PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
South Wallsend 2 (Stacey Day, Gemma Pearce) defeated by Merewether 5 (Hannah Sunasky, Tayla Braithwaite 2, Jane McDonald, Rhali Dobson) at Walker Fields. Half-time: Merewether led 2-1.
Sunday, April 30
Merewether coach Cass Koppen said “we played ordinary but got the result in the end” as they continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 5-2 win over South Wallsend.
United led 2-0 midway through the first half after Hannah Sunasky and Tayla Braithwaite both scored but Stacey Day bridged the gap to one goal going into the break when she found the back of the net.
United extended the lead to 3-1 early in the second half when midfielder Jane McDonald shot from range and the ball deflected off South Wallsend’s goalkeeper into the net.
The hosts hit back through Gemma Pearce and the game hung in the balance until Rhali Dobson picked up the ball deep in enemy territory and scored.
Braithwaite completed a match brace when she scored a close-range header off a Jaimee Ellis corner in the dying stages in what was a carbon copy of her first goal.
“We probably dominated possession and just failed in the final third with our final pass at times,” Koppen said.
“We’re still scoring plenty of goals, which is pleasing, but we just need to get control of the game a bit earlier.
“But that was also our third game in a week and we were quite fatigued in the second half.”
South Wallsend coach Gary Wilson was proud of his team’s efforts despite the score.
“It was an even game, they took their chances and we didn’t,” Wilson said.
“A few of our girls were very ill going into the game and hadn’t trained, so I was proud of their efforts and courage to see out the game for their teammates.”
South Wallsend now face a weekend double-header against Mid North Coast. They travel to Taree on Saturday before returning to host Sunday’s game.
Warners Bay 5 (Cassidy Davis 2, Jenna Kingsley 2, Sian Keating) defeated Adamstown 2 (Ryley Field, Taylor Kelly) at Adamstown Oval. Half-time: Warners Bay led 2-1.
Saturday, April 29
Adamstown coach Ben Herron wants to see more fight from his side after Rosebud matched it with defending champions Warners Bay until half-time before being overpowered 5-2 on Saturday.
Adamstown opened the scoring around the 15-minute mark when Ryley Field found the back of the net. Field, playing up front in place of absent Sarah Moore, challenged for the ball at the near post and scored from close range.
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis scored two goals in quick succession midway through the half to give the visitors the ascendancy heading into the break. The first was a header off a corner that had been flicked on by Nadja Squires. The second was in the run of play. Kingsley played a nice through ball to beat the Adamstown defence and Davis had three goes at it before the ball finally went in.
The hosts found the leveller moments into the second period through Taylor Kelly.
Squires showed great vision to send a perfectly weighted long ball beyond the Rosebud defence to find Sian Keating, in her second game of the day, to chip Rosebud goalkeeper Bec Miller from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Westfield W-League striker Jenna Kingsley then scored a brace to put the game to bed midway through the second half.
Kingsley’s first was a header on the goal line and the second a long-range screamer.
Davis said it was not pretty but they got the points and paid homage to several of her players who backed up from the 18s game.
“We didn’t have many fresh players and it was pretty much a team effort,” Davis said.
“Elodie Dagg is good for them and she was tough to beat in the middle.”
Herron rued another inconsistent performance and suggested he may make personnel changes for their round-nine clash with Merewether.
“We started well, in my opinion, and were clearly on top in the first 25 [minutes],” he said.
“They scored off a corner … I’ve been upset with the amount of goals conceded off a corner this season.
“Then we had a chance and they went on the counter-attack and put it away, so we were down 2-1 at halftime.
“In the second half you really started to see their experience and exposure and they started to dictate.
“They were very effective at their passing and they dictated in the second half.
“We are just lacking consistency for long periods of time … I need my girls to stay in the fight. At the moment, we don’t have that character in our team.”
Mid North Coast 3 (Bianca Mason, Esther Ting, Courtney Anderson) defeated Thornton 0 at Thornton Park. Half-time: Thornton led 2-0.
Sunday, April 30
Mid North Coast improved to third place with a 3-0 win over last-placed Thornton and coach Mick Day said there was plenty of improvement to come as they prepared for an upcoming weekend double-header with South Wallsend.
Mid North Coast trounced the Redbacks 8-0 in the opening round of the season but had not won another game until this round.
“We knew it would be a completely different game to round one and coach Alan Primmer has Thornton playing well,” Day said after the game.
“We trialled a few things today which we are working on and we will tighten that work up over the next few training sessions.”
Mid North Coast host the Wolves in Taree on Saturday before travelling to Walker Fields on Sunday to challenge South Wallsend again.
They held a 2-0 ascendancy at the break against Thornton after Bianca Mason and Esther King both bagged first-half goals.
Courtney Anderson put the game extended the lead to 3-0 when she got on the scoresheet in the second period.
Redbacks coach Al Primmer had few complaints and said he was happy with the gradual improvements his squad were making.
“The best team won,” Primmer said.
“But what I took out of it, and what I said to the girls in the sheds after the game, is that we didn’t have any pre-season games and had only had four games before this one but we have shown plenty of improvement since the first game.
“We probably had the best of the start of the second half and I was happy with the girls. We’re starting to keep the ball more, which is good. But they are a polished unit and played well.”
Thornton back up to host Wallsend on Wednesday night in a rescheduled washed-out match.
Wallsend – bye
Points table: Merewether 21, Warners Bay 18, Mid North Coast 7, Adamstown 5, South Wallsend 4, Wallsend 2, Thornton 0.