National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens Review – Round 12
The National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition continues to throw up surprises, shocks and importantly, goals as the final unbeaten side fell. It was an important week for the rest of the top five, as the fight for positions intensified and sides position themselves for the run home. Let’s get onto the review!
Match of the Round: Gladesville Ravens 3 drew with APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3
Forget the action happening at Vivid this month, yesterday’s contest between Gladesville Ravens and APIA Leichhardt Tigers had all the action you needed in a 3-3 draw at Christie Park.
The first half might have been APIA’s best of the season. They settled into their fluid, passing football quickly with striker Georgia Bridges put them ahead twice with a pair of fierce strikes. Amy Dahdah added a third in the 61st minute as the Tigers were sailing to three points but three mistakes saw them share the points.
Gladesville underlined in permanent marker the spirit in the side. The Ravens pulled it back to 1-1 in the first half through Zoe Zaczek. A pair of wonder strikes from Carlie Ikonomou in a fiercely contested second half helped them remain level with Sutherland Shire FA at the top.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers settled into their task early in the contest. Logan Garard caused havoc down both flanks, taking on defenders and linking with Georgia Bridges, as the Tigers were on a mission tonight.
Ravens worked their way into the contest with some slick one-two action between Emily Diaz and Kasia Wojtowicz with the former taking the chance, but it flew well wide of the net.
Sensing space to roam, defender Jennifer Bissett worked an opening with swift feet before she slashed over. Next, Ashleigh Palombi unveiled a trick shot free-kick that new signing Amy Dahdah couldn’t control.
After all their slick work, APIA’s opener came from a more direct route. Keeper Courtney Halpin sent a directional ball into the path of Georgia Bridges, the English striker took the ball in her stride before she lashed it home for 1-nil.
Ravens almost had an instant response through their main strike weapon. Emily Diaz got into the clear but slashed the effort wide. They did find an equaliser when Zoe Zaczek arrowed home after some neat work for 1-1.
The joy of the Christie Park faithful was short-lived. Bridges again put the ball in the back of the net. It was a superb dinked finish that made it 2-1 to APIA Leichhardt Tigers, as their bench erupted in celebration.
Ash Palombi had a pair of chances to give APIA some insurance on their lead. Firstly, she was found with a slide rule ball from Bisset but cannoned the shot into Ravens keeper Eri Arikawa. Her second was a curler that flew past the right post, as the half ended 2-1.
The home side tried to find a response in the opening stages of the first half, Jade Pond broke into the box, bent her effort wide of the post.
After her positive work in the first half, Palombi did get herself on the scoresheet on the hour mark. She produced a pinpoint finish that was enjoyed by the traveling APIA supporters, as they were up 3-1, against one of the top sides of the competition.
The third goal didn’t dampen Gladesvilles spirit, they pushed forward to find a route back into the contest. Wojtwowicz flayed wide in the 65th before a moment of magic brought the crowd right into the final quarter of the contest.
It fell to Carlie Ikonomou for Gladesville. The midfielder got into a pocket of space on the left side, opened up for a chip shot that nestled into the bottom right corner of the goal, making it 3-2.
That goal ramped up the intensity of the contest, as the crowd got involved and the two sides fed off the energy produced. Garard almost turned assist-maker when she clipped a ball onto the head of Bridges, the striker couldn’t crane her neck enough for the hat-trick.
Once again, Ikonomou proved herself a woman for the big moments. From a central free-kick, she wound her wand of a foot to produce a John Arne Riise styled set piece that sent the home fans into raptures, 3-3.
Both sides tried for another push to find the late winner that such a contest deserved but neither side were budging, so it was a point shared between two rivals that might have a repeat performance later in the season.
Speaking afterwards, Ravens coach Alex Disciascio heralded the spirit in his side to produce the comeback against APIA and thought his side finished better:
“It was a tough ask. APIA were playing well, had the better of us but credit to us, we finished well. I thought we were finishing the better and could’ve overran them in the end. I thought our midfielders were superb tonight especially [Carlie] Ikonomou with a wonderful finish as they helped out the strikers.” said the Ravens coach.
“The competition has become wide open with the recent results. Now, we’ll see if things continue this way or whether there will be a breakaway from the top few sides.” finished Disciascio.
For Matthew Constantini, the APIA coach, the draw was a bitter pill to swallow after his side had produced a fabulous display but they dust themselves off for another big contest:
“I thought we got it tactically spot on tonight. It is hard to play against a direct side that doesn’t play much football. Credit to them, they battled hard and it took two world class strikes to beat [Courtney] Halpin tonight. I was happy with how we played.”
“Football is an unforgiving game though. It is two points lost, I know the character is our side is that the girls won’t feel sorry for themselves, and now, will move onto a big contest against Sutherland Shire FA next weekend.” finished Constantini.
