Arrive Alive Women?s Super League Round 12 Review


The Tigers were backing up after a tough midweek clash with Gladesville Ravens whilst Springwood was keen to snatch their first points of the 2010 season.
The Tigers had the better of the early moments with Rachael Lewis prominent.  This dominance was converted into gold in the 12th minute when Rachel Lewis burst onto a through ball, and slotted past the Springwood keeper to open the scoring.
Springwood tried hard to build momentum, but was struggling to find any field position. Northern Tigers continued to harass the Springwood goalmouth. After Gabriella Dal Pazzo intercepted a ball Georgie Eastoe let fly with stinging shot which was knocked down and saved by Springwood keeper, Rachel Kelly.
Jessica Adams produced a shot from distance for the Tigers but directed the ball straight to the Springwood keeper. Play now hovered around the middle third of the field with Springwood trying to release their strikers with a long ball attack. Both sides were guilty of wasting possession with plenty of turnovers slowing the progress.
A Tigers corner then produced a goalmouth body jumble that seemed to provide a home goal but the referee thought otherwise, giving Springwood a relieving free kick.  Springwood won a free kick at the other end of the field with the well hit place kick from Stefanie Trovato being held by Tigers keeper Rebecca Woodruff.
Springwood was under pressure from Tigers corners with the mass of bodies making life difficult for Springwood keeper Rachel Kelly.
At half time the Northern Tigers held a 1-0 lead. Despite The Tigers first half dominance their failure to take advantage of a number of opportunities had kept their plucky opponents in the match.
The Tigers were on the front foot right from the start of the second stanza.  An early corner and an attempted chip over the keeper?s head showed that The Tigers had come out focussed.
The Springwood girls did fashion an opportunity though through some defensive persistence. Winning the ball deep in the Northern Tigers half the ball was fed to Kyla Fitzpatrick but the Springwood number 10 was unable to get a clear shot on goal. Her attempts to set up a support saw her then lose possession.
A fine run down the left flank from Rachael Lewis was followed by a pinpoint cross which found Georgie Eastoe whose header sailed wide of goal. A Springwood corner then led to Jessica Hurst pushing her shot just wide of goal. Northern Tigers burst forward again from the restart with the ball eventually falling to Eliza Apps whose 25 meter shot flew straight to the Springwood keeper.
Springwood then made their first substitution, swapping Kathryn Gilchrist with Nicole Britten.
The Tigers attack looked promising with players such as Chelsea Docherty and Gaby Dal Pozzo heavily involved but unable to convert their hard work into goals. The frustration on the Tigers bench was understandable whilst Springwood continued to hold hope of a positive result.
Springwood then made their second substitution with Georgia King coming into the game for Jessica Abraham.
A Northern Tigers free kick from Eliza Apps was on target but caused little concern for Springwood as it flew straight to their keeper.  
In the 79th minute a seemingly harmless cross to open space found Rachael Lewis ghosting in at the back post to slam the ball into the back of the net. This seemed to seal the game for Tigers giving them a 2-0 lead. Chelsea Docherty followed with storming run through the Springwood defence before shooting wide of goal. Soon after, Docherty was subbed for Rehanna Nathwani. Moments later Gaby Dal Pozzo was replaced by Melanie Baird.
Soon after, the referee blew the final whistle to leave Northern Tigers with a 2-0 win and an important three competition points.  
Northern Tigers Captain Rachael Lewis thought it was a good game in which both teams played well. She lamented that her side took a long time to cement the win but felt that The Tigers held their shape well and used the width of the park. Lewis described the performance as a ?good team effort?.
Springwood United FC Captain Narelle Forth thought that her team had produced an improved effort. ?The team is learning a lot this season.  It?s a step up in grade for many of the girls but they are gaining experience. Each game is a stepping stone towards next season? said Forth. ?We need to keep our side together and we will make an impact in future seasons.?
This was not the prettiest game of the season. Both teams struggled to put their game together. Springwood battled away, but was probably kept in the game by Northern Tigers inability to take the game by the scruff of the neck and finish it off. That said, The Tigers will be happy to take the points; pretty or not. Springwood may not be far off a win if they can continue to improve.
NORTHERN TIGERS           2 (R.Lewis 12m/79m)
At Francis Park the Blacktown Spartans maintained their competition lead with a hard fought win over Eastern UNSW Lions.
The Spartans grabbed the lead in the 2nd minute through Erin Connell. The Blacktown midfielder has been in strong form over recent weeks and her opening goal looked as if it may set a trend for the day.
The Lions are nothing if not game though and, in the 17th minute, Gigi Tsang found the back of the net to equalise for the visitors.
Blacktown worked hard to resurrect their lead with their efforts being rewarded in the 29th minute when Erin Connell completed her brace. The Spartans held this 2-1 lead into the half time break.
The second stanza became something of an arm wrestle as Blacktown sought to kill the game if with a defining third goal whilst Eastern UNSW looked for that elusive second goal to give them a share of the points.
At the end of the day neither side achieved what they were looking for but Blacktown Spartans did go home with another three points.
Blacktown continue to find a way to win, even when things don?t go according to plan. Eastern UNSW Lions produced yet another gutsy effort which went unrewarded.
BLACKTOWN SPARTANS 2 (E.Connell 2m/29m)
EASTERN UNSW LIONS    1 (G.Tsang 17m)
Unfortunately, with our other two games on the weekend, I?ve been supplied with the names of the goalscorers but no other detail.
At Peel Park, Gladesville Ravens and Lady Hawks played out a tight encounter before sharing the points with a 2-2 draw.
After swapping early goals the Lady Hawks actually grabbed the lead but were unable to deny a determined Gladesville team who came back to snare a late equaliser.
This was a bit of a speed hump in Gladesville?s successful season but they still sit safely in the top four and right in the midst of the top two battle. Lady Hawks effort was a big improvement on their game against Blacktown. They are a difficult side to beat when they are on their game.
LADY HAWKS               2 (G.Ryanhart 2)
At St George Stadium the home side came a cropper, taking a 7-0 mauling at the hands of Central Coast Lightning.
Ashleigh Morris led the way for the visitors with an impressive hat trick. This was the sort of goal scoring dominance some have been waiting for from Central Coast all season.
St George had another disappointing day in a season that?s becoming forgettable. No-one likes to see any side suffer through a run like this. Hopefully there are some better times around the corner for the St George girls.
ST GEORGE FC                          0
CENTRAL COAST LIGHTNING 7 (A.Morris 3, A.Nicholson, R.Keane, S. Dalcol, R.Hartley)
This was a weekend where things went pretty much according to the form guide. With a number of catch up games still to be played the busy schedule continues for many Arrive Alive Women?s Super League sides. The competition holds plenty of interest as the top four jostle for position. Those chasing have a lot of work to do. A string of wins and an upset result or two are needed to open up the race for those filling the 5th to 9th spots on the table.
See you all next weekend.
-By Ross Anderson