Round 18 was a delightful smorgasbord of football as the finals picture has started to become clearer and teams know that a single goal could be the difference between joy and agony. Let’s get onto the review.
Match of the Round: SD Raiders FC vs Marconi Stallions
Marconi Stallions moved within a point of the top five after a 2-1 success tonight against a stubborn SD Raiders FC side in this week’s Match of the Round.
It is all starting to come together for Marconi Stallions. The south-west side are a single point outside the top five, with a pair of catch-up games to come. Tonight, whilst it wasn’t their most proficient performance in front of goal – Jasmin Courtenay and Ceyda Cambaz scored in either half to secure a vital three points.
Whilst tonight was a hammer blow for SD Raiders FC finals chances, they won’t give up the fight. Substitute Trudy Camelliri equalised in the second half of an engrossing game of football as the seventh placed side showed they aren’t a side that will be easy beats for the final five weeks of the season.
Both sides battled hard in the opening 15 minutes as Marconi racked up the corner count but were gobbled up expertly by SD Raiders FC defense and custodian Natasha Pentecost.
Rebecca Dennis had the first clear chance of the contest when the young striker broke through, strode confidently into the box but when Dennis tried to round Chloe Carmichael in the Stallions goal, the young Matildas custodian repelled her.
Marconi Stallions started to pile on the pressure as Ceyda Cambaz fired their first shot which curved wide. It was followed up by Erin Tavares tame shot after solid work from Michelle Dalbon and Jessica Beale.
Jasmin Courtenay has scored for fun this season. The striker led the Golden Boot for much of the season, but curved her first chance over. Courtenay would make up for her miss with her second chance in the contest.
From a superb ball that dissected the midfield from Mia Connors sent Courtenay powering through on goal. The sharpshooter outpaced the SD Raiders FC defense then arrowed her effort into the bottom corner to make it 1-nil Stallions.
The visitors wanted some cushion before the break. Beale and Cambaz both had a pair of chances to extend their lead with Beale unable to crane her header goal bound just before the break. Stallions were content to take the single goal lead into oranges.
Coming out from the break, SD Raiders started to apply more pressure to the Stallions defense. Some bustling defense from Samantha Muscat opened up a chance for four-goal hero from last weekend Kristi Pavlicevic but she scooped it over.
Their positive play brought the equaliser as the clock ticked past 70 minutes. Substitute Trudy Camelliri broke the offside trap perfectly from a precise Sarah Mandile pass, slotted home well making it 1-1.
Again for Marconi, Beale and Cambaz fashioned a good chance. Cambaz weaved past the SD Raiders FC defense before she slipped the ball to Beale, the attacker couldn’t find a shot to test Pentecost.
The combination wasn’t to be denied the second time though. Beale this time, drove into the box on the right then looped a cross to the far post which found a leaping Cambaz to nod home, 2-1 to Marconi Stallions.
SD Raiders FC kept chasing for a second equaliser found two late chances in the final ten minutes of the contest. Morgan Sherman cut inside but fired high then late in stoppage time, Dennis broke free and fired the wrong side of the post.
The Stallions confirmed their tenth victory of the season which puts them only a point outside of the top five with their catch-up games to come plus they dealt a huge blow to their rivals tonight.
Following the game, Stallions goal scorer Ceyda Cambaz was delighted with the effort from the visitors as they have started to find their form and make a run late in the season:
“We had one job today – to get the win to keep ourselves alive. We did that and got the result we deserved. Finally, I think we’ve finally got some combinations that have worked which has showed that training has paid off.” said Cambaz.
For Terry Gray in the SD Raiders dugout, the loss was tough to take but he was justifiably pleased with the effort of his side against one of the competition heavyweights as they aim to finish the season on a high:
“It was a great game for the spectator tonight. Both sides played good football but disappointed we didn’t take our chances, especially in the first half. It could’ve been a different result but that is football.” said Gray.
“We didn’t take our chances today – that is the difference. The girls know their roles within the side and with each other, and we’ve progressed well this season. Whilst it was a tough result, it is never over until it’s over.” finished Gray.
