PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Warners Bay 1 (Jenna Kingsley) drew South Wallsend 1 (Gemma Pearce) at John Street Oval. Half-time: 0-0.
Competition leaders Warners Bay survived a scare against South Wallsend by finding a late equaliser in their one-all draw yesterday.
Wolves coach Gary Wilson was disappointed to forfeit the one-goal advantage they held for a good portion of the second half but felt they showed enough to send a strong message to the rest of the league as the competition reaches the business end of the season.
“We did so well and were looking good for the win but were just unlucky at the end,” Wilson said.
“But leading teams do that, find a way to get out of trouble.
“We’ll be buoyed by that and I think other teams will start to be concerned that we’re in and around that fourth spot.
“It was good to get another point, that might become vital for us.”
The score remained locked at nil-all at the break but Gemma Pearce put the visitors ahead 15 minutes into the second half when her free kick from 25 metres out sailed over the head of Bay goalkeeper Rhiannon Hines and into the top right corner.
The second half was fiery and physical and Warners Bay youngster Zoe Jones had to be taken away in an ambulance after hurting her knee in a clash.
The hosts played some desperate football but could not seem to find the back of the net.
Davis buried a shot into the stomach of Pearce and another, with only the keeper to beat, hit the near post.
Eventually, it was the league’s leading scorer, Jenna Kingsley, who found the leveller at the death when she was on the spot to finish from close range.
Katelyn Lyddiard’s shot from the left was parried by Darcie Bell and Kingsley took a touch before putting it over the Wolves keeper.
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis, in her 100th WPL appearance, was happy to salvage a point in the end.
“We started slow and lacked a bit in the final third not having Soph [Stapleford] and Sass [Seaborn] today,” she said.
“But the girls who came in did well for us.
“Our second half was better, we had pretty much everything and in the end, we showed good fight to get back.
“It definitely wasn’t our best game but they put up a good fight and it’s probably good for us to have a hard game like that.”
South Wallsend edged to within a point of the top four with the draw and will chase more points when they host second-placed Merewether in a rescheduled match on Thursday night.
Warners Bay take on Adamstown in a rescheduled match of their own at John Street Oval on Thursday night.
Adamstown 3 (Lauren Allan 2, Chelsea Lucas) defeated Mid North Coast 1 (Sophie Jones) at Adamstown Oval. Half-time: Adamstown led 1-0.
Adamstown sealed third place and a finals berth with a 3-1 win over Mid North Coast.
Lauren Allan opened the scoring in the 15th minute after some good build-up work by Emily Frost and Chelsea Lucas.
Mid North Coast levelled the score in the 56th minute when Sophie Jones scored from a corner.
Allan put the hosts back in front in the 72nd minute before Lucas scored with five minutes remaining.
Adamstown coach Lou D’Amico said it wasn’t pretty but they got the three points to secure their finals spot.
“Mid North Coast played very well and probably deserved something,” D’Amico said.
“We finished our chances, which was probably the difference, and grinded out the performance.”
Mid North Coast coach Mick Day felt his side played well but the ball “just didn’t bounce our way today”.
They remain in fourth place but are just one point ahead of fifth-placed South Wallsend and face a big clash with sixth-placed Wallsend next weekend.
“It’s a hard path to the finals for us but the girls are up to the challenge,” Day said.
Adamstown, who were without midfield general Elodie Dagg yesterday, travel to John Street Oval to play competition leaders Warners Bay on Thursday night.
Wallsend 6 (Kally Lewis 3, Laura Hall, Sophie Phillips, Casey Smith) defeated Thornton 0 at Wallsend Oval. Half-time: Wallsend led 5-0.
It has been a long time coming but Wallsend finally ended their scoring woes with an emphatic six-goal thumping of Thornton.
The Red Devils led 5-0 at the break after Laura Hall, Sophie Phillips and Casey Smith all scored in the first half and Kally Lewis scored two of her match hat-trick.
Lewis added another in the second period.
The former Emerging Jets striker had scored just two goals in 10 previous outings for Wallsend this season.
The win elevated sixth-placed Wallsend to 11 points and gave them a slim hope of making the top four.
They face a must-win clash with fourth-placed Mid North Coast (17 points) next round.
“It was good to see us being clinical in front of goals today,” Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos said.
“It’s also picked up our for and against going into the Mid North Coast game.
“We’re within striking range of them and we’ll train hard leading up to that game.”
Thornton coach Robbie Richardson said the Redbacks “started poorly and paid for it”.
Points table: Warners Bay 40, Merewether 36, Adamstown 26, Mid North Coast 17, South Wallsend 16, Wallsend 11, Thornton 3.