The National Premier League 2 Women’s competition might not be the fait accompli we might have thought; the bottom two carved out a pair of stunning results which included a maiden Southern Branch victory, as SD Raiders & Gladesville Ravens continued their winning ways, while APIA Leichhardt went DIY in their thrilling draw against Nepean FC.
Let’s get to the action!
Match of the Round: Gladesville Ravens 1 defeated Marconi Stallions 0
It was another late show for the Ravens, Emily Diaz headed home in the 77th minute to collect three priceless points, in a 1-nil success over a resurgent Marconi Stallions on a miserable night at Christie Park.
Gladesville Ravens have revived their season in recent weeks, and Emily Diaz’s goals has contributed greatly, alongside a never-say-die attitude that has been instilled in them. They took the Stallions best shot, absorbed it and moved swiftly into fifth.
Football can be decided on such slim margins. Marconi Stallions are well in tune with that with another close defeat, where they dominated but couldn’t find the net. It becomes a massive missed opportunity as they fall back into the pack.
On a crisp night in Sydney’s north, the Stallions buoyed by their three-game winning streak bolted out of the gates, as Jessica Beale glanced a header wide in the fifth minute from some excellent Summar Richardson hustle.
The chances kept coming for the visitors. Both Michelle Dalbon and Amanda Lauric tested Gladesville’s Japanese keeper, Eri Arikawa, who was definitely the busier of the custodians throughout the contest.
A pair of half chances for Demelza Howard flashed wide as frustration grew for the Stallions. They started brightly but didn’t have a goal to show for it, and Gladesville wisely used the pace of Emily Diaz down the flank to counter.
Diaz found joy down the flank on several occasions in the first half. She found herself in good positions but the final polish was lacking for the Ravens, as the ball fizzed through the area several times without a touch.
The best chance came right on the whistle, Diaz broke free at a corner then volleyed a fierce effort narrowly past the post, as the two sides sought the warmth of the changerooms, while locked at 0-0.
As the weather worsened in the second half, the chances remained at a premium. Diaz continued to be a threat for the Ravens while Marconi got into the right positions but again, couldn’t find the finish.
Less than a quarter of the contest to go, Gladesville did put one in the back of the net. Carlie Ikonomou sailed a pin-point free-kick into the area where Diaz craned her header past Stallions keeper, Kira Maggio for 1-nil.
Desperation urged the Stallions forward in search of an equaliser but bar a knuckeball free-kick from Beale that swung in the air, Ravens remained stout in their defensive block, seeing out the remaining time for a priceless victory.
Marconi captain Hannah Voloder reflected on a disappointing night as the Stallions failed to turn their pressure into goals.
“It’s unfortunate because we played pretty good football the whole game and to get caught like that sucks. When we’re under pressure we rush ourselves and gotta work on that.” said Voloder.
For Gladesville Ravens coach Albert Disciacio it was a triumph of their spirit and showed that his side can compete against the bigger sides in NPL2 Womens.
“As usual we like to leave it late. Slowly though, we are getting in form. We’ve had some injuries and positioning problems but we’ve just got to work hard in the next couple of weeks to get in there [the finals]” finished the Ravens coach.
Sunday 1 July 2018 – Christie Park, Macquarie Park
Gladesville Ravens 1 (Diaz ‘77)
Marconi Stallions 0
Gladesville Ravens: 4. KINCHINGTON Annabelle (14. SEETO ‘81), 5. LIDBETTER Eleanor, 17. ARIKAWA Eri, 18. BEATTIE Alex (31. BLAIR ‘62), 20. SMITH Ashleigh, 28. BAKER Liana (6. BAKER ‘78), 29. DONALDSON Anabel (11. MOORE ‘65), 33. IKONOMOU Carlie, 37. DIAZ Emily, 39. SCHIRALDI Annalise, 44. BREUKELAAR Isabella
Subs not used: 78. HARDAKER Oliva
Yellow cards: Ikonomou
Red cards: nil
Marconi Stallions: 1. MAGGIO Kira, 2. VOLODER Hannah, 4. CONNORS Mia, 9. HOWARD Demelza, 10. VOLODER Emma, 11. DALBON Michelle, 12. CIABATTI Vanessa (7. USHERWOOD ‘75), 13. BEALE Jessica, 14. LAURIC Amanda (19. HOFF ‘63), 24. RICHARDSON Summar, 28. VUCKOVIC Klara
Subs not used: 15. WALTON Talie, 21. PARKES Angelina, 30. CROUCH Jasmine
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Western NSW Mariners 0 defeated by SD Raiders 4
SD Raiders seventh straight victory, a 4-nil success at the tricky Sir Jack Brabham Park against a stubborn Western NSW Mariners, as they may have lost their star striker for the season.
Despite losing Cassidy Chidgey in the tenth minute, the Raiders kept their foot on the Mariners throat for the whole ninety minutes. Sophia Hamilton’s penalty opened the scoring before a ten-pass movement finished with Hannah-Rose Davey fired home from the edge of the box.
Once SD Raiders got into their rhythm, Western NSW Mariners wilted. Another long sequence of passes ended with Davey through ball found Rebecca Dennis to lash home her maiden goal of the season then Davey made it a brace with a poacher’s effort at the back post for the fourth.
That result claws the Raiders closer to the Mariners in second, they are now two points behind while the home side can put away thoughts of finals football after their latest defeat.
Southern Branch FC 2 defeated UNSW FC 1
BINGO! That is a full card of National Premier League 2 Womens sides being victorious after Southern Branch FC produced a magnificent effort to beat UNSW FC, 2-nil this afternoon at the South Nowra Football Complex.
The victory came off the back of a wonderful brace from Shaylee Meehan in either half as the three points was due reward for the effort the home side. Southern Branch FC has toiled hard in recent weeks and could play spoiler for the next few weeks.
It was another weekend of disappointment for the Students, they are deep in the mire with this losing streak, as Amy Altman’s first half strike was scant consolation for their tenth straight week of being on the losing side.
St George FC 1 drew with Inter Lions 1
The Saints are coming! St George FC took home their eighth point of the season in a spirited 1-1 draw against a dominant Inter Lions side, today at historic St George Stadium.
In recent weeks, many have commented that St George FC has improved and may cause some upsets in the final few rounds. This afternoon they fell behind to Kirilee Cook’s sixth goal of the season, as the Lions dominated possession and peppered the Saints keeper with chances.
When you don’t take those chances though, you leave yourself open for a counter attack. St George FC found an equaliser in the second half through Georgia Ha, one of their prominent performers this season, as they took home a fighting point against a tough Inter Lions side.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2 drew with Nepean FC 2
A point has never felt so good. APIA Leichhardt Tigers threw everything including the kitchen sink at Nepean FC and came away with a 2-2 draw on a tense evening under the Lambert Park lights.
The bounce continues to bounce against the Tigers. Nepean FC swept to a 2-nil half-time lead on the back of goals from Annie Halls and Stefanie Trovato as a young desperate side looked to claim a huge scalp.
APIA’s luck turned in the second half as they pushed forward while Nepean lost both their goalscorers to injury. All the kitchen utensils came out as the hosts struck twice through Eliana Vatcky and Ash Palombi but they couldn’t find the third as the teams shared the points.
Nepean FC coach Alan Tasses praised the effort of his young side that probably has some learning to do while his opposing number, Matteo Maiorana, singled out Nepean defender Desiree Vassallo for her mammoth performance at the back to repel the Tigers.
Central Coast Mariners vs Sydney Olympic FC was washed out
By Justin Davies