There is a new leader at the top of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition. APIA Leichhardt Tigers have usurped Gladesville Ravens from top position in a weekend where the goals flowed, the action was plentiful and the ladder remains constantly evolving. Let’s get onto the review!
Match of the Round: SD Raiders 1 drew with Central Coast Mariners 1
A late strike from Samantha Muscat ensured that SD Raiders shared the points with Central Coast Mariners in a 1-1 draw on Sunday morning at Valentine Sports Park.
The Mariners will rue not taking three precious points, as they controlled much of the contest but as coach Dan Barrett expressed in the post-match “shot when they should’ve passed and vice versa.” Through their frustration, Jade Mcatemney gave them the lead from the spot but the yellow-and-navy were unable to hold on.
For SD Raiders FC, today’s result showed the spirit and determination at the club. Despite going behind, Samantha Muscat produced a moment of magic to bring them back to 1-1. Muscat had a chance for a stoppage time winner but the draw keeps SD Raiders FC in contention for the top five.
Underneath a blazing sun, the contest started at a place which belied the early kick-off. Sarah Mandile flashed an effort across the face of goal in the first 120 seconds of the contest, as an early warning shot.
The Mariners quickly settled into the contest. Their best efforts came down either flank, as Nina Collins cut one back for Danielle Wise to strike low at the keeper, for the Mariners first shot of the contest.
In a tight contest, the game was decided by small moments. A mix-up between the Mariners defender almost allowed Tara Baudana to sneak between them but it was cleared before the net could bulge.
Mariners looked to turn quickly in transition. The movement ended with Iona Snape threaded a pass to Gabrielle Blanch, the striker thrashed her effort wide, as the visitors started to find the upper-hand in the contest.
A pair of superb saves from SD Raiders FC keeper Natasha Pentecost kept the home side locked at 0-0. First, the shotstopper remained big to deny the shot then the follow up from Wise was blocked with a smothering save.
Down the other end, the best chances for SD Raiders FC fell to their two main threats – Mandile and Muscat. The former turned a defender well before a shot deflected out for a corner then later in the first half, Muscat created space but rolled the effort to the keeper.
Buoyed by that double chance, SD Raiders poured downfield again, Baudana was in acres of space, linked with Muscat, who lined up a shot that curled out for a corner. The resulted corner saw Kristi Pavlicevic nod over from close range as the half ended scoreless.
Both sides aimed to make their mark on the second half early doors. Wise swept past a pair of defenders before a shot was comfortably taken by Pentecost then Blanch followed up curving wide. Mariners creating enough chances but lacked the final pass.
SD Raiders FC continued to find their best route came through Muscat. She skipped past a pair of defenders before she shot straight after her strike partner had chipped wide in the 55th minute.
As the clock started to tick into the final quarter, it looked like a set piece might be the best chance to find a goal for Mariners. Mikala Tucker snapped wide from a corner then a Jade Mcatemney free-kick caused chaos but no final touch again.
Mariners need find the opener, coming from the spot. Iona Snape was fouled in the box which saw the referee point to the spot. Mcatemney took the duties, duly slotted home to give Central Coast Mariners a 1-nil lead after 82 minutes.
As quickly as the Mariners snatched the lead, SD Raiders FC countered with the equaliser. Samantha Muscat had the ball break to her in the box, the experienced striker lashed home a strong effort, making it 1-1.
SD Raiders FC coach Terry Gray urged his side forward to find a second goal, and the Raiders had a chance to snatch it late. Muscat rose highest from a corner, got a good connection but the ball struck firstly the post then the back of Rhiannon Hines, the latter gratefully gathered the ball to ensure the draw.
Speaking afterwards, Mariners boss Dan Barrett lamented their lack of polish on the end of their work today as it was two points dropped in their chase for the top five:
“Like the last few weeks, we’ve controlled the play. It was just the final touch let us down tonight. We shot when we should’ve passed and vice versa. Scoring goals hasn’t been a problem lately but it was today for us.” said Barrett.
“When you look at the game, we were good enough for the three but that is two points dropped for us. Credit to SD Raiders though, they showed good spirit, especially in the final fifteen minutes and deserved a point.”finished Barrett.
SD Raiders FC coach Terry Gray praised the spirit and commitment in his side to claw back a point and thought his side could’ve stolen a point late on in the contest:
“We were up against a strong side tonight. I thought we were resilient and in my heart of hearts that is two points dropped for us. If we had a bit more luck it could’ve been a different result. I am pleased with the way we played and the style played today.” said Gray.
On goal scorer Samantha Muscat: “She can bang them in. We just need to support her a bit more and get back in defense but it was a wonderful effort from the girls. I am very proud.” finished Gray.
