The National Premier Leagues 2 Women’s competition is being squeezed tighter than the chasing pack of the Tour De France besides Sydney Olympic FC, the rest of the top seven are fighting for four spots in the finals.
So with the trains no longer delayed, let’s get onto the review!
Match of the Round: SD Raiders vs Nepean FC
A late Kiara Coscia strike snatched a point for SD Raiders in a 1-1 draw with a determined Nepean FC on a frosty night at Ernie Smith Reserve Sunday night.
For a contest that never reached great heights, both teams scrapped hard and Nepean FC looked to have claimed another huge scalp when Bianca Galayini dinked an effort over Raiders substitute keeper, Stephanie Grimbilos but their chance to steal fifth position was denied late.
Young super sub Kiara Coscia was on the spot to tap home in the 79th minute that saw the two sides share the points and frustrate both managers as they look to consolidate their position headed into the final three weeks now.
The temperature continued to drop closer to kick-off but the contest warmed up quickly as the two sides got into their work. SD Raiders looked to play out from the back, which Nepean FC countered with a high press that caused the first effort.
Stefanie Trovato forced SD Raiders keeper Regan Hill into an error but the chance fell to her wrong foot, so the shot fell harmlessly wide as the Raiders blushes were saved.
Next Logan Garard picked the pocket of the Nepean defense. The striker used her pace to blow past her defender then fired an effort that needed to be saved. The resulted corner ended with Elizabeth O’Reilly thrashing an effort wide as the game opened up.
Kasia Wojtowicz showed her pace as SD Raiders started to find their rhythm. She started a movement down the left, taking on her defender before the mid-season signing fizzed an effort just past the right post.
The game needed some inspiration. Bianca Galayini almost provided some, with a slalom run through the Raiders midfield but her final touch deserted her as the effort arrowed wide which took the sides to half-time locked at 0-0.
Raiders coach Matt Constanti switched up his goalkeepers at the break, although it energised the visitors. Both Galayini and Trovato had sighters on goal for Nepean FC that put the Raiders on notice for the game’s first goal.
It would arrive eventually, as once again Galayini’s energy paid off. Nepean’s press forced an error from the Raiders, which the attacking midfielder summed up well, as she eyed Stephanie Grimbilos out of position, and chipped it in for 1-nil.
Constantini send on more fresh troops to recover the contest. It would prove a masterstroke, as Kiara Coscia found herself in the right spot to pounce on a spill from Nepean FC’s Narmin Malas then tap home for 1-1.
SD Raiders thought they might have stolen the contest late in the piece, as O’Reilly went down in the box but the referee waved play on, so the two sides had to settle with a point each.
A reflective Alan Tasses, was happy to see the spirit from his Nepean FC side and the solid return of points in their toughest stretch of the second half of the season.
“It was a little frustrating. The girls battled well yet again for the third week in a row. In the first round this stretch [Mariners, APIA and SD Raiders] we took home zero points. This time we ended up 5 points, and we’re still in the battle,”
“It was like a semi-final tonight. Two sides that knew what was at stake, so didn’t want to lose. Sadly, we let it go with five minutes to go but we’ll continue to fight.” finished Tasses.
For Matt Constantini on the SD Raiders bench, he was pleased with some of the work in the build-up but with the high-profile absences, the Raiders need to make the chances stick.
“We had our moments where we built up well but it was a mistake that cost us. Credit to the girls, they showed magnificent character to find the goal and take a point tonight,”
“We had a 17-year old score a goal tonight which will do wonders for her confidence in only her season first grade start. Hopefully she might be our answer to the goal-scoring but I thought tonight had some positives in the end.” finished Constantini.
