With Southern Districts, Southern Branch, Eastern UNSW Lions, Western NSW Mariners and St. George FC all walking away with three points in Round 14, it was a weekend filled with plenty of goals with just the one clean sheet achieved.
MATCH OF THE ROUND: St. George FC 2 – 1 Sydney Olympic
With the sun starting to set, a cold breeze coming in and numerous players from both teams already tired from playing in the reserve grade, St. George FC and Sydney Olympic took the field of battle, St. George Stadium, in what was set to become a very close affair.
Fourth placed Olympic took the kick off, looking the stronger of the two sides physically in defence and midfield almost instantly against the youthful and enthusiastic Saints.
The ball barely moved out of the midfield in the opening ten minutes with neither side securing a shot of target, instead both teams forced into long range shots and hopeful through balls.
By the 20th minute, both sides had managed just the one shot on target with Kate Halaska and Jess Carosi from Olympic and St. George respectively pulling the strings for their sides in the final third of the pitch.
Sydney Olympic did have a secret weapon in their game plan in the form of Kylie Manias. With the right back’s ability to move from defence into attack thanks to her magnificently long throw-ins, St. George’s defence was being pulled apart time after time in the first half.
As the referee blew for half time, the scores were locked at 0-0 despite some sound opportunities from both sides, Olympic maintaining their spot as looking most likely to score first after the restart.
Despite the opening 45 minutes seeing just a handful of shots on goal, within the space of two minutes in the second half, both sides had a goal next to their name.
In the 55th minute Olympic’s key forward, Kate Halaska put her team in front thanks to a thumping shot from the edge of the 18 yard box. After St. George’s keeper was unable to hold onto the ball following a strong shot on target, Halaska had made a late run across the face of goal, blasting it into the top of the net.
“You’re always most vulnerable after you’ve just scored” is the age old saying, and it came true at St. George Stadium. Jess Carosi then made her mark on the game with a stunning goal from just inside the box. The smiles disappearing from the faces of Olympic’s players as soon as they had appeared.
With the match heading towards a 1-1 draw and 15 minutes left on the clock to play, there was one team who were able to push just that little bit more than the other. St. George’s winger come striker, Prue Pearson was gifted with a long range shot, lobbing the keeper from the edge of the 18 yard box. The cheers could be heard echoing around the stadium.
The win meant St. George was able to skip into seventh on the ladder at the expense of Nepean FC. For Sydney Olympic, this was their third loss of the season as well as just their 13th goal against their normally very sturdy defence.
Next weekend sees St. George travel to Ernie Smith Reserve to take on Southern Districts whilst Sydney Olympic face the long trek out to Bathurst as they attempt to stay warm and positive against the youthful Western NSW Mariners.
Western NSW Mariners 2 – 0 APIA Leichhardt Tigers
Kelsey Tuttle returned to her goal scoring ways when she joined M. Ryan on the scoresheet in a strong performance against bottom placed APIA Leichhardt Tigers. Producing yet another solid result in front of their home support at Alec Lamberton Field, the Mariners set the pace of the game early and controlled the midfield. For such a young squad, the Mariners have performed fantastically this season and although finals seem unobtainable, they deserve to be proud of their season so far.
Eastern UNSW Lions 2 – 1 Northern Tigers
Forced to play on the artificial pitch at David Phillips Field, Eastern UNSW Lions ran away 2-1 winners over the Northern Tigers who welcomed back the war-paint antics in an attempt to boost team morale. Gab Dal Pozzo managed to score the lone goal for the travelling side whilst Ayse Adalis and E. Stephan were the names on the scoresheet for the home side. The win means UNSW Lions maintain second spot on the ladder with two games to catch up on in the final few weeks of the competition.
Southern Branch 5 – 1 Nepean FC
Southern Branch maintain their position at the top of the Super League table after a dominating display over Nepean FC at Ison Park. With goals from R. Huntsman, B. Christensen, B. Duddy and A. Graham, Southern Branch were in complete control across the entire 90 minutes. The only slip up Branch suffered was when the allowed A. Waddell to get through their defence and knock the ball into the back of the net. A solid result for the girls from Nowra.
Parramatta Lady Hawks 1 – 2 Southern Districts
Thanks to second half goals from Sheree Bryant and Justine McLaughin, Southern Districts walked away from Melita Stadium winners over Parramatta Lady Hawks. The first half saw star centre forward Alice Roberts score her eleventh goal of the season when she put her side in front in the 35th minute. The home side struggled to contain the Emeralds which was ultimately their downfall. The win for Southern Districts means they move into fifth spot on the Super League ladder.
‘You’ll never score if you never shoot’ was the theme at St. George Stadium for 85 minutes as St. George FC played host to Sydney Olympic FC. The opening half of football saw just the one shot on goal whilst the second half looked like this game was heading towards a bore draw right up until the final five minutes of the match. A goal out of absolutely nothing was enough for the home side to claim a 1-0 win against an in form Sydney Olympic.
Eastern UNSW Lions secured a 3-2 win over Northern Tigers after centre back Grace Balicki was caught off balanced when attempting to clear the ball meaning her own goal was the difference between the two sides sharing the points and UNSW walking away winners. The points were shared at Alec Lamberton Field as the Mariners had a 0-0 draw with APIA Leichhardt Tigers. Southern Branch ran away 3-1 winners over Nepean FC when the two sides met at Ison Park. Finally, Parramatta Lady Hawks walked away the happier of the two sides at Melita Stadium as they beat Southern Districts 2-0.
Source FNSW -By Pete Nowakowski