Whilst Sydney Olympic FC and Central Coast Mariners remain the standard bearers for the National Premier Leagues 2 Womens competition, don’t look now, but there is a dogfight developing for the final spots as teams look to strengthen headed into the second half of the fixtures list.
Match of the Round: SD Raiders 3 defeated UNSW FC 0
After a lean run in recent weeks, SD Raiders have moved into the NPL2 top four, after a 3-nil result against UNSW FC over the weekend at a chilly Ernie Smith Reserve.
SD Raiders were in control throughout the 90 minutes, although it took them until the 41st to strike as Samantha Nagy fired home before a second half own goal followed by poacher Cassidy Chidgey late strike completed the fantastic night for the home side that lifted them into fourth.
For the students, it was a grim reminder after their close games against Central Coast and APIA, that they have a huge task ahead of them to possibly nail on a finals spot in the remainder of the season.
As the dust settled across Ernie Smith Reserve, the students created the first two opportunities of the contest. First Amy Altman tested Raiders keeper, Regan Hill before Harley Johnston followed up with another tame hit that was gobbled up by Hill.
The Raiders shook off those early inroads by UNSW as they got their own star striker involved. Cassidy Chidgey found space from a diagonal before she swung a deep cross that Logan Garard couldn’t find full connection on.
That move led to a good spell for the Raiders. Sophia Hamilton, the match winner from last weekend poked an effort right at UNSW FC keeper, Nadine Knight followed quickly by Chidgey again making space before she arrowed wide.
As the game continued to swing quickly downfield, UNSW had their chances to snatch a lead but neither Christine Tanaka Lucantonio or Altman could find their way past Hill.
Their misses proved costly. Raiders winger Jessica Fallah broke quickly down the right, teasing a cross to the far post right into the path of Samantha Nagy to slam home, 1-nil to SD Raiders headed to the break.
Both teams hadn’t fully relaxed back into thieir dugouts before SD Raiders had a second. Nagy again proved a nuisance, as she ghosted well into the box, thudded a shot off the post before it was turned in by a devastated UNSW defender, 2-nil.
As the game started to drift towards the end, and thoughts turned to a warm shower, Renato Jelen urged his side forward, sacrificing some defensive shape in search of two goals. Sadly that gusto was punished as SD Raiders found a third.
It is a rare Raiders game that doesn’t have Chidgey on the scoresheet. The home side broke quickly and the striker was played into acres of space, Chidgey had enough time to compose herself and slot home for the 3-nil final score.
Afterwards Raiders coach Matt Constantini was delighted with the effort by the side, especially after their rough trot with injuries, now coming out of that looking to mount their challenge.
“I thought in the first half we had some good chances, just couldn’t find the final pass,” said Constantini.
‘We worked on that at half-time, created a lot more chances in the second half and got the reward which is good. We’ve shown tremendous character to get through this rough period – [Samantha] Nagy returned well scoring a goal and [Cassidy] Chdigey is still firing so we’re set up well.” Finished Constanti.
Conversely, Renato Jelen in the UNSW FC dugout was disappointed about how his side approached tonight after their recent games.
“I thought controlled possession well although I thought we were never really in the game tonight. We had a few shots then our intensity dropped and they have quality players that pounced on that,” said Jelen.
“Coming here and playing like that, makes it much harder for us. Our aim is to play finals this season and this makes it harder going into the second half of the season.” He finished.
Sunday 20th May 2018
Ernie Smith Reserve, Moorebank
Referee: S Huilton
Assistant Referees: L Byrnes & B Yamon
SD Raiders 3 (Nagy ’42, OG ’48, Chidgey ’81)
UNSW FC 0
SD Raiders: 6. SHERMAN Morgan (13. CASSAR ’86), 7. FALLAH Jessica (29. D’MELLO ’86), 8. CHIDGEY Cassidy, 9. GARARD Logan, 10. PACE Gabriela, 12. BUTLER Kathleen, 14. HAMILTON Sophia, 17. NAGY Samantha, 18. SKINNER Tamara, 32. KROPE Courtney, 99. HILL Regan
Subs not used: 4. GENC Yasemin, 30. HANKIN Brooke, 37. MUSCAT Rhianna
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
UNSW FC: 1. KNIGHT Nadine, 2. KRIESLER Alice, 3. HANSLOW Tahlia, 4. CASSERLY Tara (6. DARLASTON ’48), 5. SUMMERSBY-MITCHELL Miranda (15. CHRISTOPHER ’64), 7. AYTON Paige (25. PHILIPSON ’78), 9. ALTMAN Amy, 10. TANAKA LUCANTONIO Christine, 11. JOHNSTON Harley, 13. BLAYDON Sarah, 16. OLRICH Andrea
Subs not used: 29. MCCORMICK Grace, 40. BRIDSON Charlotte
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Central Coast Mariners 2 defeated Gladesville Ravens 1
The Central Coast Mariners continue to chug along, withstanding a late Gladesville Ravens onslaught, winning 2-1, banking three more valuable points to their already impressive tally.
