Arrive Alive NSW Women?s Premier League Round 13 Review


The borefest at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night or the round of Arrive Alive NSW Women?s Premier League matches? The latter won by a country mile! We don?t need Harry, we?ve got Harriet!
An intriguing round of results. The gap between the two leading sides has closed whilst the margin between fourth and fifth has stretched. The plot has most certainly thickened!
Our Match of the day coverage this week was from Marconi Stadium where Mauro Tacco?s Stallions clashed with Michael Michael?s Sutherland Sharks. The two sides are sitting at opposite ends of the table but The Sharks are always competitive so this promised to be a hard fought affair.
From the opening whistle by referee Kingsley Marconi dominated this match. They appeared keen to make a positive impression on everyone present, leaving The Sharks struggling to stay in the game. This dominance was converted into pay dirt in only the 7th minute when Marconi?s Jodie Bain made a stylish, zigzagging run. Bain laid the ball back to Fab Perfilio whose shot was deflected back to the feet of Bain who calmly tapped away the opportunity to put her side up 1-0.
Things were looking very ominous for Sutherland as Marconi maintained their control of the game. The Stallions were creating plenty of opportunities, including shots by both Sam Muscat and Brooke Starrett. However, the finishing left something to be desired with balls flying over cross bars, wide of goal or straight to the Sharks keeper, Carly Dreves.
Lisa Gatt made a nice run for The Stallions before squaring the ball up for Nicole Kimber but Kimber mishit the shot over the bar. This was followed in the 23rd minute by a bustling Trudy Camilleri winning the ball on the edge of The Sharks area before shooting wide.
In the 27th minute Lisa Gatt shimmied through the defence, shooting low to the keeper?s right. Keeper Dreves blocked the shot but could not control the ball. One of her defenders tripped over as she went for the deflection leaving Trudy Camilleri a virtual tap in which the unfortunate Trudy spooned over the bar! Within moments Sam Muscat dribbled her way through but, once again, the shot was off target.
It took until the 29th minute before The Sharks made their first meaningful raid. Katherine Pryer served up a nice ball for Shellee Gibson who broke away down the right flank. Her centre to the goal mouth was safely held, however, by a leaping Marconi keeper Fiona Ryan. This flurry was continued when the busy Maggie Elhusseini laid a ball back to Pryer. Her high, floated cross was met by Jenai Shearer who had made a great run off the ball to find herself free inside The Stallions box. However her header at goal lacked control, flying off to the left of goal.
The Sharks also brought a dazzling save from Fiona Ryan with a shot from distance which the Marconi keeper tipped over the bar. The resulting corner was poorly handled by The Stallions defence but Sutherland failed to take advantage.
In the 35th minute Camilleri burst onto a through ball before knocking the ball back to Kimber. Once again the Marconi shot was wide of goal. Camilleri was causing havoc for The Stallions with the Sutherland defence unable to close her down. Unfortunately her fine work wasn?t resulting in the number of goals it deserved!
In the 44th minute Fab Perfilio picked up a yellow card for dissent. Probably just a touch of frustration from Fab who was wondering why the scoreboard still only showed Marconi up by only one goal! Right on half time Shellee Gibson had a great opportunity for The Sharks when she ran down a nice through ball. As Gibson strode into scoring range keeper Ryan advanced. Gibson hit her shot well but it sailed to the left of the post. The chance was gone and the sides went to oranges with The Stallions holding a 1-0 lead.
The second half greatly resembled the first with Marconi holding all the aces. Starrett and Perfilio both tested the keeper in the opening minutes. The Sharks put together a rare exchange of passes between Elhusseini, Gibson and Holder but this failed to lead to a shot on goal. This was a short lived burst though with Muscat soon after making a fine run for The Stallions before putting a tame shot at goal straight to the keeper.
Sharks Coach Michael then went to the bench, substituting Jenai Shearer with Cara Blake.
In the 63rd minute Muscat broke between a host of defenders. Despite the attentions of three opponents Muscat works the ball into the box. The Sharks defenders appeared mesmerised, failing to close Muscat down and presenting her with a comfortable tap in which had to break the spirit of the most hardened Sharks followers. At 2-0 up Marconi looked capable of winning by a cricket score. Camilleri continued to create nightmares for The Sharks defenders but her shots on goal just couldn?t find the back of the net. Sharks keeper Dreves was also doing her best to keep The Stallions at bay.
