Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic 0-2 Merewether United
Merewether moved into first place on the Herald Women’s Premier League table after an entertaining win over the now third-placed Broadmeadow Magic on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Alison Logue was monumental in the win, which saw the Llamas move a point clear of Magic. United still have a game in hand against Mid Coast FC next Saturday.
The experienced keeper not only saved a penalty in the first half but was crucial in keeping the home side scoreless despite a number of attacking opportunities from the women in red.
“[Logue] pulled off some incredible saves. [It’s a] cliché but the big players stand up in the big games. She stood up and had a massive game,” Merewether coach Scott Ellis said.
“[Broadmeadow] presented us with different challenges to what we’ve had. We started with a 4-4-2 formation. To be honest it didn’t really work against them. We changed to 4-5-1 in defence in the second [half] and 4-3-3 in attack.”
Rhali Dobson and Tamara Nash combined for the Llamas opening goal, with Nash on the receiving end of a pin-point cross from the W-League striker.
Merewether doubled the advantage shortly after the break when Lori Depczynski found the final touch on a scrappy contest close to goal.
Saturday’s clean sheet was the fifth this season for Merewether, who have conceded just five goals since the resumption of the season. The performance of Ellie Withers also drew strong praise from Ellis, who described the result as an “ugly win.”
“They’re a good side. [There was a] midweek game for us [against Thornton]. It was noticeable. The legs were a little bit heavier than I would have liked,” Ellis said.
Broadmeadow Magic coach Jake Curley remained upbeat despite the result noting the “outstanding” performance of Merewether keeper Logue, which he believed was the difference between the two sides.
“We’ve lost two games this year. Both games were like that and there’s nothing I can say to say anything we need to fix,” Curley said.
“It’s not as if we didn’t create chances. It’s not as if we didn’t have five or six opportunities to win.
“[Merewether] took the chances that they had and we couldn’t take the chances we had.”
Magic next face Adamstown on Sunday, before a mouth-watering clash with Newcastle Olympic on 20 September. The result of that game is likely to determine who scores a second chance in week one of the finals series.
Adamstown Rosebud 1-2 Newcastle Olympic
Newcastle Olympic were lucky to escape with all three points after an enthralling battle with Adamstown on Sunday afternoon.
In the end a late penalty to Olympic was all that could split the two sides, with the win moving Olympic up one spot into second. The women from Darling Street are equal with Broadmeadow Magic on points but have a far superior goal difference.
“It was a pretty big battle towards the end. For us it wasn’t a pretty game, we just had to hang in there and we ended up getting a penalty in the last minute of the game,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
“It’s been a pretty big week. We’ve had three games in a week so the fact that a few players might have been a bit mentally tired was understandable.”
The visitors were first to find the scoresheet in the battle between third and fifth thanks to the boot of Georgia Little. She was later substituted as a precaution with hamstring tightness.
With Olympic choosing to rest Sophie O’Brien and Imogen Tusek, Adamstown pushed hard for an equaliser.
The breakthrough came thanks to a spectacular effort from Kimmy Trappett, her shot from outside the 18-yard-box edging past the fingers of the Olympic keeper.
The match-winning moment came in the 89th minute when Jemma House was fouled in the box. The competition’s leading goal scorer made no mistake from the spot.
Adamstown now find themselves in the unenviable position where they will need to win at least two of their remaining three games, while hope other results fall in their favour if they are to qualify for finals football.
“The girls are very disappointed with the result. The week ahead we just focus on us and how we can be effective in the game,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.
Leia Puxty and Trappett both drew praise from Campbell, while there will be a nervous wait to find out the extent of an injury suffered by young striker Ella Spicer who came from the field midway through the fixture.
Adamstown next face Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday, while Olympic host Thornton.
Warners Bay 9-0 Thornton
Warners Bay increased the margin between them and fifth-placed Adamstown with a nine-goal win over last placed Thornton on Sunday.
Jen Hoy led the way for the home side with five goals, while Elodie Dagg bagged a brace and Ellie Brown and Georgia Cook added to their season tally.
“It was a pretty simple message in the sheds. We wanted to be ruthless and get back to the way we play. I thought the girls did that extremely well,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said.
“We probably had a 10 minute period there in the first half, after we scored a few goals, where we just dropped off a little bit. But the intensity then lifted. A clean sheet was nice as well.”
The Panthers now sit five points clear of Adamstown but Atkins knows his side can’t afford to slip up if they are to be there come week one of the finals series.
“We’re sort of treating each week like a semi-final. We have to,” Atkins said.
“It’s in our hands. If we want to make it, we have to win those games. Good intensity today but we’ve got to improve again next week.”
Four goals in less than 15 minutes left Thornton reeling, with the side forced to chase the game from the opening whistle.
Thornton coach Al Primmer was also forced to substitute a number of players at the break due to injury concerns.
“A lot of it is the heads went down and while the heads are down, we concede a goal and then another goal again,” Primmer said.
Despite what was a tough day for the Redbacks it was an important one for goalkeeper Danielle Redding who chalked up her 100th appearance in the Herald Women’s Premier League.
The Redbacks now turn their focus to next weekend’s clash with Newcastle Olympic, with Primmer hopeful his side can find points in the remaining three rounds of the competition.
“I don’t want that every week. We don’t deserve to be finishing like that every week so hopefully the girls can find something and try and get something,” Primmer said.
Mid Coast FC 3-0 New Lambton
Mid Coast FC made it two in a row as they heaped more pain on a struggling New Lambton at Taree Zone Field.
Middies remain well in contention for finals football but will need to secure points against top of the table Merewether in next weekend’s double header if they are to move towards the final four.
Chelsea Hall, Jess James and Layni Fens all found the back of the net for the home side, who hit the front late in the first half.
“First half [New Lambton] threw a lot of energy at us. To be honest the first half was reasonably even. We had a couple of chances and jagged one before half-time,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.
“It was a real team performance. I didn’t think there were too many players who stood out from the rest, everyone got in and did their job.
“It wasn’t the perfect performance but in saying that we probably should have scored three or four more.”
It wasn’t all good news for the home side who lost Rosie Newman to a suspected broken collarbone. Courtney Anderson and Tash Ruge also missed the game but are both expected to be on deck for next weekend’s gruelling double header with Merewether.
The three-goal defeat marked the end of a tough eight days for New Lambton, who were battered by Magic last Saturday, parted ways with coach Brad Jones on Tuesday and left reeling after a loss to Olympic on Wednesday.
And while the score would suggest the performance was disappointing, interim coach Cas Wright was impressed by her side’s tenacity given they were forced to pull players from reserve grade and under-17s in order to field a team.
“Considering everything that has gone on, the girls really stood up and challenged Middies,” Wright said.
“With the injuries and the players we had out, I think the girls had a lot of opportunities. Our structure was good in the second half.”
Sunday’s clash marked Kaitlin Radstaak’s 100th appearance in the WPL, while Nikki Clifton made her debut for the Eagles.
Adriana Jones missed the game due to illness, while Ruby Jones has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with injury.