Another weekend of NPL2 action in the books and this one had a bit of everything – Sydney Olympic FC continued their streak; Gladesville Ravens and Western NSW Mariner broke through for much needed wins; and SD Raiders and Inter continue to bank points; as lastly, Marconi were the comeback queens this week.
Match of the Round: Gladesville Ravens 1 defeated Nepean FC 0
They had to dig deep but Gladesville Ravens secured a much-needed three points from x’s late strike, as they defeated Nepean FC, 1-nil on a chilly night at Christie Park.
It was a tense contest that was open as the two sides scratched and clawed for the three points. Nepean FC dominated the chances but football is a game of inches – as the clocked ticked into the final minute, Emily Diaz drove left and smashed home to settle the tie.
The joyous celebrations that followed for those in black and white showed how much a first win in six weeks meant to the Ravens as they chase finals football.
For Nepean FC, they have run out of ideas. It was the same story that has plagued their season, dominate the chances, run of play but got sucker punched. Afterwards Alan Tasses admitted that he was lost for words as his side plummeted to seventh.
On a frosty night at Christie Park, the action heated up within the first five minutes. Both sides crashed an effort against the post. First it was Imogen Lane from Nepean then Emily Diaz soared down the other end and rattled the bar.
From there the action settled down. The two sides were engaged in a midfield battle, as the two defenses mopped up any chances that were threaded through and both managers urged their sides to be patient in possession, even in the first half it looked to be a single goal game.
As half-time edged near, the two sides opened up their gameplan. Annalise Schiraldi thrashed an effort wide in the 36th followed by Diaz eluding the defense but unable to apply the finish as the half ended locked up.
While the first half might have edged to Gladesville, the second half belonged to Nepean FC. Britney Pelle’s pace caused the home side plenty of bother but lacked the finish in front of goal to trouble Ravens keeper Eri Arikawa.
Similarly both her strike partners in Lane and Stefanie Trovato were guilty of being wasteful. Lane couldn’t roll an effort into the net in the 64th then Trovato, usually a precise striker missed two bites of the cherry three minutes later.
The pain etched further on Tasses face as Lane snatched at another chance in the final ten minutes. Subsitute Lauren Connell had the chance to be the hero as she strode into the area but the ball landed safely over the bar.
Credit to Gladesville Ravens – they dug deep in defense, despite riding their luck and created some fantastic opportunities of their own. As it looked like the game was going to peter out into a scoreless draw, cometh Emily Diaz.
She broke quickly down the left, engaged a defender then strode past, saw Nepean FC keeper Danielle Bartels was slightly off her line and unleashed a ferocious shot that sailed into the net, handing Gladesville the 1-nil victory.
Afterwards a joyous Albert Disciacio hoped that this result has set the club up for what promises to be a gauntlet of tough matches headed into the final quarter of the season.
“It was a effort that was coming from the team. Let’s hope it is a sign of things to come as we have six tough games to make the finals from here.” He said.
Nepean FC coach Alan Tasses cut a dejected figure as once again, his Nepean FC side had failed to turn their dominance into three points.
“That’s what I have been saying – we don’t take our chances and it bites us on the arse. I am lost for words after that and now we’re seventh, after two games we didn’t take our chances. Football is a cruel game.” said Tasses.
Sunday 17th June 2018: Christie Park, Macquarie Park
Gladesville Ravens 1 (Diaz ’89)
Nepean FC 0
Gladesville Ravens: 5. LIDBETTER Eleanor, 14. SEETO Anja (4. KINCHINGTON ’60) , 17. ARIKAWA Eri, 18. BEATTIE Alex, 19. GESTIER Hannah, 20. SMITH Ashleigh, 28. BAKER Liana (22. BALICKI ’76), 33. IKONOMOU Carlie, 37. DIAZ Emily, 39. SCHIRALDI Annalise, 44. BREUKELAAR Isabella (24. HOPKINS ’70)
Unused subs: 31. BLAIR Isobel 40. GEORGE Courtney
Yellow cards: Ikonomou ’69
Red cards: nil
Nepean FC: 1. BARTELS Danielle, 3. DAVIDSON Aisling, 5. HALLS Annie, 6. HANSEN Janie, 8. LANE Imogen, 9. PELLE Britney (10. GALAYINI ’74), 11. STEDMAN Madelaine (13. VASSALLO ’62), 12. WADDELL Alix (14. CONNELL ’62), 15. WHEELER Cassandra, 21. TROVATO Stefanie, 22. WHOLOHAN Emma (7. HAARING ’83)
Unused subs: 20. MALAS Narmin
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Central Coast Mariners 1 defeated by SD Raiders 4
For the first time in nine weeks, Central Coast tasted defeat as they fell 4-1 to a clinical SD Raiders outfit as the two top contenders clashed at Tuggerah’s Centre of Excellence.
