NPL 2 NSW Women’s – Round 9 Review

Another round is in the book – it was a week filled with goals! 29 to be exact as the top two continue to flourish and the rest of the top five motor along. For the rest, they are still trying to play catch-up but there is plenty of time left in the season. Let’s get onto the review!

Match of the Round: APIA Leichhardt Tigers 5 defeated Central Coast Mariners 0

APIA Leichardt Tigers weren’t at their sublime best but did enough to secure a 5-nil victory against a gallant Central Coast Mariners side, on a crisp night at Lambert Park.

The Tigers opened the scoring through sharpshooter Georgia Bridges, but were under the pump for much of the first half with goalkeeper Courtney Halpin making some key saves. In the second, the home side found their groove.

Ash Palombi curled home a brace with a goal of the season contender from Carla Canini and substitute Nicole Carmichael rounded off a huge victory for APIA.

For Mariners, they pressed the Tigers well in the first half and had their share of chances. The legs started to tire for Dan Barrett’s side and they couldn’t replicate their form in the second half and were punished by APIA.

Aiming to keep their winning run going, APIA Leichhardt Tigers monopolized the ball in the opening few minutes. Georgia Bridges was sent on goal in the sixth before she shot wide.

Mariners responded with a shot from range that tested APIA keeper Courtney Halpin. The custodian was kept busy by the visitors in the first half with some tough efforts that she saved well.

APIA would find the opening goal in the seventh minute. Some sublime build-up from Rebecca Watt and Georgia Bridges sent Kerrie Ryan in on goal, slotting home the goal for 1-nil.

Responding to the opener, Mariners upped their pressing and caused some issues for the APIA defense. From their pressure they created a series of chances that were denied by Halpin, as the home side took their slender lead into the break.

Matt Constantini made a few tweaks at the break for APIA, and they came out much more like the side that has swept through the competition in recent weeks. Ryan had a pair of chances over the dead ball – the first went high then the second found the head of Ash Palombi, the striker scooped over.

Mariners were dangerous from their own set pieces. A corner pinballed around the box before it was cleared then had a shot that was deflected out.

Making up for her earlier missed chance, Ash Palombi made it 2-nil for APIA. The prolific goal scorer curled the ball from the edge of the area into the left side of the net, giving the home side some breathing space.

Not content to sit on their advantage, Bridges forced Mariners keeper Rhiannon Hines into a low save then Jennifer Bennett almost cut a ball home on the counter as the home side kept pushing.

APIA’s third goal was a goal of the season contender. Pushing out from a set piece, the ball fell right for Carla Canini. She only had a single thought in her mind, lashed the ball with her boot, watched it fly into the net for 3-nil.

The Tigers sensed blood, headed into the late stages, piled up the chances. Lucy Gilfedder had a pair of headers flash wide, Logan Garard burst into the box with a low shot that was denied by Hines.

Substitute Nicole Carmichael collected the Tigers fourth in the 85th minute. Palombi showed a deft touch with her pass into the path of Carmichael, the striker strode confidently into the box, finished well, 4-nil.

The contest was lost but Mariners kept pressing for a consolation. Danielle Wise and Kate Duffy combined for the latter to clip wide. Duffy was an energetic substitute as she had an earlier shot saved well.

Putting the icing on the three-point cake, Palombi added the fifth. It was another curler from the striker which sparked some wild celebration as APIA Leichhardt Tigers made it eight games unbeaten, and moved into third position.

Speaking afterwards, APIA coach Matthew Constantini reflected on the character of his side after a low for their standards first half before they kicked into gear in a dominant second half:

“They came out all guns blazing in the first half, so I knew we needed to ride the wave. We defended well in the first half and [Courtney] Halpin made some good saves which is what keepers are there for to keep us ahead.” said Constantini.

“We tweaked a few things in the second half, it seemed to work well. The girls executed the plan and we got the rewards. We’re only at around 55% but the character in this group is wonderful. Winning is a habit and I think we’ve started to find that habit.” finished the APIA boss.

For Mariners boss, Dan Barrett he lamented that his side never replicated their effort from the first half once they came out from the break but praised APIA for their clinical nature in front of goal:

“I think credit needs to go to the APIA keeper, she made some quality saves to deny us an equaliser. Second half they came out, we didn’t. I think we needed to match our first half in the second. Credit to APIA though, they kept us out and took the points.” said Barrett.

