Round 13 of the Women’s State League saw the Western NSW Mariners go eight points clear atop the table, despite losing to St. George in a makeup game on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Gladesville and Southern Districts have made the bottom two their own, as the rest of the pack pull away.
MATCH OF THE WEEK - Mt. Druitt Town Rangers FC vs. Parramatta FC: 1-1
Popondetta Park played host to an important midtable clash between Mt. Druitt Town Rangers FC and Parramatta FC this Sunday.
Both sides were lively in the opening ten minutes, and squandered significant opportunities to take an early lead. However, perhaps the closest chance of an opener came when Mt. Druitt captain Natasha Vaccari almost slot a defensive header in to her own net. She was undoubtedly relieved to see the ball inch wide of the goal.
In a rather timid affair, neither side was able to find a goal in the first half despite playing well structured football.
In the sixty first minute, Parramatta had perhaps best opportunity so far. Racheal Simpson played a superb lofted throughball to pacey striker Vida Opoku-Agyemang. Opoku-Agyemang found herself one on one with the Rangers goalkeeper, with plenty of time on her hands. However, her shot was weak and slid well wide.
In the fifty fifth minute, Mt. Druitt brought two of their most potent attacking threats off the bench in Kristy Hope and Stefanie Trovato. Hope brought an extra dimension to their attack, using her speed to much effect down the right wing, testing the resolve of Parramatta fullback Nadia Kolakovic. Trovato proved equally difficult to deal with on the opposite flank.
In the sixty eighth minute, Taryn Rockall fired in a finessed shot from outside of the goal box which looked destined for the top right corner, but flew agonizingly wide.
Mt. Druitt began to establish a chokehold on the game as it entered the final twenty minutes, and dominated possession as play focused in Parramatta’s half for long periods at a time. The Parramatta defence remained resolute under pressure, and looked to initiate quick counter attacks.
Finally, Mt. Druitt broke through in the seventy eighth minute. Hope opportunistically poked the ball home from within the box after a probing cross from Trovato failed to be cleared.
Parramatta responded with astonishing immediacy. Just thirty seconds later, Kaytlin Craig dazzled her way to the base line along the right wing and crossed into the box, where Rangers goalkeeper Emma Davies and centre half Melanie Murray lost the ball within the sun. Opoku-Agyemang threw herself at the ball as it bounced in front of the Mt. Druitt goal and willed it into the back of the net.
The equaliser reignited Parramatta’s energy and they assaulted the Mt. Druitt goal over the next five minutes. Now it was Mt. Druitt’s turn to play on the counter, with Hope’s speed down the right wing the focal point of their attacks.
And then things turned once more, with the final five minutes dominated by the Rangers, who came close to scoring twice thanks to efforts from Brooke Conroy and Nubia Lopez. Parramatta were saved by brave goalkeeping from Angel Lea. The game finished as a draw.
Mt. Druitt Town Rangers FC 1 (Kristy Hope 78’)
Parramatta FC 1 (Vida Opoku-Agyemang 79’)
Sunday, 5th of July, 2015
Popondetta Park, Emerton
Mt. Druitt Town Rangers FC: 10. Brooke Conroy, 41. Emma Davies, 9. Lisa Fressard (5. Kristy Hope 55’), 17. Nubia Lopez, 11. Jazz Lundt, 22. Melinda Martin, 3. Melanie Murray, 6. Taryn Rockall, 24. Kiera Rogerson (12. Stefanie Trovato 55’), 14. Brianna Trigg, 16. Natasha Vaccari.
Substitutes Not Used: 7. Lynne Wegrzyn, 20. Charlotte Daczko, 21. Melina Manna.
Yellow Cards: 12. Stefanie Trovato 85’
Red Cards: N/A
Parramatta FC: 15. Kaytlin Craig, 5. Ashleigh Danielson, 10. Erin Jones, 14. Nadia Kolakovic, 12. Thazin Oo (21. Nadine Merriwan HT), 4. Vida Opoku-Agyemang, 3. Natasha Portelli, 9. Catherine Rogan, 11. Racheal Simpson, 1. Angel Lea, 25. Kaitlyn Hulley.
Substitutes Not Used: Vanessa Ciabatti, Margaret Isaac, Kelly Jade, Teome Matamua, Nika Morozoff, Caroline Nguyen, Jessica Pace.
Yellow Cards: 14. Nadia Kolakovic 26’
Red Cards: N/A
Round 13 Summaries
Southern Districts SFA vs. St. George FC: 1-2
St. George came away with an expected three points this weekend against last placed Southern Districts, but it was no easy feat. After giving APIA Leichhardt a similar challenge in round twelve, Southern Districts fought hard and were only narrowly beaten thanks to goals from Georgia Koinis and Rachelle Wang. While they remain rooted to the bottom of the table, their performances have been improving considerably.
St. George will, nevertheless, be delighted with the three points in what was a challenging weekend. They had to play two games this weekend, and came away with as many victories, including a huge upset over the league leaders. St. George now sit on twenty five points alongside Bankstown City in second place, and have timed their charge up the ladder impressively.
Gladesville Ravens vs. Western NSW Mariners FC: 0-2
The Ravens’ tough season has continued, losing to a travelling Western NSW Mariners outfit this Sunday at Peel Park. Despite losing to St. George just a day prior, the Mariners were simply too good for the Ravens and claimed a fairly comfortable victory.
The Ravens now sit five points behind the midtable pack, and their hopes for a late surge into finals contention are looking dimmer by the week. The Gladesville side have lost their last five games in a row. The Mariners, conversely, have maintained a huge eight point lead at the top of the ladder.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs. Bankstown City FC: 1-1
Bankstown City will be disappointed to have drawn to the Tigers this week, allowing the Mariners to run further and further away ahead of them on the ladder. Meanwhile, they will also be feeling immense pressure from St. George behind them, who threaten to claim second place. Out of context, a draw against the league’s in-form side in the Tigers could be seen as a satisfactory result, but Bankstown are unlikely to be satisfied with a share of the points.
The same could be said for APIA Leichhardt, who have been on an incredible winning streak. The draw against Bankstown sees them settle at sixth place, where a win would have taken them all the way into the top four. With only one point separating fourth, fifth and sixth, the midtable competition is tighter than ever.
Source FNSW Website -by Daniel Palmer, Women’s State League Reporter