League One Women’s Major Semi-Finals Review


Our Grand Final is now set. Hills United FC will face Gladesville Ravens in the big dance to determine the League One Womens champion.

Both semi-finals were tight and tense contests across the weekend.

Let’s get onto the review!

Hills United FC 1 defeated Northbridge Bulls FC 0

A late Isabella Sciberras goal has helped Hills United FC into the Grand Final after their 1-0 win against Northbridge Bulls FC on Saturday night.

Hills United FC took their time to get into the contest boosted by the return of keeper Sarah Easthope held firm until half-time. They scrambled home a late winner through Isabella Sciberras to joyous celebrations all round.

For Northbridge Bulls FC they will rue some missed chances in the first half which could’ve put the game to bed early. They will look back on the season fondly with making the top four.

Both games between these two sides were tight contests and it showed again on a crisp night in Seven Hills where chances were far between in the first 45 minutes.

Hills United FC had an early half chance through Aisling Davidson who hooked towards goal before Northbridge Bulls FC started to wrestle control of the game.

Their first effort fell to Cate Gyzen who was released down the wing before having a shot blocked then Jessica Seaman’s follow up was hit right at Hills United FC keeper Sarah Easthope.

Gyzen turned provider a minute later when she threaded a ball through for Tamires Souza who went through one-on-one with Easthope but was denied.

Near the half hour mark, Imogen Lane went for a speculative shot which drifted wide followed up by Stefanie Trovato who curved wide of the mark.

Just before the break, Ellen Berios had the hosts best chance of the game. She whipped a low shot which had Northbridge Bulls FC custodian Trudy Burke scrambling to push it wide to keep it at 0-0.

Coming out of the break, Hills United FC were feeling just fine. Brooke Hastie curled a free-kick which was taken well by Burke.

The game was tense headed into the final 30 as both teams started to open up and chase what would be the winning goal of the game and book a place in the Grand Final.

Bulls substitute Alanna Fisher almost broke the deadlock in the 75th minute. She whipped in a cross which created some chaos but couldn’t be turned home by the attackers.

The moment of magic came in the 87th minute. A run from substitute Isabella Sciberras saw her stride into the box before her shot was blocked, hit a Bulls defender then trickled into the net for 1-0 to Hills United FC.

Northbridge Bulls FC pushed everyone forward to find a late equaliser which included the introduction of Rita Boateng but Hills United FC were able to hold them off and go through to the decider.

Speaking post-match, a jubilant Hills United FC coach Alan Tasses praised the commitment from his side to weather the storm and book themselves into the final:

“It was a typical semi-final battle. It went right to end with an 87th minute game. Northbridge Bulls were the dominant side in the first half. We made some adjustments and we spoke about energy, transition and that would be how the game would be won and it was.” said Tasses.

For Northbridge Bulls FC coach Bill Papas, he remained positive about the Bulls season after their slow start and reflected on a first half where they didn’t take their chances:

“We had our chances and moments and didn’t convert. Those come back to bite you in what was a hard tussle. Unfortunately if you don’t hit the back of the net that is what happens. Sixteen weeks ago, it was going to be a miracle if we made the finals and we turned it around.” said Papas.


Saturday 17th September 2022

Blacktown City Sports Centre

Hills United FC 1 (Sciberras ‘87)

Northbridge Bulls FC 0

Hills United FC: 1. EASTHOPE Sarah, 2. JACKSON Emma, 3. DAVIDSON Aisling, 4. ROBERTS Alix (8. GALAYINI ‘61), 7. TROVATO Stefanie (18. HASTIE ‘90+1), 9. LANE Imogen (12. SHANNON ‘77), 10. HALLS Annie, 13. GALEA Desiree, 14. BERIOS Ellen (17. SCIBERRAS ‘69), 15. WHEELER Cassandra, 19. HASTIE Brooke

Unused subs: 16. BREIN Bridget, 21. WHOLOHAN Emma

Yellow cards: nil

Red cards: nil

Northbridge Bulls FC: 1. BURKE Trudy, 4. SEAMAN Jessica, 5. MANOS Angelina (15. BOZANIC ‘69), 6. FARQUHAR Kiara (37. FISHER ‘58), 8. CHRONIS Evelyn, 10. SOUZA Tamires, 11. GREY Elizabeth, 12. BEARD Hannah, 18. COWARD Lara, 19. CLOUT Tessa (2. BOATENG ‘88), 24. GYZEN Cate

Unused subs: 7. DAVISON Poppy, 35. BROWNE Zoe

Yellow cards: Grey

Red cards: nil

Gladesville Ravens 1 drew with UNSW FC 1 (Ravens won 4-2 on penalties)

On a night of high drama Gladesville Ravens held their nerve to win 4-2 in the shootout after the sides were locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes at Christie Park on Sunday night.

Gladesville Ravens are one step closer to the cherry on the top of their season going to the Grand Final. They led the game 1-0 after a stunning Keiko Tanaka strike but were pegged back by a ten-man UNSW FC then it was Eleanor Lidbetter who fired home the winning penalty.

UNSW FC can hold their head highs despite defeat. They were down to 10 players after Sarah Ferris was sent off but swept home an equaliser from Sasha Rodriguez. The students were dealt another blow when Nicole Adam also was shown a red but showed heart taking the game to a penalty shootout.

The Artic Circle was bathed in sunshine as both UNSW FC and Gladesville Ravens took the pitch for a fabulous semi-final match up in prospect with a packed crowd in to cheer their side home.

