Round 1 Review – NPL 2 NSW Women’s

National Premier League 2 NSW Womens Review – Round 1

Welcome back to the National Premier League 2 NSW Women’s competition!

The league returned with a bang, six cracking contests that played out across the sun-drenched fields in New South Wales. It was topped off by a wonderful Match of the Round between APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Gladesville Ravens.

Match of the Round: APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 defeated by Gladesville Ravens 2

Gladesville Ravens rounded off a fabulous first weekend of football, as they shocked APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2-1 in the first leg of the Tigers Festival of Football at Lambert Park Sunday afternoon.

Much was made of the Ravens ambitions this season, although Sunday put a big rubber stamp to that. Tenacious in their defence, they took their chances well. Amelia Vitek opened the scoring in the fourth before Emily Diaz volleyed her way home, the winner in the 64th as they stunned one of the Premiership favourites.

Regarding APIA, it was a disjointed performance. Their lone goal came from Kerrie Ryan from the spot in the sixth minute, but their usual fluid football was disrupted by the Ravens. Coach Matthew Constantini remained calm though, as Premierships aren’t decided in the first week.

Gladesville quickly turned their good fortune into a goal. Amelia Vitek provided the pressure for the APIA goalkeeper, with Courtney Halpin forcing her into a turnover which the Ravens attacker duly put into the net. 1-nil to the Ravens.

Some of the best qualities of a champion team is their ability to dust themselves off. APIA did so when they were awarded a spot kick in the sixth minute. Kerrie Ryan stepped up, nestled the ball in the left corner, 1-1 and the game was deadlocked again.

Looking to take back the reigns, APIA almost crafted a precise offside trap from a free-kick. The ball looped over for Bridges to attack, but the striker had gone a step early and was judged offside.

Again, Bridges was involved in APIA’s best work. She was played through with a wonderful through ball, weighed up the options before squaring to Chidgey, the striker offloaded it before the stout Ravens defense cleared.

For much of last season, Emily Diaz was the Ravens best attacking outlet. In a tense contest, she showed why as the attacker turned smartly to create space before she unleashed a shot that whistled wide of the post.

Late in the half, as the chances dried up in the heat. APIA had a chance from a wicked shot from Bridges but the inventive back heel was saved easily. For Gladesville, Kasia Wojtowicz glanced a header wide as the game remained 1-1 at half-time.

The second half of the match took time to get going, as the best chance fell to Ravens goalscorer Vitek, whose powerful shot was saved by the knees of Halpin.

APIA again looked for the set piece to take the lead. Another lofted free-kick saw both Chidgey and Bridges attack the ball. It fell kindly to the latter, who lashed home before the raised flag curtailed the Tigers celebrations.

On a day designed for grit rather than glamour, Emily Diaz snatched the lead for the Ravens. She bullocked her way past a pair of APIA defenders, before she flicked the ball past Halpin, making it 2-1 to a joyous Gladesville bench.

Constantini wrung the changes to find a route back into the contest. APIA’s best chance came from a transition. Jessica Fallah started it with an energetic run down the wing, curved it to Garard who linked with Chidgey before her cross was nodded wide by Rebecca Watt.

Chidgey featured again in the 79th minute. She poked the ball past Ravens shot stopper Eri Arikawa, but a lunging block from the retreated defense kept her effort out. Late on, Nicole Carmichael flashed a header wide as a frustrated afternoon for APIA ended in defeat.

Afterwards a jubilant Albert Disciascio in the Ravens dugout saw this victory as a key marker in how Ravens can progress this season.

“Every club wants to start the season on the right note. We showed today, we can match it with the big guns of this competition. Now, we know what we’re capable of and can take that into the rest of the season.”

Conversely, APIA coach Matthew Constantini was disappointed in the loss, but remained reserved in taking too much out of the result, especially in round one.

“It was frustrating. We didn’t execute our game plan how we wanted, and we rolled out the red carpet for their two goals. I think we were a bit off today, credit to them.”

“I think it’s a credit to our status as a competition heavyweight to see them celebrating the win like a Grand Final. Competitions aren’t won in the first week though, so we’ll dust ourselves off for next week.”

