All the pent-up energy from last week’s shortened round unleashed itself on a mostly full weekend of National Premier Leagues 2 Womens football. 27 goals were scored across the five fixtures even allowing for the first nil-all draw of the season.
Match of the Round: APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 defeated SD Raiders 2
There seems to be magic in the air whenever APIA Leichhardt Tigers and SD Raiders meet. The two played out another instant classic on a warm night under lights at Lambert Park Sunday night.
Ten minutes into the contest and SD Raiders were in dreamland, as Hannah-Rose Davey struck well then the lethal Cassidy Chidgey thumped home a header for 2-nil. SD Raiders looked that despite their youthful line-up they can hang with the big girls.
For APIA Leichhardt, they relied on their two marquee strikers in Karen Saavedra, whose hopeful effort got them kickstarted, followed by a second half brace from Ashleigh Palombi, taking her season tally to four, and importantly APIA to three points.
Both teams got stuck into the contest early, as there was no feeling out period. APIA Leichhardt Tigers had the first attempt as Palombi stood over a central free-kick that lifted over the wall but Raiders keeper Regan Hill clutched it well.
SD Raiders got their key player involved early, as Cassidy Chidgey and Logan Garard combined well to set Hannah-Rose Davey free in the box and she lashed home with aplomb for the opening goal.
The game looked like it was on fast forward, as in the tenth minute, SD Raiders made it double delight. A teasing corner that fell right to the head of Chidgey, who was free, and she nodded home.
As APIA looked to be sinking without a trace, Matteo Maiorana urged his girls on which quickly turned into a pair of chances as Palombi and Sarah Urquhart tested Hill but the shot stopper kept the Tigers at bay.
Raiders continued to use the pace of Davey in concert with the play of Chidgey that almost created an opening for the visitors that might have killed off the contest.
Although the Tigers looked to have sleep walked through the half, they found an unlikely route into the contest. Karen Saavedra deep in injury time, launched a hopeful ball that got caught in the lights and trickled in off Hill, who had a magnificent half otherwise.
Using that goal as a launch pad, APIA were quickly on level terms. Palombi strode confidently into the area before she hammered it home for 2-2.
Palombi stamped her authority on the contest in a four minute stretch after the hour mark. The striker contrived to miss an open net in the 65th but she made up for it in the 69th when she drove into the box again, shrugged off a defender and made it 3-2.
Now the APIA strikers had done their job, keeper Courtney Halpin produced some heroic saves to prevent the three points heading to the south-west.
Chidgey sprung free, a minute after the third APIA goal. The striker bore down on the goal but a sprawling save from Halpin denied her after an earlier legs save also on a Chidgey shot.
As things heated up, showing how much the three points were, both teams had a player sent off in Rebecca Watts for APIA and Lauren Gaud for SD Raiders as the game simmered to the home side taking all three points.
Afterwards APIA boss Matteo Maiorana was relieved that his side found their rhythm in that second half after going two behind.
“Our team has a little bit of ticker. We adjusted things in the second half and got the result. I expect a lot from the girls and the second half showed what happened when we decide to play,”
“Credit to SD Raiders they started fast and with Matt on the sideline. Just having him on the sideline helps them dictate the game and they got to a 2-nil lead.
On his two marquee signings Maiorana asserted that their goalscoring records were key in them signing with the APIA side.
“They’re our marquee signings. We struggled with goals last season and [Ashleigh] Palombi came in for one reason and she showed it tonight.” Finished the APIA coach.
For SD Raiders head coach Matt Constantini knew his side showed character despite their youthful appearance and it was three moments that cost them.
“We started well. Controlled the game well for the first fifteen then credit to APIA they took control. Our inexperience showed tonight, but it is a good learning curve for them.
“I thought their keeper [Courtney Halpin] produced some quality saves including some that Men’s keepers might not make, had a fantastic game for APIA.
“In the end it was three moments where we switched off and it cost us tonight.” Finished Constantini.
