A beautiful Sunday afternoon saw four Women’s State League fixtures take place across New South Wales, with typically high-scoring and entertaining result.
MATCH OF THE WEEK - Bankstown City FC vs. St. George FC: 3-1
Jensen Park played host to two of the league’s most potent attacking outfits in Bankstown City and St. George. The fixture promised high scoring, free-flowing football and, after a slow start, did not fail to deliver.
St, George were determined to keep Bankstown City’s fluent midfield off the ball, playing a very high line and pressing aggressively. Bankstown attempted to play over the top of the St. George back four, making them turn and chase. In the seventh minute one such situation saw Bankstown’s Samantha Muscat played on goal and cleverly chip the keeper, but she was called offside.
In the ninth minute, a huge clash between Bankstown’s Melissa Parlato and the St. George goalkeeper saw St. George’s goalkeeper on the floor for a long, concerning period of time. Unfortunately, a stretcher had to be used and an ambulance called for. After eight minutes of stoppage time, play resumed with Selea Sautoro taking over keeping duties.
Bankstown continued to break through the St. George defence with penetrating through balls, however St. George were diligent in their offside trap and caught out Bankstown’s front three time and time again. The pace of Bankstown City’s wingers Melissa Parlato and Tania Baban looked to be the side’s biggest trump and as the half proceeded, they played rather direct football down the flanks, keeping the play in St. George’s half. St. George defended superbly, with Kylie Manoas, Bronte Young and Natalie Michos particularly impressive. Midfielder Susanne Gallagher was also a constant menace.
Going forward, St. George offered little. The usually dangerous Georgia Koinis struggled to get a touch of the ball, as they resorted to somewhat rushed attacking football. There were better moments, but few and far between. The first half was a cagey affair, with neither the goals nor pretty football promised.
Right until the very end, that is; just before the half-time whistle, Bankstown’s Liana Babic jumped onto a messy ball into the box and finished with typical precision, finally breaking the deadlock. St. George were spurred on by their late concession and finally pressured the Bankstown City net. Marissa Nicopoulous went on a marauding run up the field and beat three defenders before firing on goal, but her shot was parried out for a corner. In the last play of the half, Jessica Carosi fired a shot from point blank range which looked destined to go in, if not for an unbelievable diving save from the Bankstown keeper. Bankstown City took a 1-0 lead into the break that was probably deserved, but hardly convincing.
The second half got off to a start closer to pre-game expectations. Just moments after kick off, a blistering counter-attack by Bankstown City saw Muscat played on with the St. George keeper. As cool as ever, Muscat rounded the keeper before slotting it into the empty net. City had quickly doubled their lead and the game finally threatened to open up.
In the 56th minute, St. George found their way back into proceedings, winning a penalty. Lauren Gardner stepped up to the spot, looking nervous, but converted perfectly into the bottom left corner. Things got better: in the 60th minute, Bankstown playmaker Maniso Micheal was given her marching orders after receiving a second yellow card for persistent fouling.
But it was Bankstown who would score the next goal. A speculative lofted through ball was played over to Samantha Muscat. St. George’s goalkeeper charged some twenty metres out of her box to meet the ball, but Muscat was able to get there first and chip the ball perfectly into the goal. A second for Muscat, but this goal was by far the most celebrated, giving a ten woman Bankstown the 3-1 lead.
Over the next twenty minutes, St. George fought valiantly for a second goal, spending the majority of the game in Bankstown’s half. Bankstown sat deep and defended, limiting St. George’s chances effectively. The game finished with Bankstown City the victors, successfully able to hold on to their two goal cushion.
Bankstown City FC 3 (Liana Babic 45+2’, Samantha Muscat 50’ / 65’)
St. George FC 1 (Lauren Gardner 56’)
Sunday, 24th of May, 2015
Jensen Park, Regent’s Park
Bankstown City FC: 8. Jessica Abrahim , 5. Abir Awad, 17. Tania Baban (28. Elise Robbins 85), 4. Liana Babic (Pavlina Labra 81’), 7. Melissah Parlato (26. Jessica Burgess 70’), 1. Lana Ferreira, 39. Kristen McMahon, 10. Maniso Micheal, 21. Samantha Muscat, 9. Jami-Lee Mussett, 6. Allegra Vickas.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Elyse Cuerden
Yellow Cards: 39. Kristen Mcmahon, 10. Maniso Micheal (42’ + 60’)
Red Cards: 10. Manis Micheal (60’)
St. George FC: 8. Jessica Carosi, 2. Susanne Gallagher, 3. Lauren Gardner, 9. Georgia Koinis, 32. Stephanie Lara, 33. Tijana Ljubisavljevic (Selea Santoro), 29. Kylie Manias, 5. Natalie Michos (10. Vanessa Stanton 49’), 35. Rachelle Wang (26. Ashley Miller), 12. Bronte Young, 18. Mary Harding (19. Marissa Nicopoulos 32’).
Substitutes Not Used: 21. Natalie Bakrdanikoska.
Yellow Cards: 35. Rachelle Wang 62’
Red Cards: Nil
Round 7 Summaries
Gladesville Ravens vs. Parramatta FC: 0-3
In perhaps the biggest shock of the round, Parramatta FC dismantled the Gladesville Ravens away from home at Peel Park. Gladesville conceded only their first loss of the year in round six, but were swept away by an exciting Parramatta outfit this Sunday. Parramatta have found their stride, winning their second straight game and will look to build upon this victory to make a real challenge at promotion. Earlier in the season, they admitted that they were inexperienced, but five rounds later it appears that they have learnt a lot.
Mt. Druitt Town Rangers vs. APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 6-1
Another round, another large defeat for the Tigers. They remain rooted to the bottom of the table, while Mt. Druitt will be delighted with their performance at Popondetta Park. After a disappointing start to the season, the Rangers will have relished the opportunity to build upon their confidence and find their shooting boots. They still have a lot of work to do, however, if they are to crawl their way back into the thick of things.
Western NSW Mariners FC vs. Southern Districts SFA: 4-2
It was yet another victory for the Mariners, as their perfect streak continues this season, but the result did not come as easily as some might have expected. Southern Districts fought extremely valiantly and were unlucky not to come away with a result. This game looked fairly one-sided on paper, but in reality, the Mariners were given their toughest challenge since the round one clash against Bankstown. Nevertheless, they were still able to prevail thanks to two goals each to Jess Salamoni and Kristy Collingridge. Salamoni has now scored seven goals this season, while Collingridge has six. Southern Districts have shown that they are not entirely impregnable, however.
Source FNSW Website -by Daniel Palmer, Women’s State League Reporter