Five has become four after the first weekend of finals in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition.
There were two pulsating contests that were filled with drama, goals and action and now we have next weekend set up for some similar returns. Let’s get onto the review!
Elimination Final: Nepean FC 2 defeated by Central Coast Mariners 4 AET
Central Coast Mariners kept their season alive with a 4-2 success tonight in their Elimination Final contest against Nepean FC at a gusty Valentine Sports Park.
The yellow-and-navy advanced after Leisel Collins’ stunning opener then extra-time strikes from sharpshooter Danielle Wise, Jade Mcatemney and Mikala Tucker were enough to make it through to next week.
For Nepean FC, it is another crushing exit. That is back-to-back seasons where they have exited in the first Elimination final. Stefanie Trovato cancelled out Collins’ opener then won the penalty that Annie Halls converted to briefly make it 3-2 in extra time.
Two sides that were separated by slender margins in their regular season encounters opened this Elimination Final in a cautious manner where the midfields tried to assert their dominance in the opening exchanges.
The game opened up on a wonder strike. Young Mariners attacker Leisel Collins tried her luck from just inside the halfway line and swerved the effort past a stoic Nepean FC keeper Keeley Segavcic and made it 1-nil Central Coast.
Aiming to respond quickly Nepean FC had their first chance through Imogen Lane. She burst into the box on the right before she launched an effort at Mariners custodian Rhiannon Hines which was spilled into the path of Lauren Gaul, who couldn’t turn home.
Needing a goal, Nepean FC turned to their top scorer. Stefanie Trovato, who was busy in midfield alongside Eri Namita, finished well to level the contest from a Lane pass. 1-1 after a fast start at Valentine Sports Park.
The equaliser sparked Nepean FC into their rhythm. Trovato was denied from inside the box quickly followed by chances from Lane and Annie Halls which were collected well by Hines.
Their best chance was in the dying embers of the half when Brittany Pelle clipped the bar from a Namita pass but the contest was locked at 1-1 going into the break.
Coming out of the break and feeling just fine, Mariners wanted to have it all. Gabrielle Blanch uncorked a fierce shot that was tumbled out for a corner by Segavcic. Central Coast looked to respond after their first half effort.
Chances were at a premium in the second stanza. Nepean FC tyro Halls went for the low route from a free-kick which bent past the wall but deflected wide of the post.
Iona Snape clipped the ball into the path of Danielle Wise as the temperature started to plummet at Valentine Sports Park. Wise almost brought some fire with her strong effort that was tipped over by Segavcic.
Nepean FC had a trifecta of chances late in the contest to avoid extra-time. Halls low shot was denied, Lane shot over then deep into injury time, Halls went low again but a superb stop from Hines sent us to extra-time.
In extra-time, Central Coast Mariners found the cutting edge. Wise was gifted an inch of space and arrowed into the bottom corner to make it 2-1. Right on the whistle for the break, Jade Mcatemney gave them a cushion with her swept home effort for 3-1.
There was a life line for Nepean FC when Trovato, who toiled hard all contest was taken down in the box. Halls stepped up calmly and slotted the spot kick into the right side for 3-2.
Hope was dangled on a string and ripped away moments later. Having to chase the game, Nepean FC left open pasture which Mariners Mikala Tucker used effectively to roll home for 4-2, and a ticket to next week for the yellow-and-navy.
Speaking post-match Mariners boss Dan Barrett was glowing in his praise for his young side despite their absences to find a route to victory and move onto next week:
“It was tough tonight. I was disappointed in our effort in the first half and asked for a reaction. We got that in the second half and that is credit to the girls tonight.” said Dan Barrett.
[Danielle] Wise was marked well all contest but got away once and found the back of the net. Also, our defence headed by our goalkeeper [Rhiannon] Hines were outstanding. Now we put our squad together for whoever we face next.” said Barrett.
Nepean FC coach Alan Tasses was gutted about his side’s exit in the same stage as last season which left him with a hollow feeling:
“We weren’t clinical today. The girls created enough chances in that second half but couldn’t find the back of the net. This is the third year we’ve been eliminated in extra-time so it is a really hollow feeling after the result tonight.” said Tasses.
“It sucks to be honest. We finished one point off third and a second bite, second in the Club Championship but once again, eliminated in the first weekend of the finals. It is a real hollow feeling for us but we look to next year.” finished Tasses.
Saturday 10 August 2019
Valentine Sports Park #3
Referee: E. Kocbek
Assistant Referees: T. Brown & S. Gregory
Nepean FC 2 (Trovato ‘18, Halls ‘111)
Central Coast Mariners 4 (Collins ‘11, Mcatemney ‘106, Tucker ‘115, Wise ‘92)
Nepean FC: 1. SEGAVCIC Keeley, 3. AISLING Davidson, 5. HANSEN Janie, 7. TROVATO Stefanie, 8. LANE Imogen (22. WHOLOHAN ‘105), 9. PELLE Brittany (2. JACKSON ‘93), 11. GAUL Lauren (17. BERIOS ‘73), 13. VASSALLO Desiree, 15. WHEELER Cassandra, 21. NAMITA Eri (12. WADDELL ‘81), 26. HALLS Annie
Unused subs: 16. BRIEN Bridget
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Central Coast Mariners: 1. HINES Rhiannon, 2. BLANCH Gabrielle, 3. TUCKER Mikala, 4. SNAPE Iona, 8. WISE Danielle, 10. MCATEMNEY Jade, 11. SHORTER Elizabeth, 12. MURPHY Kaitlin, 15. COLLINS Leisel, 22. COLLINS Nina, 23. DRYSDALE Jordyn (28. EYERS ‘119)
Unused subs: 6. DUFFY Kate, 21. MACFARLANE Mia, 33. TOGO Alyssa, 40. COYTE Sophie
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Qualifying Final: Sutherland Shire FA 2 defeated Gladesville Ravens 1
Sutherland Shire FA booked their place in the Grand Final qualifier with a 2-1 victory tonight against Gladesville Ravens at a chilly Valentine Sports Park.