From the opening whistle, SD Raiders buzzed around the pitch as they looked to complete a season double against the dominant Mariners. Cassidy Chidgey steered them to a 2-nil halftime lead – her first came from a vicious volley from a free-kick then a precison through ball from Gabriela Pace saw her make it 2-nil at the break.
Combination play from Samantha Nagy and Logan Garard created the third for the Raiders, as the latter rounded the keeper to poke home. The Mariners briefly eyed a comeback when Jade Mcatemney pulled one back but the usually prolific home side were blunted this afternoon.
Rounding off a victory that coach Matt Constantini enthused was “massive and controlled against a good side” had Nagy add the icing to the cake. Once again Garard broke clear, had a shot saved by the Mariners keeper right into the path of Nagy to tap in.
Whilst the Mariners faced a rare defeat that has probably sent the Premiership to Sydney Olympic. Dan Barrett has built a side that has firepower across the park, and they should be there when the whips are cracking in a few months.
Marconi Stallions 3 defeated Southern Branch FC 2
Marconi Stallions showed their fighting spirit in a comeback victory, defeating a game Southern Branch FC, 3-2 this afternoon at Marconi Stadium.
Headed to the break though, the Stallions looked like the field when Prince of Penzance strode home to the 2015 Melbourne Cup. Southern Branch FC, a side that has been a punching bag this season, turned prize fighter as Jordan Rean and Tanisha Angelkovski had them up 2-nil.
Coming out from the break, the Stallions players would have Matt Turvey’s words ringing in their ears as the game kicked back off. The talk had the desired effect. Michelle Dalbon struck in the 46th minute to claw one back then Marconi’s top-scorer, Jess Beale brought them back to parity in the 49th.
The wind now in the sails of the home side, they poured forward as they wanted all three points get themselves back in the finals mix. It came late as Dalbon completed her brace, made it 3-2 and a superb comeback from the Stallions.
Western NSW Mariners 3 defeated APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2
Western NSW Mariners have perfected their Jekyll and Hyde act after their impressive 3-nil victory against a battered APIA Leichhardt Tigers in trying conditions in Orange today.
In close to freezing conditions, APIA Leichhardt were up against it from the opening whistle, they weren’t helped by a double salvo from the Mariners as Teegan Courtney and 14-year old wonder kid Anna Hunt put thm ahead 2-nil after five minutes.
The Tigers battled bravely, although it seemed to be be shaping up as the FM style “one of those days” as the usually reliable Ash Palombi and Sarah Urquhart missed a pair of penalties then APIA were rattled by four injuries across the contest.
Credit to Western NSW Mariners – they came out firing after their defeat last week, piled on the pressure on the APIA side from the beginning and finished off the performance, as Jasmin Courtenay rifled home a third puts them back in the hunt.
St George FC 0 defeated by Sydney Olympic FC 2
It was an off colour performance from Sydney Olympic FC as they accounted for St George FC by a pair of goals in a 2-nil success at the historic St George Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A pair of goals in either half from Lieke Bever was enough to continue Olympic FC’s unbeaten run, that now extends their lead at the summit to seven points. Despite their victory it was a performance that didn’t live up to the famous club’s high standards.
For St George FC, yes it was another loss in a season full of them, but coming off their maiden victory last weekend, they didn’t disgrace themselves against one of the powerhouses of the National Premier League 2 Womens competition.
UNSW FC 1 defeated by Inter Lions 5
Inter Lions flexed their muscles in a superb first half performance as they swept aside UNSW FC, 5-1 on a wonderful afternoon of football at Valentine Sports Park to finish off the afternoon fixtures.
All six goals were scored in the first half where Inter Lions ran rampant. Sarah Manderley took the star role as she fired home a hat-trick in a superb performance, as Kirilee Cook and Taylor Mikaelian rounded off an afternoon which has the Lions move into fifth.
Sadly for UNSW FC, it was another miserable afternoon on the field. They suffered a sixth loss in a row and their only solace was Amy Altman scoring their lone goal in the contest – Renato Jelen has to dig deep to try and get his side out of their rut.
Source FNSW website - By Justin Davies