Southern Branch move to the top of the table after their win over Sydney Olympic, a spot which the coaching staff of the team from Nowra are very happy about.
Northern Tigers look to be back to their best with another win whilst Southern Districts put on a show to demolish APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Ernie Smith Reserve.
MATCH OF THE ROUND: Parramatta Lady Hawks 2 – 2 Western NSW Mariners
Kicking off at Melita Stadium was the match of the round as the Parramatta Lady Hawks played host to Western NSW Mariners in what was a thrilling fixture filled with goals, outstanding goalkeeping and vocal cheering from the sidelines.
The Lady Hawks took kick off, wasting no time at all to have their first shot on goal. With just 20 seconds on the clock, the home team ran the ball through the guts of the midfield giving their young left striker a shot. As the ball hit the side netting there was a sigh of relief across the ground as the Mariners realised just how quickly the Lady Hawks have the ability to pass and move.
At the opposite end of the field, it was 19 year old centre back Teegan Courtney who was dominating proceedings thanks to her link up play between the backline and midfield. Her job for the day to was keep the Lady Hawks’ striker, Alice Roberts quiet, which she did brilliantly for most of the game.
In the 26th minute, the Mariners found themselves in front thanks to a simple tap in after some gorgeous link up play between Jasmine Rae and her striking partner. The goal coming against the run of play, catching the Lady Hawks far too pressed up the field to drop back in time.
The saying, ‘you’re always most vulnerable after you’ve just scored’ came true as just a minute later, the Lady Hawks found a life-line. From 25 yards out, Alice Roberts was played into space giving her the time and space to line up the perfect shot on goal. Low and hard into the bottom corner was enough to bring the scores level at 1-1 with just under half an hour on the clock.
The Lady Hawks continued to press hard in search of a second goal before the break and off a corner in the 44th minute, their hard work payed off. Scoring her tenth goal of the season, who else but Alice Roberts popped up at the near post to volley in a perfectly weighed cross.
At the break, the home side were sitting 2-1 in front over Western NSW Mariners and looking comfortable.
After an injury to first team keeper Kim Doohan, the gloves were passed on to reserve centre back Dani Watson who managed to pull off some brilliant saves in the second half to keep her Lady Hawks in with a chance to win the game.
With Alice Roberts in such fine form and on the hunt for a hat-trick, only some last ditch defending from the Mariners could deny her. The Lady Hawks could have extended their lead thanks to some great build up play on a number of occasions, however it appeared Lady Luck was not wearing purple as the Mariners found a way back into this fixture.
The 64th minute saw the scores level up one last time at 2-2 with the travelling side knocking the ball into the back of the net from close range. The tall striker who had been leading the attack all day, Jasmine Rae finally got the goal she deserved and the smile on her face proved just how much she enjoyed the goal.
The Lady Hawks’ stand-in keeper, Dani Watson was kept busy in the final 20 minutes, making some fantastic saves however the no other goals were scored at Melita Stadium.
Four goals split 2-2 was a fair result for those watching from the sidelines, the Mariners the happier of the two sides especially since the last time these two sides met back in round two, the Lady Hawks ran away 6-1 winners.
A string of strong performances for the Lady Hawks means they are full of confidence heading into Round 12 when they welcome St. George FC to Melita Stadium. Western NSW Mariners take on Nepean FC in what should be a physically and mentally tough match out at Alec Lamberton Field.
Southern Districts 4 – 0 APIA Leichhardt Tigers
Southern Districts were in complete control today against APIA as the home side ran away 4-0 winners. With captain Willow Shorrocks out due to suspension, the Emeralds looked to fill the gap left by such an influential player – a task which they achieved successfully. With each goal it was clear how frustrated APIA were becoming and with the referee having to settle down the travelling side a number of times, it was the cool, calm and collectedness of Districts which showed why they were deserved winners.
Northern Tigers 3 – 1 Nepean FC
At half time, Northern Tigers were sitting 2-1 in front, knowing that if they gave Nepean even a half chance; the travelling side had the potential to come back into this game. Luckily for the Tigers, the home team scored again to secure a strong and much needed win which sees them maintain fifth spot on the table. For Nepean, their string of sound results might have come to an end but they still occupy seventh spot, eyeing out a spot in the top half of the ladder.
Sydney Olympic FC 1 – 2 Southern Branch
In a physical and midfield heavy fixture between Sydney Olympic and Southern Branch, it was the away team who walked away with all three points thanks to some outstanding work in the final third. Despite only having 18 fit players for this game, Branch fought hard and saw over 21 shots fired in towards goal. Olympic were much more conservative in front of goal however maintain their claim of having one of the best defences in the league, letting in just their eleventh goal of the season.
St. George FC v Eastern UNSW Lions – WASHED OUT
Parramatta Lady Hawks claimed all three points in their fixture against Western NSW Mariners on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Melita Stadium. Despite not a single shot on target in the first half from either side, the second half brought a lone goal which was enough to win the game. The header from Parramatta’s number 7 from just outside the six yard box snuck into the back of the net with half an hour left to play.
Southern Districts’ squad put two goals past APIA and kept a clean sheet at Ernie Smith Reserve to slowly head back towards the top half of the ladder. Northern Tigers played out an entertaining 4-0 win over Nepean FC at Mills Park. St. George and Eastern UNSW Lions battled against the elements, sharing the points in a 2-2 draw. Finally, Southern Branch travelled to Blick Oval taking on Sydney Olympic. A convincing 3-0 win for the away side put a smile on the faces of the girls from Nowra.
Source FNSW - By Peter Nowakowski