Round 9 of the Women’s State League saw yet another upset at the top of the table, with multiple teams making strong statements as to their intentions this season.
Thanks to big wins from Parramatta FC, the Gladesville Ravens and St. George FC, what looked like a two horse race just a round ago has turned into something much more.
MATCH OF THE ROUND - APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs. Western NSW Mariners: 0-3
A beautiful Sunday afternoon saw the APIA Leichhardt Tigers welcome the Western NSW Mariners to Lambert Park for what would be a typically high-scoring match of football.
The Mariners were reeling from their first loss of the season in round eight and determined to rebound with a confident victory over last-placed Tigers. APIA, still looking for their first win of the season, would have to pull off an incredible upset to come away with anything from this fixture.
The Mariners started off aggressively. In the third minute, Kristy Collingridge played through Jessica Salomoni one on one with the Tigers’ keeper. However, Brianna-Lee Wade for APIA burst back with determination and blocked Salomoni’s shot with a superb sliding tackle. From the resulting corner, Teegan Courtney was allowed a free header, but fired it over the goal.
Moments later, Megan Embleton fired a powerful shot at the Tigers goal from outside the box. Tigers goalkeeper Jaymee Elbourne managed to palm the shot into the cross bar and a scrambling Leichhardt defence dealt with the rebound.
It looked all too easy for Western NSW, and in the tenth minute Embleton played a ball across the face of the goal that seemed uncontested from APIA Leichhardt’s defenders. Salomoni drifted in at the back post and fired it home from point blank range to secure an early lead for the visitors.
Most of the Tigers’ efforts came through Carla Canini in centre of midfield, who dictated play well, but lacked options. Lucy Gifedder on the right wing was also very busy, but failed to provide anything incisive in the final third.
Their best opportunity of the first half came in the twenty ninth minute, where Canini broke through the Mariners’ back four and fired her shot on target, but it was pushed agonisingly wide by a diving Jessica Daymond in goal.
Just sixty seconds later, the Mariners found their second. Embleton fired in a long shot from well outside the box, which glided into the top left corner. Elbourne in the Tigers goal didn’t even move. This was the last major play of the first half, with the Mariners entering the changerooms with a two goal lead.
The second half began rather timidly, with neither side threatening. The Mariners dominated possession, but were sloppy with their final ball, struggling to bring their attacking third into the game with any effect.
Nevertheless, as the half grew older, the Mariners midfield began to establish a chokehold on play. Gobdier, Courtney and Embledon played superbly in midfield, utilising a confident, high-tempo brand of football. Canini and Filiz Urkanci for the Tigers were impressive, but with much less support than their Mariners counterparts.
Eventually the Mariners were rewarded for their dominance, scoring a third goal. In the seventy eighth minute, Courtney burst down the right wing and cut the ball back to Salomoni. Salomoni feinted past one defender and lay off Embleton to her left, who coolly slot the ball into the back of the net from point blank.
Confusion surrounded what appeared to be a fourth goal for the Mariners, and a hat trick for Meg Embleton. Katherine Henley-Sadgrove for the Mariners went into a fifty-fifty challenge with APIA Leichhardt goalkeeper Elbourne, which left Elbourne lying on the floor. Play appeared to go on, and Embleton eventually put the ball into the empty net. The goal was not rewarded, however.
The full time whistle blew moments later, and the Mariners claimed a dominant three points in their first trip away from home this season.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 0
Western NSW Mariners FC 3 (Jessica Salomoni 10’ / Meg Embleton 31’ + 78’)
Sunday, 7th of June, 2015
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
APIA Leichhardt Tigers : 4. Koo Barbi (30. Courtney Halpin 72’), 32. Carla Canini, 9. Angela Francis, 5. Lucy Gilfedder, 2. Stephanie Glanville-Fyfe, 6. Maddison Gray, 11. Dione King, 31. Filiz Urkanci, 3. Brianna-Lee Wade, 1. Jaymee Elbourne.
Substitutes Not Used: 26. Olivia Cicco, 28. Penelope Nash, 21. Anna Rushmer, 13. Lucy Friend, 29. Kim Cozens.
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Western NSW Mariners : 5. Erin Boxsell, 9. Kristy Collingridge (16. Alyssa Armstrong 18’), 6. Teegan Courtney, 1. Jessica Daymond, 10. Megan Embleton, 8. Kya Gobdier, 11. Katherine Henley-Sadgrove, 3. Megan McFarland, 2. Annabel McFarland, 4. Katie Pakai-Kelley, 7. Jessica Salomoni.
Substitutes Not Used: 13. Tayla Lloyd, 14. Chloe Anlezark
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Round 9 Summaries
Parramatta FC vs. Bankstown City FC: 3-2
Parramatta FC earned their fourth consecutive victory after an incredible clash with Bankstown City this Sunday. Bankstown City entered this fixture having won every game since Round 1, and were confident of establishing dominance at the top of the table with a victory against midtable Parramatta. Newcomers to the Women’s State League, Parramatta FC delivered an incredible upset thanks to a brace from Teome Matamua and a goal from Vida Opoku-Agyemang. After a shaky start to the season, Parramatta have placed their hands up as title contenders this season and enter the top four.
Gladesville Ravens vs. Southern District Emeralds: 6-1
Despite a very strong start to the Women’s State League season, many began to doubt Gladesville after they stuttered in the past few weeks. The Ravens have firmly silenced critics and announced their intentions to challenge for the title this season with a massive 6-1 victory against Southern Districts this Sunday. Noelle Loyzaga scored a remarkable four goals up front for the Ravens, and has found her stride in a number nine position, rather than out on the wing where she featured in early rounds.
St. George FC vs. Mt. Druitt Town Rangers FC: 3-2
St. George FC have been the quiet achievers this season, winning consistently despite the impressive performances from Bankstown City and the Western NSW Mariners at the top of the table. They secured an important three points against the Mt. Druitt Town Rangers this Sunday, which sees them maintain third place, but it did not come easy. The Rangers will be disappointed with the result, but performed admirably away from home and almost denied St. George three points thanks to goals from Kristy Hope and Jazz Lundt. Rachelle Wang was the hero for St. George scoring two goals, complemented by another from Tijana Ljubisavljevic.
Source FNSW Website-by Daniel Palmer, Women’s State League Reporter
St George FC other results V's Mt Druitt
13's Won 2 - 1
15's Won 3 - 1
17's Drew 1 - 1
Res Won 4 - 2