PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Warners Bay 1 (Sass Seaborn) defeated Merewether 0 at John Street Oval on Sunday. Half-time: Warners Bay led 1-0.
Player-coach Cassidy Davis “could not be prouder” of the effort a 10-player Warners Bay produced to end Merewether’s unbeaten start to the season and, in the process, move three points clear at the top of the Herald Women’s Premier League ladder.
The defending champions already held a 1-0 lead when they were reduced to 10 players just shy of half-time after Corinne Krupa swatted the ball away from the Warners Bay goal, earning herself a red card in the process but saving a certain goal.
Jamee Ellis’s corner was on track to find the back of the net before Krupa intercepted it.
United was unable to make the most of the opportunity presented to them when Grace Macintyre sent the ensuing penalty wide of the posts, leaving the visitors down 1-0 going into the break.
Fleet-footed Warners Bay winger Sass Seaborn had put the hosts on the scoresheet with the game just 10 minutes old when she buried the ball from close range after Davis had a shot which was rebounded back into play.
Both sides had chances to score in the second half but neither could convert their opportunities as the game moved from end to end.
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen was disappointed with the performance and her side’s failure to produce their best football.
“You can’t afford to play below your potential against top teams and we got punished as a result,” Koppen said.
The loss yesterday brought to an end United’s nine-match winning streak. A win would have given them the chance to move six points clear of Warners Bay, who are their only challenger for the minor premiership and also have the bye round looming.
“We’ve made things very difficult for ourselves now,” Koppen said.
“A win would’ve made the rest of the season a lot more comfortable, but the girls know that and I’m sure they’ll respond.”
Davis said her side showed “good fight”.
“I was pretty proud of the girls for the effort, they just kept fighting,” Davis said.
South Wallsend 2 (Eliza Tupper, Georgia Amess) defeated Thornton 0 at Thornton Park on Saturday. Half-time: South Wallsend led 1-0.
South Wallsend improved their position in the race for top-four positions as the competition heads towards the business end of the season.
Eliza Tupper scored in the first half to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break then Georgia Amess added another in the second period to seal what captain Laura Byrnes described as ‘much-needed’ three points for the Wolves.
“The girls played really well and we’ll take some confidence out of that game,” Byrnes said.
“We were unfortunate not to score more goals and it was a big effort without several key players.”
Those missing from the Wolves side included Maddy Searl (suspension), Erin Wilson (injury), Laura Austin (unavailable), Emma Stevenson (unavailable) and Darcie Bell (injury).
“Amelia Singler stepped up from the 18s to play in goals for us and did really well,” Byrnes said.
Thornton coach Robbie Richardson had few complaints despite the loss and said the return of Sophie Milton for their next game would make a difference.
“Southy are well coached with talented players,” he said.
“Our girls competed very well and there were many positives out of the game.
“We gave away a soft goal in the second half, which would have left it 1-0, but the girls are playing for 90 minutes and that is the pleasing thing.”
Mid North Coast 2 (Sophie Jones, Bianca Mason) drew with Wallsend 2 (Libby Copus-Brown 2) at Taree Zone Field on Sunday. Half-time: Mid North Coast led 2-0.
Libby Copus-Brown scored two goals in five minutes at the death against Mid North Coast to secure a two-all draw in Taree.
Mid North Coast dominated the first half and led 2-0 at the break after Sophie Jones and Bianca Mason both got on the scoresheet.
But Wallsend rallied in the second period, benefitting from a change in formation and playing the better football of the two sides in that half.
Their hard work paid off when Copus-Brown scored in the 85th minute for the Red Devils then found the equaliser in the 89th minute.
Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos felt “a draw was probably a fair result”.
Mid North Coast coach Mick Day agreed it was a game of two halves, with his side dominating the first and the visitors the second, but said conceding a last-minute equaliser hurt.
Adamstown – bye
Points table: Warners Bay 30, Merewether 27, Adamstown 14, Mid North Coast 11, South Wallsend 11, Wallsend 7, Thornton 3.