2021 Herald Women’s Premier League Round 17 Review

August 2nd, 2021

 Jack Antcliff

 Smart Artist

Match of the Round

Maitland FC 1 defeated by Adamstown Rosebud 3 

Adamstown maintained its position within the top-four with a win over the now fifth placed Maitland on Sunday afternoon. 

The Buds led three-nil at half time with the Magpies only goal coming late in the match at Cooks Square Park. 

Kiarra Lewis secured two goals for the Buds, while Imanee Burke scored the third goal in a performance that wasn’t all perfect in the eyes of coach Ryan Campbell.  

“Overall, we were happy with our first half but disappointed that we dropped our level in the second half,” Campbell said. 

“I was happy with how we approached the first half with our high tempo game.” 

Adamstown next play the sixth placed Charlestown Azzurri at home, before they host top-of-the-table Broadmeadow Magic in round 19. 

“The next few weeks we are looking at improving our confidence at playing though pressure so that we can create more controlled chances,” Campbell said. 

“In the end, we just need to keep on winning our matches.” 

Mercedes McNabb claimed Maitland’s only goal on an afternoon to forget for the home side, with coach Keelan Hamilton hopeful his side can bounce back quickly in coming weeks. 

“First focus is to make sure we move on from today. Disappointed to lose and not play well, but still five weeks to go,” he said. 

A lack of execution when in possession, along with a number of what some may consider unlucky calls proved tough terrain for the Magpies, who next weekend play Warners Bay. 

“Overall, we were a bit flat and sloppy with our passing in the first half,” Hamilton said. 

“Our execution in possession playing from the middle third into the front third in the first half was sloppy… We were too direct and didn’t play through our link players enough.” 

Kate Heap drew praise from the Magpies mentor with a stronger second half a positive despite a torrid result in the consequence of Maitland’s season. 

The result saw Maitland drop to fifth on the table, four points shy of the now fourth placed Adamstown.  

“We probably didn’t get the rub of the green on a couple of the goals either, but you have to make your own luck,” Hamilton said. 

“We made some changes and improved in the second half but not enough to put scoreboard pressure on Adamstown. 

“We just accept we were second best on Sunday and now just move to the next match.” 

Charlestown Azzurri 0 defeated by Broadmeadow Magic 3 

It appears to be season over for Charlestown Azzurri with a loss to Broadmeadow Magic on Friday signally the end of an already slim finals hope. 

Mathematically Azzurri remain in contention, though would need to win all four of their remaining fixtures and wait on a number of other unlikely results. The run home for Charlestown includes Adamstown, Warners Bay, Newcastle Olympic, and New Lambton.  

“It was a tough game… We expected a tough game anyway and it got away from us in the second half,” Azzurri coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said. 

“The first half especially we were doing well to nullify their threats and we were giving ourselves a chance to stay in the game and pinch something.” 

“Everyone worked hard, and no one gave up… We just didn’t have enough in the end to keep it tight.” 

Papaspiropoulos’ approach to the next few weeks is now simple, “what matters is what is in front of us,” he said. 

“It is simple… We all know that we can do better, and we have shown that we can be within the top four.” 

Despite the result, 15-year-old goalkeeper Bella Van Veghel impressed in just her fifth first grade appearance. 

“She is our under 17s keeper and she had a brilliant game… She made some really great saves in the second half,” Papaspiropoulos said. 

Chelsea Lucas led from the front for Broadmeadow Magic with a hattrick, as the visitors cruised to another important win. 

Magic led by just the one-goal at half time before kicked into gear in the second. Broadmeadow coach Jake Curley described the win as a “solid performance.” 

“The girls stuck to the game plan trying to play forward as much as they could… We also created a lot of chances which is a good sign,” he said. 

“I think the difference was our players were probably better in the 50/50 challenges.” 

The impressive form of Chelsea Lucas drew praise from Curley, who remains under stay-at-home orders on the Central Coast. 

“It was her [Chelsea Lucas] best performance of the season… She was outstanding,” Curley said. 

The perils of isolation remain a tough task for Curley, who has been coaching the top-of-the-table side via nontraditional methods in recent weeks. That strategy now continues into another week. 

“We will have light training this week with a Zoom session just to go over a few things,” he said. 

Magic next weekend play New Lambton, while Azzurri travel to Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility to tackle Adamstown Rosebud. 

New Lambton 0 defeated by Newcastle Olympic 6 

A double to Georgia Amess laid the foundation for another dominant performance from the second placed Newcastle Olympic, who proved too good for the last placed New Lambton. 

Jemma House, Laura Hall, Rosie Copus, and Jess Evans all found the back of the net for the defending champions who bounced back from last weekend’s loss to Broadmeadow Magic in impressive style.  

“The girls certainly put together an excellent performance which showcased quality passing,” coach Harmonie Attwill said. 

“We worked hard to maintain possession and used our speed in wide areas to exploit New Lambton.” 

There was no shortage of positives for Attwill who noted her side’s ability to deliver to the plan. 

“There was a great deal of urgency from players to shut down the ball and regain possession any time New Lambton had time on the ball,” she said. 

“This impressed me as it was a key area we identified as an element to win the match.” 

Olympic next weekend face Mid Coast in the match of the round at Darling Street Oval. Middies are seventh on the table with just one-win to their name thus far. 

“The coming weeks will provide us a chance to really work on combinations, cementing our best starting team for upcoming games,” Attwill said. 

At the other end, it was never going to be easy for New Lambton who struggled to gain any level of ascendancy at home. 

Without Sophie Nenadovic and minus Brooke Miller in the first half, the Eagles found it tough going as Olympic fired an array of early attacking raids. 

“We knew it was going to be a hard game considering the players we were missing,” coach Maddy Searl said. 

“Olympic came out firing, we just couldn’t get through their midfield.” 

New Lambton play top-of-the-table Broadmeadow Magic in weekend.  

Mid Coast 0 defeated by Warners Bay 1 

Warners Bay moved back into the top-four after a successful weekend on the road against Mid Coast. 

The Panthers claimed a maximum six points from their double header weekend, which included a round-three catch up game played on Saturday. 

Lilly-Jane Babic claimed the Panthers only goal on an afternoon that could have been mistaken for the middle of October on Sunday, while Elodie Dagg led the way with a double on Saturday. 

“The job was to come up here and get six points and we have done that… Two clean sheets and two wins that is what we wanted,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said. 

“The girls moved the ball really well and played some good football over the couple of days.” 

Warners Bay next weekend play Maitland with Atkins hopeful his side can continue the strong structural play that saw them topple Middies. 

“The ball movement, and a lot of combinations we played over the weekend were quite solid,” he said. 

“There was some really good patches, just brilliant football, one-touch, two-touch, it was really good to watch.” 

Mid Coast coach Mick Grass was left to lament a tough weekend where his side struggled to match it with the fourth placed Panthers. 

“We never really got into any high-quality football at all on Sunday… I thought our effort and our fight that we produced in the second half was impressive,” Grass said. 

“With the season we have had in regard to injuries, weather, results, despite that, the girls fought hard.” 

“On Saturday, I was really happy with our first half… We set out to play a particular way and we achieved that to the most part.” 

“We gifted them a goal in injury time in the first half… We never really recovered from that.” 

“We reverted back to some default settings which wasn’t pretty.” 

Despite not walking away with points, the performance of 14-year-old Jorja Holborow was a shining light for Middies with Grass declaring her one to watch.  

“I had brought her into the starting squad in the last couple of weeks and she is going to be a player of future,” Grass said. 

The positive pair of results moved the Panthers to fourth on the table, equal on points with Adamstown, though behind on goal difference.  


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