UNSW FC were the first side to have a chance through Marcella Santos who fired a warning shot at Gladesville Ravens keeper Romina Parraguirre.

The Ravens responded in the best possible way with the opener. Keiko Tanaka found space outside the box and fired home with the ball kissing off the post for 1-0.

The students best chances in the first half came from the set piece. Rio Darlaston hit the bar twice from free-kicks once directly in the 26th minute then from a UNSW FC head in stoppage time.

Gladesville Ravens had their own chances. Jess Wootton curled one wide of the mark and goal scorer Tanaka snatched the ball from a defender but sprayed it wide. Ravens maintained their 1-0 advantage headed into the break.

After the break, UNSW FC went close in the 50th minute. Amanda Levaskevich turned well and fired a shot which needed to be bundled for a corner by Parraguirre.

The job got harder for UNSW FC when Sarah Ferris was shown a straight red card for a scuffle with Ravens Wootton which left the visitors down to ten players.

Despite being a player down, UNSW FC had their chances. Darlaston fired a free-kick straight after Eve Hess also did similar with her effort.

Gladesville Ravens had their chance to kill off the contest with Georgia Vlangos’ free-kick sent over the bar then Gemma Woolley doing similar with her set piece.

The visitors fired a shot of what was to come when Darlaston’s cross was almost bundled home by Santos quickly followed by her header swept away by Elizabeth Gilbane to the delight of her fan club in the stands.

UNSW FC found an equaliser six minutes from the end. Another corner created chaos in the box and it fell to the feet of Sasha Rodriguez who swept home for 1-1.

Buoyed by this UNSW FC had a chance in stoppage time to complete the turnaround. Santos weaved past defenders and whistled an effort wide of the mark as we headed to extra time.

The extra time period was tense between two sides which didn’t want to lose. Substitute Nicole Adam shot straight alongside Tanaka for Ravens in the first period of 15 minutes but the score remained deadlocked.

The students were reduced to nine when Adam committed a foul to deny the Ravens a chance to settle the game which made their job even harder.

Woolley put the corresponding free-kick on target but UNSW FC keeper Tiahna Robertson pushed it wide of the mark to keep her team in the match.

Late chances for Ravens substitute Eleanor Lidbetter and Gilbane were unable to break the tie and we were off to the dreaded penalty shootout at a crisp Christie Park.

Both sides missed their first spot kicks with Tanaka and Darlaston wide of the mark. This followed a sequence where Woolley and Gilbane converted for Ravens while Hess and Sonja Murphy did the same for UNSW FC to make it 2-2.

Vlangos who was a centra; figure converted her kick coolly for the Ravens before UNSW FC substitute Georgia Biniares sent her effort over the bar. That left the Ravens with the chance to put the game away with their fifth kick.

Experienced campaigner Lidbetter stepped up. She strode in confidently and sent Gladesville Ravens into the Grand Final which prompted a pitch invasion from their fans as the coaching staff celebrated their feat.

Post-match a delighted Gladesville Ravens coach Andrew Galbraith soaked in the moment and praised his side for their effort to make the Grand Final:

“There wasn’t much between the sides this season and that showed tonight. They played hard and we had to match them all night. I’m so pleased and proud of our girls. We prepared for penalties and wanted to be ready. We go to the Grand Final for the cherry on top for the girls.” said Galbraith.

UNSW FC coach Guillermo Rubio was full of praise for his side who had defied the odds all season and tonight to take the game to a shootout but it wasn’t to be:

“This match sums up our season. The girls showed tremendous character to fight through the adversities and make the finals. The girls got stronger through each of those challenges which showed tonight. I think the red card killed the game. We kept fighting and I can’t be prouder of the group. It has been an amazing season. We hopefully will build up from this and fight for promotion next year.” said Rubio.


Sunday 18th September 2022

Christie Park, Macquarie Park

Gladesville Ravens 1 (Tanaka ‘22)

UNSW FC 1 (Rodriguez ‘84)

Gladesville Ravens: 5. TANAKA Keiko, 6. SEETO Anja (25. HANSEN ‘46), 7. WOOLLEY Gemma, 8. VLANGOS Georgia, 9. ZACZEK Zoe, 12. DENBY Astreia, 15. GILBANE Elizabeth, 22. PARRAGUIRRE Romina, 24. DAVEY Kimberley, 26. O’REILLY Maggie, 31. WOOTTON Jess (4. LIDBETTER ‘82)

Unused subs: 1. COLEMAN Eliza, 19. SPORULE Natalie, 21. MILROY Amelie, 43. DAVINE Luca

Yellow cards: Tanaka, Wootton, Hansen, Zaczek

Red cards: nil

UNSW FC: 1. ROBERTSON Tiahna, 2. FERRIS Sarah, 3. MULLINS Jesse, 7. DARLASTON Rio, 8. MURPHY Sonja, 11. SANTOS Marcella (25. BINIARES ‘114), 12. HESS Eve, 17. SUMMERSBY-MITCHELL Miranda (16. MORRIS ‘69), 20. CHRISTOPHER Cassandra (13. ADAM ‘83), 28. LEVASKEVICH Amanda (38. STINZIANI ‘102), 40. RODRIGUEZ Sasha

Unused subs: 4. BLAYNEY Ashley, 21. HOWARD Akala

Yellow cards: Levaskevich

Red cards: Ferris, Adam

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)