHITEMAN ‘45)
Unused subs: 20. SEGAVCIC Kelly
Yellow cards: Trovato
Red cards: nil
Western NSW Mariners: 3. COLMAN Sarah, 4. COMPTON Molly, 5. MORRIS Sarah, 6. MURPHY Taylah (2. HAWES ‘44), 7. KILBY Larissa, 8. MCPHILLAMY Poorsha (28. KILBY ‘67), 9. COMISKEY Brydie, 10. COURTNEY Teegan, 11. HUNT Anna, 13. PASCAL Berry, 15. SELMES Chloe (14. UPTON ‘80)
Unused subs: 1. DAYMOND Jessica
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Central Coast Mariners 0 defeated by Sutherland Shire FA 1
Sutherland Shire FA took the chocolates in the only contest played on Easter Sunday as they downed Central Coast Mariners, 1-nil, at Pluim Park.
The visitors scored the lone goal through Jasmine Stretton in a tight contest that saw both teams trade chances on a bright afternoon on the Central Coast. For Sutherland Shire FA, it takes their unbeaten streak to seven.
For the Mariners, they worked hard against one of the competition’s top sides but they weren’t able to find the vital breakthrough, making it two games without a goal now. Between the sticks, Rhiannon Hines, has been tough to beat against both Ravens and Shire FA.
Marconi Stallions 2 defeated by SD Raiders FC 3
It was goals by the gallon Monday afternoon at Marconi, as SD Raiders FC triumphed 3-2, making it four straight victories for the south-west side against local rivals Marconi Stallions.
SD Raiders FC third straight victory moves them into third in the National Premier Leagues 2 Womens ladder after their mid-week success against Inter Lions. Today, they raced into a 2-nil lead and held onto it through the first 45 minutes.
The home side came out reinvigorated in the second half, Jessica Beale and Jasmin Courtenay found the back of the net as their two-game win streak was snapped by their nearest neighbours. They have a mid-week catch up against Nepean FC to help them rebound.
For SD Raiders FC, they have steadied the ship after their inconsistent first month. Coach Terry Gray has them playing some positive football and sitting sandwiched between some of the more fancied sides in the competition.
Southern Branch FC 3 defeated Inter Lions FC 1
Putting together their best display of the season, Southern Branch FC secured their second victory of the season, 3-1, against a gallant Inter Lions side Monday afternoon at South Nowra Football Complex.
Picking up their second win of the season came through a vintage display from Shaylee Meehan. Southern Branch’s poacher nailed home a brace herself then added an assist when her partner in crime, Matilda Potter tapped home in the second half.
Helping the home side to their victory was impressive performances again from Meredith Cheyne, Jazmin Douglas and youngster Bronte Wright as Southern Branch FC moved into tenth position on the NPL2 Womens ladder.
Inter Lions remain one of two sides still without a victory but they did find the back of the net to avoid the egg on the Easter long weekend. Natalie Hardas scored in the second half, opening her account for the season.
St George FC 0 defeated by Gladesville Ravens 6
Gladesville Ravens resurrected their goalscoring form as they thumped St George FC, 6-nil, on a warm afternoon at St George Stadium on Monday.
It was a first half blitz from the visitors. Five of their goals were netted in the first 45, as Yume Kashima had a first-class display with her hat-trick, taking her tally to five goals for the season, as the Ravens restored their position at the top.
Emily Diaz added another goal to her stellar start to the season with Carlie Ikonomou also scored in the first half barrage. Kasia Wojtowicz made it half a dozen in the 53rd minute as the Ravens strolled to their sixth win of the season.
UNSW FC 0 defeated by APIA Leichhardt Tigers 4
APIA Leichhardt Tigers roll on, putting four past UNSW FC in a standard display to round off the Easter Monday fixtures, winning 4-nil at Valentine Sports Park #3.
The result puts them in fourth position, as APIA made it back-to-back successes for the second time this season. APIA scored twice in either half as they put away UNSW FC with ease. Georgia Bridges opened the scoring from an Ash Palombi cutback.
Palombi took her season total into double figures with a goal of the season contender. The striker controlled the ball from the edge of the box before she thrashed the ball into the top corner of the goal for 2-nil at the break.
The visitors added a precise counter attack goal finished by Logan Garard after Lucy Gilfedder broke from a corner. Jessica Fallah returned from injury to find the back of the net for their fourth.
Afterwards APIA coach Matt Constantini jokingly added that some team might feel the brunt of their attack on the scoresheet if they can find their shooting boots.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)
Source FNSW Website