Sunday 9 June 2019 – Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood
Referee: A. Johnson
Assistant Referees: S. Gregory & N. Libra
SD Raiders FC 1 (Muscat ‘84)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Mcatemney ‘82)
SD Raiders FC: 1. PENTECOST Natasha, 6. DENNIS Rebecca (13. MATEFFY ‘71), 9. BAUDANA Tara, 10. MCGRATH Christina (12. HANKIN ‘63), 11. COOK Kirilee, 15. PAVLICEVIC Kristi, 16. MANDILE Sarah (26. MURRAY ‘89), 25. CASSAR Rachel (3. SHERMAN ‘83), 27. MUSCAT Samantha, 28. COLEMAN Isabella, 30. VOUSDEN Alexandra
Unused subs: 17. MUSCAT Rhianna
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Central Coast Mariners: 1. HINES Rhiannon, 2. BLANCH Gabrielle, 4. SNAPE Iona, 8. WISE Danielle, 10. MCATEMNEY Jade, 11. SHORTER Elizabeth, 12. MURPHY Kaitlin (3. OLIVEIRA ‘45), 14. MILLER Brooke, 21. TUCKER Mikala, 22. COLLINS Nina (6. DUFFY ‘80), 23. DRYSDALE Jordyn
Unused subs: 13. BREWSTER Annalise, 27. AUDDINO Indianna, 40. COYTE Sophie
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Western NSW Mariners 0 defeated by Sutherland Shire FA 3
Sutherland Shire FA got themselves a comfortable 3-nil victory against Western NSW Mariners in their trip to Sir Jack Brabham Park this afternoon.
The Sutherland FA side came out on a mission, found an early lead through Brittany Christie, scoring in the opening fifteen minutes of the contest. The visitors added a second in the first 45 through Morgan Maxwell which had them in firm control at 2-nil.
In the second half, Sutherland Shire FA were denied on several occasions from superb work from Mariners keeper Jessica Daymond. Sutherland did find a third goal when Nicole Besz chipped Daymond after a high press forced the ball free.
Today was a result that Sutherland Shire FA needed in their chase for the top two. Taking three points from one of the toughest road trips in the NPL2 NSW Women’s competition will have them ready for the challenges that present themselves later in the season.
Inter Lions 0 defeated by Marconi Stallions 8
The Stallions rebounded in style, as they thrashed Inter Lions 8-nil in a dominant display on Sunday afternoon at Concord Oval.
Playing a deeper role for much of the season, Jessica Beale headlined a second half onslaught from Marconi. The Stallions took a 1-nil advantage into the break, before a glut of goals moved them back into fifth place.
Beale completed her hat-trick alongside efforts from top of the goal charts Jasmin Courtenay, Michelle Dalbon, Nicole Ossio and a maiden goal for Erin Leah Tavares to round off the display. The only sour note for the visitors was a red card to Georgia Usherwood.
Nepean FC 2 defeated Gladesville Ravens 1
Nepean FC made a huge statement in their 2-1 comeback victory against Gladesville Ravens in a top four contest that played out at Cook Park on Sunday afternoon.
Two sides coming into the clash in superb form, it was played in a fantastic rhythm. Gladesville Ravens earnt themselves a first half lead through Kasia Wojtowicz strike. The visitors held off the Nepean FC side to take a slender 1-nil advantage into the break.
Nepean FC took their time to turn over the deficit. Stefanie Trovato equalised to make it 1-1 in the 75th minute. Lauren Gaul sent the Nepean FC crowd into raptures with her third of the season as the faithful clung onto the lead in the final minutes against a tough Ravens side.
Coach Alan Tasses praised his side for a “great performance” that has taken Nepean FC to eleven games unbeaten and gives them some breathing space in fourth position. It is another huge scalp for them after their win against Marconi last weekend which has them ready for the upcoming finals series.
Southern Branch FC 0 defeated by APIA Leichhardt Tigers 10
It was one-way traffic as APIA Leichhardt Tigers put Southern Branch FC to the sword, thumping them 10-nil on a bright afternoon at South Nowra Football Complex.
On her third appearance, Amy Dahdah netted a wonderful hat-trick as her strike partner Georgia Bridges scored a brace alongside Ash Palombi and Nicole Carmichael in a ruthless performance that will help swell the Tiger’s goal difference.
She might not get there very often but defender Jennifer Bissett scored the pick of the APIA goals with her first half strike. It left those wearing APIA colours with their jaws agape as they enjoyed one of the goals of the season in a one-sided contest.
The result had some added icing when confirmed results elsewhere put APIA at the top of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens ladder for the first time this season, edging out Gladesville Ravens and Sutherland Shire FA by a point.
St George FC 2 defeated UNSW FC 1
In the night cap for a fantastic round of football, St George FC triumphed in an action-packed second half at St George stadium tonight.
The first was a tense affair, UNSW FC dominated possession but couldn’t find a way past Saints keeper Lani Dodd, so the game headed to the break 0-0. UNSW FC struck first in the second half through Alexandra O’Rourke’s sixth goal of the season.
From there, the Saints showed a clinical edge that has evaded them all season. Marissa Nicopoulos equalised quickly after O’Rourke’s goal to make it 1-1. Bianca Griffin completed the turnaround with her maiden goal of the season.
The victory shifts the Saints into 10th position, going above Southern Branch FC. For UNSW FC and Alex Nolan, it was another game that got away. That has been the tale of the students season, as it starts to slip away from them.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)
Photo Credit – L.Marchese