Sunday 25th March 2018
Referee: Wayne Crabb
Assistant Referees: John Blower and Maddy Allan
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 (Saavendra ’46 and Palombi ’48 and ’69)
SD Raiders 2 (Davey ‘8 and Chidgey ’10)
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 1. HALPIN Courtney, 4. SCARLATO Samantha, 6. GILFEDDER Lucy, 8. CANINI Carla, 11. PALOMBI Ashleigh, 13. SIM-SING Marie(21. CARMICHAEL ’82), 14. WATTS Rebecca, 15. MANIAS Kylie, 16. BENNETT Jennifer, 17. URQUHART Sarah and 19. SAAVEDRA Karen(18. MARTINEZ ’90)
Subs not used: 5. CICCO Olivia, 12 LATHAM Madeline and 20. MARSH Stephanie
Yellow cards: Manias and Watts
Red cards: Watts
SD Raiders: 4. GENC Yasemin, 7. FALLAH Jessica, 8. CHIDGEY Cassidy, 9. GARARD Logan, 10. PACE Gabriela, 12. BUTLER Kathleen, 14. HAMILTON Sophia(17. KROPE ’81), 15. COX Teigan(11. NAGY ’54), 16. DAVEY Hannah-Rose, 18. SKINNER Tamara(6. SHERMAN ’51(20. GAUL ’83)) and 99. HILL Regan
Subs not used: 19. GRIMBILOS Stephanie
Yellow cards: Fallah and Garard
Red cards: Gaul
Central Coast Mariners 10 defeated Southern Branch FC 0
The Mariners have certainly laid down an early marker for the season as they dismantled Southern Branch FC for double digits on a hot afternoon on the coast.
They showed a real cutting edge as the home side piled on five goals in each half to make some steady progress which has delighted coach Dan Barrett.
Onto the scoresheet, Candice Phelan was the headline act with five goals while Jordan Evans managed a brace. Rounding out the scorers for the home side were Alisha Dudman, Kate Duffy and Jade Mcatamney.
Gladesville Ravens 1 defeated by Sydney Olympic FC 4
This was the Ravens first chance to test themselves against the top sides after two victories in the first fortnight from the competition.
Considering that Ravens made the perfect start as a mix-up in the box meant that prolific scorers Olympic FC put one in their own net.
Bill Papas read his Sydney Olympic squad the riot act at half-time and they responded through who else, Madelaine Costanzo fired home to level things in the 47th minute.
From there it was a one-way traffic for Olympic. Kristy Rohrer nodded home a header then Lieke Bever and Siahn Bozanic curled home fantastic goals as the premiers continue their unbeaten start to the season.
St George FC 3 defeated by Western NSW Mariners 4
Down by the sea, it was goals by the handful. Western NSW Mariners edged a seven-goal thriller in conditions that were more beach than football.
Western NSW Mariners burst out of the gates with a four-goal first half. Teegan Courtney bagged herself a hat-trick while Jasmin Courtenay got herself on the score sheet in back to back weeks that earnt the Mariners their first three points.
For the hosts they continue their trend of playing in high scoring contests – Grace Ha, Lara Nicholls and Yadira Renfigo holding up their end of the scoresheet for the 4-3 final.
UNSW FC 0 drew with Nepean FC 0
It took three weeks but we got our first blank scoresheet. Both UNSW FC and Nepean were frustrated to have to share the points on a warm Sunday night.
UNSW had a majority of the play through the contest. The students worked the ball well around the field but some wasteful finishing and superb saves from Danielle Bartels kept the scoreboard attendants from having much work.
For Jelen though, this was the first time his UNSW side had come up against an established National Premier Leagues 2 Womens outfit and didn’t find themselves out of their depth.
Nepean FC’s Alan Tasses was annoyed at the lack of consistency his team has shown in the young season with tonight’s display after their spirited 2-2 draw against Marconi last week.
Tasses also reminded his side that those performances aren’t good enough at NPL level.
Marconi Stallions vs Inter Lions SC was washed out
Source FNSW website - By Justin Davies, NPL2 Womens reporter