In the 68th minute though Muscat, yet again dashed into the Sharks area. Her shot/cross flew across the face of goal finding the ever present Camilleri at the far post to tap away the home team?s third goal. A well deserved goal for one of The Stallions best.
At this point Marconi Coach decided to give Lisa Gatt an early mark, replacing her with Priscilla O?Riordan.
Sam Muscat was having a fine game for Marconi, combining with Mel Links to create yet another scoring chance. Somehow though, The Stallions were denied a fourth goal. From this point on the game seemed to go into a low motion mode. Both coaches took the opportunity to use all the majority of their bench players. The final moments saw Marconi continuing to press forward but no addition to the scoreline. Full time saw The Stallions run out 3-0 winners.
Sharks Coach Michael Michael was as disappointed as I?ve ever seen him. He described his team?s effort as ?disgraceful?. He said that his girls needed to remain positive and build towards next season. They had allowed Marconi to run at them and dominate the game. Michael could offer no excuses.
Mauro Tacco, on the other hand, was very happy with the performance of his girls. Training had been greatly disrupted by the weather in recent weeks, he stated, but his girls had risen to the occasion. Tacco was impressed with his side?s composure, discipline and hunger. Whilst he agreed that the final margin should have been even greater in his side?s favour Tacco was a happy coach! He also praised the efforts of the three Grade 20 players who were part of the squad.
This was a strong effort by the Marconi girls. Whilst their opponents haven?t had a lot of success in 2008 they?ve always been competitive. Today, however, The Stallions embarrassed The Sharks by completely dominating the game.
Marconi Stallions 3 (J.Bain, S.Muscat, T.Camilleri)
Sutherland Sharks 0
Elsewhere the big clash between Manly United FC and NWS Koalas finished in a 1-1 stalemate. Neither side gave an inch, in keeping with their lofty positions on the competition table.
The teams battled through the first half without any score but, just after the break, Hensman fired Manly into the lead with a fine strike. This advantage only lasted nine minutes though before busy Koalas striker Danni Calvi slotted away the equaliser.
Try as they might neither side could break the deadlock leaving the full time score at 1-1. This result leaves The Koalas one point ahead of Macarthur Rams in the Minor Premiership race whilst Manly?s point, coupled with a catch up game win over Central Coast Lightning earlier in the week, moved them four points clear of fifth placed Penrith Nepean United.
Next weekend is a big one for both sides as the top four clash; The Koala at home with the Marconi Stallions whilst Manly travel to Lynwood park for a meeting with Macarthur Rams. Some mouth watering individual and team match ups for sure in these two games!
Manly United FC 1 (K.Hensman)
NWS Koalas         1 (D.Calvi)
The Sydney University and Macarthur Rams game at Sydney University Oval proved to be a tight encounter. The improving University side held The Rams scoreless until the break, proving tough opponents for the defending premiers.
The arm wrestle continued until the 60th minute when Annalise Baker grabbed the vital goal for Macarthur to catapult them into the lead. University hung in, however, trying hard to equalise right up until the 87th minute when The Rams? super striker Stephanie Haim put the result beyond all doubt with the Rams second goal.
Disappointing for Sydney University after such a fine effort, but The Rams always seem to come through in these types of games. I guess this is the mark of a championship side.
Sydney University   0
Macarthur Rams    2 (A.Baker, S. Haim)
The final game of the round matched struggling Central Coast Lightning with fifth placed Penrith Nepean United. ?Matched? probably isn?t the right word as the Penrith girls were up 3-0 within 11 minutes. This was a win they needed to stay in the fight for a semi final spot. They certainly weren?t going to let the opportunity pass.
Penrith were up 4-0 by half time through goals by Emma Stewart (3m, 31m), Taryn Rockall (6m) and Renee Tomkins (11m). They added three more goals in the 2nd half with Stewart completing her hat trick in the 53rd minute. Forth (46m) and Saliba (76m) were the other scorers.
Yet another week of disappointment for the Central Coast girls. It?s proving to be a very tough season for them as they battle to try and evade the wooden spoon in both the competition and the Club Championship. Chin up girls, things can only get better.
Central Coast Lightning 0
Penrith Nepean United   7 (E.Stewart 3, T.Rockall, R.Tomkins, N.Forth, J.Saliba)
Plenty of good football last weekend but next week promises to be a super round. The clash of the top four will answer plenty of questions and each side will be looking to grab the psychological advantage in the run to the semi finals.
If you feel the ground shaking next weekend it won?t be an earthquake!
-By Ross Anderson