Match Stats

Sunday 10th March 2019

Lambert Park

Referee: N. Backo

Assistant Referees: J. Park & N. Kow

APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 (Ryan ‘6)

Gladesville Ravens 2 (Vitek ‘4, Diaz ‘64)

APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 1. HALPIN Courtney, 2. BENNETT Jennifer, 4. BOSNICH Lara (13. URQUHART ‘68), 6. GILFEDDER Lucy, 7. CANINI Carla (15. CARMICHAEL ‘77), 8. CHIDGEY Cassidy, 9. GARARD Logan, 11. PALOMBI Ashleigh, 17. RYAN Kerrie, 18. FALLAH Jessica, 24. BRIDGES Georgia (14. WATTS ‘63)

Unused subs: 5. CICCO Olivia, 40. GRIMBILOS Stephanie

Yellow cards: Palombi

Red cards: nil

Gladesville Ravens: 1. ARIKAWA Eri, 2. TAYLOR Eloise, 3. SMITH Ashleigh, 4. LIDBETTER Eleanor, 5. FISHER Alanna (23. GESTIER ‘60), 6. IKONOMOU Carlie (14. KINCHINGTON ‘80), 7. DIAZ Emily, 8. ZACZEK Zoe, 9. SCHIRALDI Annalise (10. KASHIMA ‘20), 11. WOJTOWICZ Kasia (28. MOORE ‘70), 13. VITEK Amelia (12. DONALDSON ‘60)

Unused subs: none

Yellow cards: Ikonomou

Red cards: nil

Central Coast Mariners 3 defeated Western NSW Mariners 0

In the first Mariners derby of the season, Central Coast were victorious as they blitzed Western NSW Mariners 3-nil in picturesque conditions out at Pluim Park today.

Missing a few of their key starters, youngster Indianna Auddino brought the house down with her sublime hat-trick. She opened the scoring on starting debut in the 18th minute with calm finish then doubled the dose before half-time to send the home side into the sheds up 2-nil.

Auddino completed her hat-trick in the 47th minute to give the yellow-and-navy bragging rights over their sister club. Speaking afterwards coach Dan Barrett praised the young teams effort despite missing their big guns, and banked their first three points of the season.

Nepean FC 3 defeated St George FC 1

A confident and composed Nepean FC dispatched St George FC 3-1 at Cook Park, as their proclamation to move into the top three got the side off to a fantastic start.

In a game that was affected by the warm conditions in Sydney, Nepean FC weren’t at their fluid best but did enough to secure the victory. Stefanie Trovato got her season running with a well-taken goal in the first half.

Britney Pelle and Alix Waddell both added goals in a game where Nepean coach Alan Tasses admitted their combinations took time to come together. “I’m proud of the girls effort in the heat and our two signings [Dimitie Whiteman and Lauren Gaul] had good debut showings.”

For St George FC, Yadira Renfigo swept home a goal as the Saints get their season off in a losing fashion, but they have their home opener next weekend to repent against Central Coast Mariners.

Marconi Stallions 1 defeated by Sutherland Shire FA 7

Sutherland Shire FA reintroduced themselves in style, demolishing Marconi Stallions 7-1 on Sunday afternoon at Marconi Stadium in warm conditions.

The visitors edged the first half, they scored twice through x and y which saw them through to the break with a 2-1 advantage.

Chomping at the bit to get back into the top division, Sutherland Shire FA piled on five goals in the second half through x, y and z as they take pole position in the nascent NPL2 NSW Womens table after one weekend.

Stallions captain Hannah Voloder scored the only goal for the Stallions in the first half, clawing one back to send it to the break, 2-1 on a downbeat afternoon for the home side.

Southern Branch FC 0 defeated by SD Raiders FC 4

It was a long but fruitful trip to Nowra for SD Raiders FC, they triumphed 4-nil over Southern Branch FC at South Nowra Football Complex on a bright Sunday afternoon.

Tara Baudana got the only goal in a cagey first-half which sent SD Raiders into the break ahead. It was one-way traffic in the second half, as the visitors piled on three goals to take the three points back up the highway.

Those efforts came from Morgan Sherman, who struck twice then a strike from Hannah-Rose Davey rounded off the scoring. SD Raiders aim to better their semi-final finish to 2018. With the wind in their sails, the side will look to continue their winning streak with their home opener to come next week.

Inter Lions 0 defeated by UNSW FC 2

The Students aced their first assignment as they dealt Inter Lions a 2-nil defeat on Sunday afternoon at Valentine Sports Park, in heated conditions.

Goals to captain Hayley Marshall and Alexandra O’Rourke were enough to give UNSW FC all three points. The result sees the Students open up consecutive seasons with Round 1 victories as Alex Nolan’s charges chase a top five finish this season.

Nolan was buoyed by the result: “We dominated the possession and chances, controlling the contest on what were tough conditions today. It was very hot out there and the girls survived it well and got the result they deserved.”

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)

Source FNSW website