Herald Women’s Premier League Preview Round 8 Review

May 24th, 2021

 Jack Antcliff

Match of the Round

Broadmeadow Magic 4-0 Maitland FC

Ash Brodigan bagged a brace while Lucy Jerram stormed into form for Broadmeadow Magic as the home side scored a 4-0 win over Maitland on Friday night.

Brodigan’s pair took her season tally to 10 goals, with coach Jake Curley full of praise for the 21-year-old, along with a series of other standouts.

“I thought Lucy Jerram and Ash Brodigan were both really effective going forward and the sisters Janali and Kalista Hunter were outstanding defensively,” he said.

“Nadja Squires is always solid for us and this game playing without Kobie [Ferguson] she did a really good job in the centre of midfield.”

Reflecting on the match, Curley acknowledged his side’s strong presence across the Magic Park pitch, with the Maitland attack unable to break down the Magic defence.

“I was really happy with the performance. First half the girls were effective in the front third and in the second half we showed good game management,” he said.

“I thought going forward we looked dangerous on most occasions and defensively our structure was really good.”

“I think our only improvement would be to just be a little better with the ball and decision making as to when to play forward.”

Magic face Newcastle Olympic next week in a top-of-the table clash at Darling Street Oval. Last time the two sides met the women in red recorded a two-goal win.

“Focus this week will be to keep working on playing in tight spaces and positive ball movement,” Curley said.

Maitland coach Keelan Hamilton described the loss as “a bit of a story of our season,” noting he believed his side had not performed badly on the park but crucial errors proved costly.

“We made three really big mistakes that cost us three goals and unfortunately the game was gone by half-time,” Hamilton said.

“On the balance of play, they [Broadmeadow] didn’t create four clear cut chances for the whole match but we gave them three goals and they scored one great goal.”

Down by four goals at half-time, some pundits would have started fearing for Maitland’s resolve though a strong second half ensured there was no more damage on the scoresheet.

“I am extremely proud of our group. A lesser group of players would have thrown in the towel. I was really proud of the character,” Hamilton said.

“I think structurally and tactically we’re doing okay. It is just about improving our execution and our concentration.”

Adamstown Rosebud JFC 6-0 New Lambton FC

Six different goal scorers found the back of the net for Adamstown on Saturday as the home side bounced back from three straight losses with a win over struggling New Lambton.

Molly Salvador scored her first goal in first grade, while Leia Puxty, Ella Spicer, Kimmy Trappett, Kiarra Lewis and Belle Hewitt also added their names to the scoresheet.

“The ability to continually play at a high intensity was great and something to work from,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.

Salvador’s performance drew strong praise from Campbell, while he lamented a lack of composure in the middle third. Adamstown play Mid Coast FC at Taree next week.

“We need to improve our composure in the middle third so we can maintain possession and create chances,” he said.

Rosebud now sit fifth on the table, two points shy of Charlestown. Kiarra Lewis leads the goal scoring tally for the side with four goals.

“The girls were happy after the game but know that it’s important to use this as a steppingstone to pick up the points we need,” Campbell said.

The result made for tough reading for New Lambton fans, who have been struggling for positive headlines in recent weeks. The Eagles have won none of their eight matches to open the season.

“The girls were all very disappointed. We now need to look forward and train hard this week ready for the next game,” Eagles coach Maddy Searl said.

Despite the disappointing results, the performance of Macy Anthony continues to draw praise from Searl, who believes her side is starting to find form that will transfer into results.

“Macy Anthony had another brilliant game, I’m excited to see her combination with Jenna Kingsley grow,” Searl said.

“Our performance was okay considering the players we were missing. It’s always hard to compete when you have four starting players out but in patches we definitely competed.”

The Eagles face Warners Bay at Lambton’s Arthur Edden Oval next week.

Mid Coast FC 0-2 Charlestown Azzurri

Charlestown Azzurri claimed a maximum six points from its double header weekend against Mid Coast with back-to-back wins on Saturday and Sunday.

The Sunday win moved Charlestown into the top four, two points clear of fifth-placed Adamstown, with the middle third of the table now heavily congested. Just four points separates third and sixth, with Azzurri to face both Maitland and Adamstown in the next three weeks.

Jess Gentle continued to impress for Azzurri, scoring the side’s only goal. The second goal was an own goal to Mid Coast.

Mid Coast coach Mick Grass described the mood around the squad post-match as “disappointed,” with the side’s focus now switching to next week’s match against Adamstown.

“At the moment we’re just not acquitting ourselves well with the basics. That’s where we go back to from here, just make sure every individual player is a little bit more competent with the ball,” he said.

Despite conceding two goals, Grass noted his side’s strong character when chasing the game.

“When we were down by two goals in both games, it took us to be two goals down before we started showing real intensity and real intent to push pressure on the other team,” Grass said.

“At two goals down, I thought we had a real good opportunity to get back into the game because we were putting a lot of pressure on them.”

The Buds will prove a tough challenge for Middies, with Adamstown’s intensity proving a nasty surprise for even the competition’s best.

“We can expect a high-pressure game from them. If we’re not able to execute the basics against a team that puts a lot of pressure on you then we’ll probably concede goals,”
Grass said.

Josie May will likely miss next weekend’s match after sustaining a back injury at the weekend, with scans to determine the full extent of the injury.

On Saturday, Charlestown proved too good for Middies at Lisle Carr Oval. Tamara Nash bagged a brace and Ellie Withers added to her season tally in the 3-1 win. Emily Knott scored the visitors’ only goal.

Warners Bay FC 1-2 Newcastle Olympic

Newcastle Olympic remain locked in second place on the Herald Women’s Premier League table after a narrow win over third-placed Warners Bay.

Jade Mcatamney handed the visitors the lead early in the match, with the women from Darling Street holding down much of the early possession.

Lilly-Jane Babic gave the home side hope of a comeback late in the game. She combined with the Panthers midfield to score the side’s only goal, before Olympic nailed a match-winner.

The final goal was orchestrated by a strong run from Georgia Little, who managed to find Georgia Amess close to goal. Amess made no mistakes from short range.

“We knew it was going to be a hard task for us today so to come away with three points is pretty special,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.

The visitors were forced to play with 10 players for much of the second half after Elise Mamanu-Gray was sent off for a challenge. Olympic face competition leaders Broadmeadow Magic next week.

“I would have probably been satisfied with a draw considering everything that had happened. The girls have shown the last two weeks, despite anything going against us, we’ve still been able to battle,” Attwill said.

“We will just continue to try to use the performances the girls have put on the last few weeks to drive their motivation.”

Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins was left to lament lapses in defence, while the coach noted “our football was generally good across the park.”

“I thought the girls played really good football for the majority of the match but just a couple of soft defensive errors hurt us,” Atkins said.

“When you are playing big games against top teams you can’t afford to give any soft chances away.

“It is a tough one to take. I thought the football we played and the contest was a really good”

The Panthers face New Lambton at Arthur Edden Oval next week, with Atkins hopeful his side can find another level of execution in front of goal.

“Another area we have got to work on is our execution. A lot of our passes missed the mark, especially that final pass,” he said.

The loss leaves the Panthers third on the table, one point clear of Charlestown Azzurri.

“We got into the battle and matched it with Olympic. I thought we moved the ball quite nicely, we created some chances and possibly could have won it at the end there.”

Atkins will be nervously awaiting news on Tara Pender, who rolled her ankle during the match, and Airlie Davis, who was struck in the head by the ball late in the match.

Both are expected to be cleared of any serious injury.

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