Sunday 15 July 2018
Ernie Smith Reserve, Moorebank
Referee: Mario Tedone
Assistant Referees: Berat Yaman & Michdas Cibri
SD Raiders 1 (Coscia ‘79)
Nepean FC 1 (Galayini ‘64)
SD Raiders: 4. GENC Yasemin (20. DENNIS ‘88), 6. SHERMAN Morgan, 7. FALLAH Jessica (32. KROPE ‘75), 9. GARARD Logan, 10. PACE Gabriela, 11. WOJTOWICZ Kasia (45. COSCIA ‘56), 12. BUTLER Kathleen, 14. HAMILTON Sophia (18. SKINNER ‘56), 16. DAVEY Hannah-Rose, 99. HILL Regan (19. GRIMBILOS ‘45)
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Nepean FC: 3. DAVIDSON Aisling, 5. HALLS Annie, 6. HANSEN Janine, 9. PELLE Britney, 10. GALAYINI Bianca (14. CONNELL ‘75), 12. WADDELL Alix (8. LANE ‘69), 13. VASSALLO Desiree, 18. CHAMBERLIN Grace, 20. MALAS Nermin, 21. TROVATO Stefanie (7. HAARING ‘81), 22. WHOLOHAN Emma
Subs not used: 16. BRIEN Bridget 24. POTTER Bridgette
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Western NSW Mariners 1 defeated by Sydney Olympic FC 2
In a rare early afternoon kick-off Sydney Olympic FC did enough to secure a close 2-1 against a valiant Western NSW Mariners side and keep the streak alive for another week.
Kicking off at 1pm, Olympic were made to work against an industrious Western NSW Mariners side. They only took the lead from an unfortunate own goal from the hosts that took them to a 1-nil lead going into the break.
There was much more action in the second half as Lieke De Bever slotted home a second for the visitors before Brydie Comiskey gave Olympic some late food for thought as the Mariners player clawed one back to 2-1.
Olympic were able to hold out for the rest of the 90 minutes to take their tally past the half century for the season, while the Mariners are mostly, out of the finals running but look to finish an up and down season on a high.
Gladesville Ravens 4 defeated Southern Branch FC 1
The flip-flopping of fifth position continues, as Gladesville wrest back control with dominant 4-1 victory against a vibrant Southern Branch FC, on a rare afternoon kick-off at Christie Park.
Gladesville were in firm control across the whole contest. Emily Diaz their main strike weapon was back to her destructive best, with a hat-trick, taking her tally for the season to 10, the first to do so for the Ravens.
Annalise Schiraldi rounded out the scoring on a pivotal game for the Ravens whilst Jordan Rean found a consolation for the visitors.
After their thrashing last week, the Ravens responded perfectly and now are in the box seat for fifth headed into the final three rounds.
Central Coast Mariners 5 defeated Inter Lions 0
Shaking off their recent slump, Central Coast put in a five-star performance in a 5-nil thumping over Inter Lions at IFS.
Candice Phelan stole the show on the Coast like she has all season. A brilliant four-goal performance from the prolific Phelan helped the Mariners recover from their two-week losing streak to put some distance between themselves and third place.
Kirby Litterick also found the net in a performance that Mariners coach Dan Barrett hailed as “a great team effort to bounce back from defeats, as the young players stepped up and Candice was back to her best.”
For Inter Lions, their quest for finals football has ended in a whimper. They sit back in eighth position and now, sit seven points out of the race, so have raced the most dangerous phrase in sport – mathematical chances.
St George FC 3 defeated UNSW FC 1
The Saints were all singing off their same hymn sheet as they produced a magnificent comeback to record a 3-1 victory against a disappointed UNSW FC under the bright sunshine at St George stadium.
Coming from their massive victory last weekend, UNSW settled into their groove early. Hat-trick hero Amy Altman fired home the opener to make it 1-nil. St George roared back to level before the break through Lara Nicholls sixth goal of the season.
Nicholls added her seventh in the second half to hand the Saints the lead before Helen Orr slotted home a third to make it comfortable for the hosts. They rode out the rest of the contest in a workman-like state to make it double digits for the season.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 defeated Marconi Stallions 1
For a night cap on a superb round of NPL2 Womens action, APIA Leichhardt Tigers continued their resurgence with a 3-1 success against a tough Marconi Stallions side under the Lambert Park lights.
The usually reliable Lucy Gilfedder had a moment she rather forget. The APIA midfielder lost the ball in a critical spot which allowed Marconi to capitalise on the opportunity, making it 1-nil. Her team-mates definitely lifted after that, firing home twice in the remaining time to lead 2-1 at the break.
Christina Ferreyra and Eliana Vatcky were the goal scorers in that first half. The latter with what spectators described as one of the prime contenders for goal of the season, as APIA were in firm control of the contest.
Gilfedder redeemed herself in the 61st minute, as she completed the victory for the Tigers. It was a vital three points that helped in closing the gap for third place SD Raiders, and steadied the ship after a shaky few weeks for the debutants in National Premier Leagues 2 Womens.
Source FNSW website - By Justin Davies