In a rare feat this season, the prolific Mariners were blunted by Ravens goalkeeper Eri Arikawa and her determined defense that sent the two teams into the break, 0-0.
The dam had to break eventually, the Mariners found two small holes in the Ravens defense. Firstly Jordan Evans notched her eighth of the season then youngster Iona Snape, who coach Dan Barrett wrapped mid-week, doubled the lead.
Ravens gave them a late fright when Emily Diaz thumped home a header from a corner to make it 2-1, for two goals in as many weeks for the new signing. The Mariners held on, despite enduring eight minutes of injury time this afternoon.
Western NSW Mariners 2 defeated by Marconi Stallions 3
It was a wild west shootout in Bathurst. Marconi Stallions were the quickest gun and took home three valuable points that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room in the top six.
Coming into the second half of the season, Western NSW will have a swathe of home fixtures. They got this one off to the perfect start, Larissa Kilby fired home to put the Mariners in a perfect position to rectify their form.
The Stallions had other ideas. From their half-time talk, they had the scorer at Majorie Jackson Field working overtime, Demelza Howard slotted a brace before Vanessa Hoff rifled home her second of the season to complete the turnaround.
Mariners keeper Jessica Daymond recovered well from that barrage, as she continued to deny the Stallions any further goals. Western NSW clawed back a goal late through Chloe Lanham as coach Josh Ward admitted a draw might have been fairer.
Sydney Olympic FC 4 defeated Inter Lions 0
Much like the sun rising each morning, Sydney Olympic FC continue to romp through the competition, defeating a gallant Inter Lions side, 4-nil this afternoon at Peter Moore Field.
The premiers wasted no time in the bright sunshine as Lieke Bever, who has been on a tear in recent weeks, opened the scoring after four minutes before Siahn Bozanic bookmarked the half, making it 2-nil.
In the second half it seemed like a duel between the Olympic attackers and the Inter goalkeeper – despite a string of impressive saves, Olympic added two more goals to their tally. Madelaine Costanzo getting herself back on the scoresheet then Lieke Bever completed her brace.
Nepean FC 5 defeated Southern Branch FC 0
Nepean FC returned to the winner’s circle in emphatic style, putting way Southern Branch FC, 5-nil tonight at Cook Park.
Stinging from last week’s huge defeat to Sydney Olympic FC, Nepean coach, Alan Tasses rung the changes – making six changes including former Stingray Annie Halls to make her debut alongside reserve captain, Emma Wholohan and 15-year-old Janie Hansen.
The changes worked for Nepean FC. Stefanie Trovato bagged a brace with strike partner Imogen Lane finding the net herself as the home side raced out to a 3-nil half-time lead.
Annie Halls made it a memorable debut with a goal herself while Alix Waddell rounded out the scoring as a relieved Tasses admitted it was good to be back in the winner’s circle after a lean few weeks.
He also remained grounded about Nepean’s chances. While tonight was refreshing, Tasses said that it means nothing if they can’t repeat the dose against the top teams of National Premier League 2 Womens and find some consistency.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 4 defeated St George FC 0
Rounding off the weekend was a routine win for APIA Leichhardt Tigers, comfortably dispatching St George FC, 4-nil under the bright lights of Lambert Park.
APIA coach Matteo Maiorana admitted that the Tigers, coming off their draw last weekend, didn’t get out of first gear against the struggling Saints. Ash Palombi once again starred for the home side, adding a brace to swell her goal tally to 13 for the season.
Sarah Urquhart and Jess Martinez found themselves on the scoresheet, as the Tigers completed a comprehensive performance. APIA with their additions, former St George striker Yadira Renfigo, a third penned this week have sent a message to their opposition regarding their intentions for 2018.
Source FNSW website - By Justin Davies