Sunday 26 May 2019
Christie Park, Macquarie Park
Referee: Peter Smith
Assistant Referees: A. Drummond & A. Galic
Gladesville Ravens 3 (Ikonomou ‘69, ‘77, Zaczek ‘23)
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 (Bridges ‘21, ‘27, Palombi ‘61)
Gladesville Ravens: 1. ARIKAWA Eri, 3. SMITH Ashleigh, 4. LIDBETTER Eleanor 5. FISHER Alanna, 6. IKONOMOU Carlie, 7. DIAZ Emily (13. VITEK ‘55), 8. ZACZEK Zoe, 10. KASHIMA Yume, 11. WOJTOWICZ Kasia, 23. GESTIER Hannah, 26. POND Jade
Unused subs: 14. KINCHINGTON Annabelle, 19. GOLDSMITH Chloe, 24. SEETO Anja
Yellow cards: Zaczek
Red cards: nil
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 1. HALPIN Courtney, 2. BENNETT Jennifer, 3. BISSETT Jennifer, 6. GILFEDDER Lucy, 9. GARARD Logan, 11. PALOMBI Ashleigh (19. OSMAN ‘84), 13. URQUHART Sarah (7. CANINI ‘80), 14. WATTS Rebecca, 18. FALLAH Jessica (15. CARMICHAEL ‘54), 20. DAHDAH Amy, 24. BRIDGES Georgia
Unused subs: 5. CICCO Olivia, 10. URKANCI Filiz
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Western NSW Mariners 2 defeated by Central Coast Mariners 6
In the battle of the Mariners, it was Central Coast that took bragging rights against Western NSW with a 6-2 success at Sir Jack Brabham Park in the early kick-off this weekend.
The Central Coast side were made to work for the points though. Western NSW Mariners had a lead at the half-time break with a brace of goals to Poorsha Mcphillamy while Gabrielle Blanch pulled one back for the visitors.
In the second half, it was one-way traffic. Danielle Wise continued her good scoring form with a hat-trick alongside goals from midfielder Jade Mcatemney and youngster Mikala Tucker to round off their fourth straight victory.
UNSW FC 6 defeated Inter Lions 1
The sweet taste of victory has returned to UNSW FC. The Students recorded a 6-1 thumping of Inter Lions this afternoon at Seymour Shaw.
Ironically, the last time UNSW FC had success was against Inter Lions on the opening day of the season. The Students were confident and piled on the goals. Alexandra O’Rourke took her tally to five for the current season with her hat-trick.
Captain Hayley Marshall, Tahlia Hanslow and Amy Altman added the three other scores on an afternoon that UNSW FC coach Alex Nolan enjoyed much more. Nolan said it “felt much more like the side from the opening month of the season, as he started to regain some of the injured brigade back.”
For Inter Lions, their high from their maiden victory only lasted a week. They were unable to repeat the dose against one of their foes at the bottom of the ladder. Inter did find a consolation goal which made it six straight games they have found the back of the net.
Sutherland Shire FA 3 defeated by Marconi Stallions 4
The last undefeated side falls. Sutherland Shire FA were on the losing side of a seven-goal contest, 4-3, against Marconi Stallions at Harrie Denning Centre today.
Whilst their undefeated streak is now snapped, Sutherland Shire FA went down swinging. Sutherland FA trailed 2-nil at the break, thanks to Stallions two goalscoring aces – Ceyda Cambaz and Jasmin Courtenay but fought back in a huge second half.
The second half featured five goals where Courtenay completed her brace and Tasmin Buchanan scored Marconi’s fourth goal. Sutherland FA found the net through Nicole Besz, Morgan Maxwell and Maddison Farmer in a wild half that left those at Harrie Denning Centre breathless.
Marconi Stallions needed to find a scalp to cement themselves right in the fight for the silverware later in the season. Today was that, Matt Turvey’s side kept their wonderful run alive and brought the circle of parity to completion for National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens.
Southern Branch FC 1 defeated by SD Raiders FC 2
SD Raiders FC got themselves back on track, taking three points back from Nowra in a 2-1 result against a gallant Southern Branch FC side this afternoon.
Southern Branch FC showed they weren’t going to be pushed around by the finals chasing side, the home side opened up the scoring in the 3rd minute to get the crowd into the contest early. That was an advantage Southern Branch would hold into the half-time break.
The Raiders showed the famed spirit that saw them overhaul sides last season, came to the fore. The visitors struck twice in the second half to secure a much-needed three points, that keeps them within touching distance of the top five.
St George FC 0 defeated by Nepean FC 4
Nepean FC kept on their winning ways as they traveled down to St George stadium, returned with points after they knocked off St George FC, 4-nil on Sunday night.
The fifth placed side made light work of a St George FC side that has troubled sides in recent weeks. Coach Alan Tasses gave appearances to both new signings – Annie Halls and Madison McComasky – the latter introduced herself in style with a 35-yard bomb.
Tasses was much more pleased with the side’s performance with Halls controlling the middle of the field. On the scoresheet, Stefanie Trovato remained a regular fixture with her goal, as winger Brittany Pelle and Alix Waddell rounded off the result.
That result keeps Nepean FC tied in fourth with Marconi, with four straight victories. The draws that plagued them earlier this season have turned into victories and Nepean FC are a dark horse for the top five.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)
Source FNSW website