Match Stats

Sunday 5 May 2018 – Lambert Park, Marion

Referee: E. Kocbek

Assistant Referees: A. Johnson & I. Cibri

APIA Leichhardt Tigers 5 (Ryan ‘9, Palombi ‘54, ‘91, Canini ‘69, Carmichael ‘85)

Central Coast Mariners 0

APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: 1. HALPIN Courtney, 2. BENNETT Jennifer, 3. BISSETT Jennifer 4. BOSNICH Lara (13. URQUHART ‘45+5), 6. GILFEDDER Lucy, 7. CANINI Carla, 9. GARARD Logan, 11. PALOMBI Ashleigh, 14. WATTS Rebecca (18. FALLAH ‘71), 17. RYAN Kerrie, 24. BRIDGES Georgia (15. CARMICHAEL ‘78)

Unused subs: 40. GRIMBILOS Stephanie 10. URKANCI Filiz

Yellow cards: nil

Red cards: nil

Central Coast Mariners FC: 1. HINES Rhiannon, 2. BLANCH Gabrielle, 3. OLIVEIRA Katie (22. COLLINS ‘83), 4. SNAPE Iona (6. DUFFY ‘72), 8. WISE Danielle, 9. EYERS Haylie, 10. MCATAMNEY Jade, 11. SHORTER Elizabeth, 12. MURPHY Kaitlin, 21. TUCKER Mikala, 27. AUDDINO Indianna (23. DRYSDALE ‘53)

Unused subs: 50. MAH Laura 28. CARMODY Kiah

Yellow cards: Blanch

Red cards: nil

SD Raiders FC 0 drew with Western NSW Mariners 0

SD Raiders FC and Western NSW Mariners were forced to share the points in a 0-0 stalemate on Sunday afternoon at Ernie Smith Reserve.

The contest was willing and hard fought but both sides cancelled each other out in front of goal. SD Raiders edged the chances in front of the goal, as they worked the ball into the right spaces but couldn’t find that killer ball to settle the contest.

Mariners will take a point after their recent struggles which moves them to 12 points. SD Raiders remain the top five, sat in fifth position as they responded well to their defeat to Gladesville Ravens last weekend.

Southern Branch FC 0 defeated by Nepean FC 2

Back-to-back victories has moved Nepean FC within a point of the top five, after their 2-nil success against Southern Branch FC at South Nowra Football Complex today.

Imogen Lane picked up both goals for Nepean FC with a strike in either half as the young striker got herself running for the season. Nepean FC continued their trend of dominant football but couldn’t pile on further goals to help their goal difference, denied by home keeper Jaime Griffin.

After their run of turning victories into draws, Nepean FC coach Alan Tasses was pleased to record back-to-back victories which puts them right on the edge of the top five. Southern Branch FC worked hard but need to rediscover their form to make Nowra a fortress coming into the second half of the season.

Sutherland Shire FA 6 defeated Inter Lions 3

It rained goals down on the Shire, as Sutherland Shire FA kept their run going in a 6-3 result against a game Inter Lions side at Harrie Denning Centre on Sunday afternoon.

The first half set the tone for the open contest with five goals netted between the two sides. Maddison Farmer fired home a brace for Sutherland Shire FA with Morgan Maxwell scoring the other. Inter Lions showed they weren’t going be pushed over with a Madeline Fernando brace making it 3-2 at the break.

Shire FA took over the contest in the second half. Farmer completed her hat-trick while Nicole Besz and Brittany Christie completed the scoresheet for the home side, as they continue their scoring form. Lions added a third goal for themselves to make it their best goal return of the season.

Dragan Blazevic was delighted to make it eight straight victories but the Shire FA coach conceded that today wasn’t the best performance from the home side. They were pushed by an Inter side improving each week and making themselves a nuisance for the competition.

St George FC 2 defeated by Marconi Stallions 7

Marconi Stallions were made to work for the victory but the visitors prevailed 7-2 in a nine-goal contest against St George tonight at St George Stadium.

The first half was a double act for the ages. Jasmin Courtenay for Marconi Stallions took the headlines with her first half hat-trick whilst for the home side, Yadira Renfigo, a former Golden Boot, netted a brace for 3-2 at the break.

Much of the second half was a tight tussle but in the final quarter of the contest, Marconi went on a scoring spree. Courtenay added another to make it four for the night and further her case for the Golden Boot this season.

Demelza Howard, Michelle Dalbon, Jessica Beale and Sarah Polinsky all found the back of the net from the 80th minute forward. That makes it the second time they have put more than seven past an opponent this season, as the Stallions start to find their gallop.

Gladesville Ravens 4 defeated UNSW FC 0

Gladesville Ravens maintain their lead at the top of the NPL2 NSW Womens competition after a professional 4-nil result against UNSW FC tonight at Christie Park.

The home side came out of the blocks quickly, as they raced into a 3-nil lead at the break. Midfielder Yume Kashima continued her strong form with the opener before Emily Diaz netted a brace to give the home side a comfortable lead.

Diaz rounded off her hat-trick in the second half with the only goal for Gladesville Ravens. The result is their eighth victory of the season, which has them still nudged ahead of the chasing Sutherland Shire FA at the top of the ladder.

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)

Source FNSW website