Sunday 7 July 2019 – Ernie Smith Reserve, Moorebank
Referee: L. Byrne
Assistant Referees: M. Brett & M. Milton
SD Raiders FC 1 (Camelliri ‘72)
Marconi Stallions 2 (Courtenay ‘32, Cambaz ‘78)
SD Raiders FC: 1. PENTECOST Natasha, 3. SHERMAN Morgan, 6. DENNIS Rebecca, 9. BAUDANA Tara (CAMELLIRI ‘64), 10. MCGRATH Christina, 11. COOK Kirilee, 12. HANKIN Brooke, 15. PAVLICEVIC Kristi, 16. MANDILE Sarah, 27. MUSCAT Samantha, 30. VOUSDEN Alexandra
Unused subs: 2. MUSSETT Jami-Lee, 13. MATEFFY Kate, 20. COSCIA Kiara, 28. COLEMAN Isabella
Yellow cards: Vousden
Red cards: nil
Marconi Stallions: 1. CARMICHAEL Chloe, 2. VOLODER Emma, 8. CAMBAZ Ceyda (15. WALTON ‘90), 11. DALBON Michelle (44. BOLZAN ‘71), 13. BEALE Jessica, 16. OSSIO Nicole (6. ROSE ‘60), 22. TAVARES Erin Leah (3. FEATHERSTONE ‘67), 31. BUCHANAN Tasmin, 39. COURTENAY Jasmin, 40. MANNA Melina, 54. CONNORS Mia
Unused subs: 32. CURREY Tamara
Yellow cards: Rose
Red cards: nil
Western NSW Mariners 0 defeated by Nepean FC 2
Nepean FC keep on rolling. The contenders come back from Mudgee with all three points after a 2-nil result against Western NSW Mariners this afternoon.
The fourth-place side didn’t have the game their own way. In the first half, Western NSW Mariners defended stoutly despite being down on numbers and kept it to 0-0 at the break. Nepean FC did eventually break down the home side.
Annie Halls found the back of the net for the first goal then it was followed by the collector’s item of a goal for defender and heartbeat of the side Desiree Vassallo. The result makes it five points between Nepean FC and fifth place Central Coast.
Patience is a virtue and it is something coach Alan Tasses is glad his side remained confident and assured in finding the winner: “We lived in their half today but patience was the key. We kept at them in the second half despite hitting the woodwork several times and got the result.”
Gladesville Ravens 5 defeated St George FC 0
It was a five-star performance from Gladesville Ravens as they soared high to defeat St George FC 5-nil this afternoon at fortress Christie Park.
Gladesville Ravens were in control across the contest as they kept their unbeaten run at Christie Park going with a second half blitz. Midfielder Carlie Ikonomou fired home her fifth of the season in the first half to give them a 1-nil advantage.
Ikonomou completed her brace in the second half while fellow midfielder Yume Kashima also found the back of the net. Rounding off their scoring, Annalise Schiraldi made it a wonderful afternoon for the Ravens as they are entrenched in third spot on the ladder.
Inter Lions defeated by Southern Branch FC 4
Southern Branch FC picked up their third victory of the season as they swept past Inter Lions 4-nil at Concord Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Nowra side put some breathing space between themselves and the wooden spoon with their success this afternoon. Southern Branch FC also completed a season sweep against Inter Lions FC as both sides aim to finish the season on a high.
Shaylee Meehan kept herself at the top of the charts for Southern Branch top scorer with a brace in the victory with another pair to ice the cake. The result also probably confirms Inter Lions as the wooden spooners but they have been spirited opposition this season.
Sutherland Shire FA 5 defeated Central Coast Mariners 4
In one of the games of the season, Sutherland Shire FA triumphed 5-4 thanks to a Morgan Maxwell strike against Central Coast Mariners at Harrie Denning Centre.
The game was a fine example of the quality in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition with nine goals shared between two sides that will be contesting the pointy end of the season in a few weeks.
Central Coast Mariners were first on the scoresheet when winger Kaitlin Murphy found the back of the net in the 17th minute. From there though, Sutherland Shire FA were ruthless. Jordan Baker equalised with some individual brilliance then laid on the second for Maddison Farmer. Both Baker and Farmer made it a brace as the home side took a 4-1 half-time lead.
Mirroring the heart shown by Mariners sides down the years – Dan Barrett’s side clawed it back to 4-3 when sharpshooter Danielle Wise and Brooke Miller scored in the first twenty minutes of the second half. Leisel Collins looked to have stolen a point deep in injury time when she made it 4-4 but there was a final twist.
Sutherland Shire FA showed the grit of a championship side when in the 9th minute, Nicole Besz strode through the Mariners midfield to create one final chance which fell to Morgan Maxwell. Maxwell didn’t disappoint, slammed the ball home and sent the Sutherland Shire FA faithful into joyous celebration.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 defeated UNSW FC 0
The Tigers remain a point off the top spot following a 3-nil success tonight against a gallant UNSW FC side under the bright lights of Lambert Park.
APIA’s front three had a field day tonight. Ash Palombi opened up the scoring after some link play from Logan Garard opened up the space for Amy Dahdah to cut it back for Palombi to finish her 21st goal of the season.
Dahdah got herself on the scoresheet again from a Garard assist to make it 2-nil then the final part of the trident – Georgia Bridges chipped home to make it three. APIA coach Matt Constantini praised UNSW FC keeper Nadine Knight for her work to keep the score at three.
He also confidently assessed that his side has hit the 60% mark for their performances which is imperative with a catch-up game during the week. APIA will try to chase down Sutherland Shire FA for top spot in the competition whilst they aim to remain top of the Club Championship.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)