Tonight’s victory makes it three wins for the season for Sutherland Shire FA over Gladesville Ravens. It was achieved with two well-worked goals – one from a set piece by Maddison Farmer in the first half then Ursula Bratjancsak’s 61st minute strike confirmed the result and a game against APIA next weekend.
For Gladesville Ravens, they struggled again to break down Sutherland Shire FA. Annalise Schiraldi’s goal on the half hour gave them the lead but lacked a clinical edge to put the game to bed. Now, they head into an elimination final against Central Coast Mariners.
Looking for a fast start – Gladesville had an early header from Annalise Schiraldi saved then had a rare sighter from Eloise Taylor flash wide to try and overturn their recent woes against Sutherland Shire FA.
There wasn’t much joy for Sutherland Shire FA in the first half but their best chances came through Jordan Baker. The striker curled a free-kick wide of the post then latched onto a ball over the top where she uncharacteristically sprayed was unable to finish.
On the half hour mark, Gladesville scored their first goal against Sutherland Shire FA this season. Carlie Ikonomou uncorked a shot outside the area which in hockey fashion was turned home by Schiraldi, making it 1-nil Ravens.
Schiraldi had a chance to make it double delight for Gladesville. From a corner, the striker popped up to nod the ball goalbound but some desperation scramble from the Sutherland side kept it off the line and still down a single goal.
That defensive effort was rewarded with an equaliser in the 44th minute. Some quick work from the set piece opened up the space for Maddison Farmer, the attacker slammed the ball home emphatically to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Knowing there was the carrot of a Grand Final qualifier waiting at the finish, the second half was a tense affair as Sutherland Shire FA changed to a 4-4-2 to blunt Gladesville Ravens best threats.
Sutherland Shire FA hit the front just after the hour mark. Ursula Bratjancsak, who scored the lone goal in the contest between these two last weekend, broke free at a corner and nodded home, 2-1 Sutherland Shire FA.
Needing to chase the game, Gladesville Ravens rung the changes to find a way through the dogged Sutherland Shire FA defense. Zoe Zaczek had their best chance when she dug the ball out of her feet but thrashed it right into the hands of Sutherland keeper Hannah Ryan.
Looking to give themselves a two-goal cushion, Sutherland Shire FA had a pair of chances to finish off the contest. Baker directed a wonderful ball into the path of Bratjancsak, who whistled her effort wide of the right post.
Late in the contest, Baker herself broke free with plenty of space to roam. She eyed up glory as she rampaged into the box but was denied well by Ravens keeper Eri Arikawa. Sutherland Shire FA and Baker would take the spoils and move into a Grand Final Qualifier against APIA Leichhardt Tigers next weekend.
A happy Sutherland Shire FA Technical Director Jon Long praised his side for their spirit
“It was a similar game to last weekend. They dominated the first half but we changed a few things at half-time which helped us the goals. We gave ourselves four across the midfield and now go to face APIA, on hopefully, what will be a nice evening.” said Long.
“We went to a 4-4-2 after half-time which helped us. Ended up getting the goal from a set piece and had a few more chances in the game against a physical side. Finished the Sutherland Shire FA man.
For Alex Disciascio whilst it was disappointing to lose tonight, the hard work throughout the season has allowed them a second chance to fix things up next weekend against Mariners:
“Looking at the game, I thought we had a good first half. We were disappointed to not go into the sheds with a better result. Fortunate for us now, thanks to our season, we get a second chance against Central Coast Mariners.” he said.
“I think we create the most chances in the competition. Now it is about trying to put them into the back of the net and get a better result. You saw in the second half, we had to chase the game and were unable to break them down. We need to be clinical next week.” finished Disciascio.
Sunday 11 August 2019
Valentine Sports Park #3
Referee: K. Jones
Assistant Referees: S. Hilton & J. Barton
Sutherland Shire FA 2 (Farmer ‘44, Bratjanscak ‘61)
Gladesville Ravens 1 (Schiraldi ‘30)
Sutherland Shire FA: 1. RYAN Hannah, 2. NISBET Genevieve, 3. MANOS Georgia, 5. MAXWELL Morgan (5. GEORGIEVSKI ‘78), 6. CHRISTIE Brittany (4. HUTTON ‘62), 8. BESZ Nicole, 9. BAKER Jordan, 11. FARMER Maddison, 12. KENDALL Lauren, 19. YEATS Zoe, 22. BRATJANSCAK Ursula
Unused subs: 29. HART Zoe, 32. MUTCH Kellie
Yellow cards: Bratjanscak ‘75
Red cards: nil
Gladesville Ravens: 1. ARIKAWA Eri, 2. TAYLOR Eloise, 3. SMITH Ashleigh, 5. FISHER Alanna (4. LIDBETTER ‘45), 6. IKONOMOU Carlie, 7. DIAZ Emily (28. MOORE ‘77), 8. ZACZEK Zoe, 9. SCHIRALDI Annalise (51. GOLDSMITH ‘77), 10. KASHIMA Yume, 11. WOJTOWICZ Kasia (26. POND ‘65), 23. GESTIER Hannah
Unused subs: 14. KINCHINGTON Annabelle
Yellow cards: Taylor ‘55
Red cards: nil
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)