The weather continues to be the enemy of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition but we did get four exciting matches completed in a fascinating Round 16 of the competition. Let’s get onto the review!
Match of the Round: APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 drew with Nepean FC 1
A dogged defensive performance from Nepean FC has helped them take a share of the points in a 1-1 draw against APIA Leichhardt Tigers tonight at a rainy Lambert Park.
The high-flying Tigers were well below their usual best in a rugged first half where chances were at a premium. When Georgia Bridges flicked home from a corner in the 59th minute, they were back to their imperious best. One error late in the contest saw them drop a pair of a points which has them sat in third position.
For Nepean FC, they love when a plan comes together. Coach Alan Tasses had drilled his side all week to shut down the firepower of APIA and they succeeded in the first half. A precise strike from Stefanie Trovato added a priceless point to their bank as the chase for finals football continues.
The first half was a battle of attrition as both teams looked to feel each other out. The first chance came from a set piece when a deep effort from APIA caused havoc in the box but the Nepean FC defence swept it clear.
Next Stefanie Trovato had a pair of chances for Nepean FC. Her first saw the sharpshooter scoop wide once she got into the clear. Trovato followed up with a cut inside to create space but the low shot was handled by APIA keeper Courtney Halpin.
Nepean FC had a game plan to limit the play of APIA Leichhardt and the first half followed that script as they limited the dangerous Ash Palombi and Georgia Bridges chances to get clean looks at goal which started to frustrate the home side.
Palombi did find space and almost made Nepean pay. A ball broke free over the defense which sent a rampaging Palombi on-goal where she unleashed a fierce shot that rattled the crossbar then bounced out.
APIA started to find their groove in the second stanza after some adjustments during the break. Palombi again continued to threaten down the flank as did Jessica Fallah, who bent a wicked cross that Bridges couldn’t turn home.
Bridges showed some deft touch for the opening goal of the contest just before the hour mark. From a teasing corner, Bridges flicked home at the near post to queue wild celebration from the APIA bench, as they made it 1-nil.
Knowing they had to push forward, Tasses went to his bench for reinforcements bringing on Emma Wholohan and Bianca Galayini but the equaliser came from one of his trusted strikers.
Trovato showed in the first half, she is able to create space for herself. From a loose square pass in the defense, the Nepean FC striker latched onto it, turned well then placed the ball into the bottom corner making it 1-1.
Both sides tried to thrust forward to find the late winner. APIA tried to conjure with a trick at the set piece which is scooped over the wall for Amy Dahdah but she couldn’t connect properly with the effort.
As the rain got heavier, so did the stakes but neither side were able to find the goal that would separate the two sides so everyone tried to get dry and both teams took home a point.
Speaking afterwards APIA coach Matthew Constantini admitted it was points dropped from APIA but was delighted with how they responded after a poor first half:
“The first was poor. Credit to Nepean, they defended well and executed their plan. In the second half, we came out better but that’s football. One mistake and they score. I consider that two points dropped for us.” said Constantini.
“The main goal for the club is to get promoted. We haven’t done too much damage, so we’re looking to take maximum points from the next few games.” finished the APIA coach.
For Alan Tasses, he was delighted to come to Lambert Park and get a result. He had prepared the side all week and his joy laid in the side executing the plan to almost perfection:
“It was a very physical game. The girls stuck to the game plan, worked really hard and got the point. We spoke about being disciplined all week, as a young side they did it tonight and truly believed in themselves.” said Tasses.
“APIA is a very strong side. This is a hard place to come, it is a fortress for them. So, we’re happy to take the points tonight. We are sitting well and now; focus is on our next game against Sutherland and staying there.” finished Tasses.
Sunday 23 June 2019 – Lambert Park, Marion
Referee: S. Wang
Assistant Referees: M. Liminos & K. Nishamura
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 (Bridges ‘59)
Nepean FC 1 (Trovato ‘74)
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: 1. HALPIN Courtney, 2. BENNETT Jennifer, 3. BISSET Jennifer. 7. CANINI Carla, 9. GARARD Logan, 11. PALOMBI Ashleigh, 14. WATTS Rebecca, 17. RYAN Kerrie, 18. FALLAH Jessica (15. CARMICHAEL ‘63), 20. DAHDAH Amy, 24. BRIDGES Georgia
Unused subs: 10. URKANCI Filiz, 13. URQUHART Sarah, 30. HARRISON Abbey, 35. MACRI Hannah
Yellow cards: Carmichael, Dahdah
Red cards: nil
Nepean FC: 1. SEGAVCIC Keeley, 3. DAVIDSON Aisling, 5. HANSEN Janie, 7. TROVATO Stefanie (12. WADDELL ‘87), 8. LANE Imogen (9. PELLE ‘57), 11. GAUL Lauren (10. GALAYINI ‘67), 13. VASSALLO Desiree, 15. WHEELER Cassandra, 21. NAMITA Eri (22. WHOLOHAN ‘62), 25. MCCOMASKY Madison, 26. HALLS Annie
Unused subs: 20. MALAS Narmin
Yellow cards: Trovato
Red cards: nil
Sutherland Shire FA 3 defeated Southern Branch FC 0
Sutherland Shire FA keep their spot at the top of the ladder with a routine 3-nil result against Southern Branch FC at Harrie Denning Centre on Sunday afternoon.
From the opening whistle, Sutherland Shire FA had the lion share of the possession and chances. They were denied by the superb work from Southern Branch FC keeper Jamie Griffin. The shot stopper ensured the game went to the break, 0-0.
In the second half, Sutherland Shire FA unpicked the lock. Jordan Baker was involved in all three goals to put in a captain’s effort to see the side home. Her pinpoint cross created the opener for Morgan Maxwell – which was her third of the season.
Baker was on the receiving end with a second half brace with a mazy run from Ursula Bratjanscak opened up the space for the sharpshooter to slot home. Baker completed her brace late in the contest to make it 3-nil, giving them breathing room at the top of the table.
St George FC 1 defeated Western NSW Mariners 0
St George FC collected their third win of the season with a tense 1-nil result against Western NSW Mariners this afternoon at St George stadium.
The Saints have moved their points tally into double figures with today’s success. It was achieved with a first half strike from Ana Araujo – making it back-to-back games where she has found the back of the net.
Both sides might be out of the finals running but they have plenty of pride and spirit as shown by the tight contest which ensued this afternoon. St George now are comfortably sat in tenth position on the ladder.
Gladesville Ravens 9 defeated Inter Lions 0
It was a Sunday night delight for Gladesville Ravens as they thumped Inter Lions 9-nil tonight at Christie Park under the bright lights.
The Ravens rediscovered their shooting boots as they raced out to a 7-nil lead at the break. Annalise Schiraldi and Kasia Wojtowicz led the way for the home side with a hat-trick each which has lifted the Ravens back to second on the ladder.
Midfielders Carlie Ikonomou and Yume Kashima both contributed a goal each in the rout while Chloe Goldsmith scored her maiden goal of the season. The result helps the Ravens goal difference which may be important in the run home.
UNSW FC vs SD Raiders was washed out while Central Coast Mariners vs Marconi Stallions was abandoned at HT – score 3-2 Marconi.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)