Match of the Round
Adamstown Rosebud JFC 1-2 Maitland FC
Madison Gallegos handed Maitland three points with a 95th minute match winner on Saturday night as the Magpies downed Adamstown Rosebud 2-1.
The Magpies found the lead early at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility through Sophie Stapleford who capitalised on an error at the back from the Buds.
The match looked to be headed for a draw after Rosebud Kimmy Trappett was fouled in the penalty area in the dying minutes. Kiarra Lewis made no mistake from the penalty spot to make the score 1-1.
But Maitland was not going to settle for one point, with a scrappy contest close to goal falling at the feet of Gallegos, who drilled the ball into the bottom left corner.
“We’ve had some games where we’ve probably felt a bit unlucky to not get anything out of it especially in the first half of the season,” Maitland coach Keelan Hamilton said.
“On Saturday night the ball just fell our way for the first time this season.
“When they got the penalty I thought unfortunately we couldn’t hang on [for a win]. A draw would have been a fair result based on the balance of the game.”
Adamstown proved quite the handful in the second half, in what Hamilton described as “an entertaining match.”
“They put us under a fair bit of pressure in that second period. They pushed a lot of bodies forward and we just lost our process and could not find that forward pass to maintain possession,” he said.
“They are a team that pressure high up the pitch and put a lot of pressure on. There was a number of moments where we were able to play through that pressure and create some good moments.”
Gallegos’ goal took her season tally to four, with the former Thornton striker proving to be a strong find for Maitland and Hamilton.
“We’ve turned her into a centre back. She is doing a great job, she is still learning the role at centre back but her desire and commitment to the matches and training has been fantastic,” Hamilton said.
Adamstown now sit fifth on the Herald Women’s Premier League table on 13 points with four wins, a draw and five losses. They are one point clear of Charlestown and two points shy of fourth-placed Maitland.
Saturday’s game was far from easy on both sides, with the physical encounter likely to leave some players feeling battered and bruised heading into the long weekend when Maitland host Warners Bay. Adamstown travel to Lisle Carr Oval to challenge Charlestown Azzurri.
Broadmeadow Magic 4-1 Charlestown Azzurri
Charlestown slipped to sixth on the table after a disappointing loss to second-placed Broadmeadow under lights at Magic Park.
Chelsea Lucas returned for the women in red, adding a goal to her season tally, while Lucy Kell returned from injury. Ash Brodigan found the back of the net to take her season tally to 11, while Lucy Jerram bagged a brace.
“I was happy with the performance, we were able to create a lot of chances and we were effective with the ball in the final third,” Magic coach Jake Curley said.
Curley was full of praise for his side’s forward-facing block, while the backline again proved a tough task for the visiting Charlestown.
“I thought our front four were impressive,” he said.
“Defensively we worked collectively together and made it difficult for Charlestown to create chances.”
With a 4-0 advantage at half-time, Curley rang the substitutes midway through the second half. Kobie Ferguson, Kell, Jerram and Lucas were all brought from the field with the result seemingly secured.
“Our focus going forward will be combination play and playing in tight areas,” Curley said.
Azzurri found themselves on the back foot early after Lori Depczynski was forced from the field with an ankle injury. The loss of Depczynski proved a hurdle too big to overcome for the visitors.
“We gave away three in quick succession and hence dropped a little bit and lost a bit of rhythm. We let ourselves down,” Charlestown coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said.
“Three of the four goals I would say we could argue we were at fault. Just some individual errors and simple mistakes.”
Freya Clifton scored Azzurri’s only goal, with Papaspiropoulos adamant if his side can find greater consistency and improve its match fitness, they can match the top sides.
“If we can get that right, it helps us being able to work more specifically on tactics or structure,” he said.
Despite their position on the table, Papaspiropoulos was full of praise for a myriad of players within the squad, including Carolina Cacic.
“I remember seeing her play for New Lambton and Adamstown in previous years and I feel like she is improving quite rapidly,” he said.
Herald Women’s Premier League action continues next weekend with games scheduled across Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the long weekend. Broadmeadow Magic back up for another Friday night fixture, this time against New Lambton, while Azzurri are at home to Adamstown on Sunday.
Newcastle Olympic 7-2 New Lambton FC
Jemma House led the way for Newcastle Olympic while Jorjia Hogg scored in her debut for the club as the home side ran away 7-2 winners over New Lambton.
Imogen McInnes, Laura Hall and Georgia Amess also found the back of the net, with the performance of Jade McAtamney and Brooke Summers drawing strong praise from coach Harmonie Attwill.
“[Brooke Summers] continues to be clinical at right back, her positioning in attack and defence is excellent,” she said.
“Jade McAtamney was again great in the midfield, she is very calm in possession and created a lot of chances while hitting the woodwork a couple of times as well.”
Reflecting on the match more generally, Attwill noted her side needed to be more clinical in possession if they are to keep their opponents scoreless.
“Most of the game we demonstrated control however there were times we gave possession away too easy and it resulted in us conceding two goals,” she said.
“There was a lot of space in behind which allowed us to create many chances with well-timed through balls. This gave Jemma House great opportunities to score.
“The wingers were also crucial with runs into the box from purposeful deliveries.”
While not a favourable result on the scoreboard for New Lambton, coach Maddy Searl was far from disappointed with the performance which saw the Eagles show promise against the competition’s top side.
“We competed well for 60 minutes and created some really good chances. We definitely had Olympic worried,” she said.
Adriana Jones scored two goals for the visitors, though by the time House found space for Olympic the momentum had turned.
“There’s plenty of positives to take from the game and plenty of things we still need to work on. Tess Symington was great in the midfield for us once again,” Searl said.
“We will finally almost have our full squad this week with everyone back on deck which will be great to bring some competitiveness for starting positions.”
New Lambton are at home to second-placed Broadmeadow Magic on Friday night, while Olympic make the trip up the freeway to take on Mid Coast FC at Taree.
“Mid Coast are a tidy team who show patience in their build up so we will continue to focus on our purpose in possession and being more clinical in our build up,” Attwill said.
Warners Bay FC 1-0 Mid Coast FC
Warners Bay remain just six points behind second-placed Broadmeadow Magic after a narrow win over the travelling Mid Coast on Sunday afternoon.
Lilly-Jane Babic scored the side’s only goal on an afternoon where coach Craig Atkins would have just been happy to return with three points.
“We played some good football but we needed to capitalise on the many chances that we created,” he said.
With a one-goal advantage at the break, the Panthers were unable to go on with the job at John Street Oval as Middies looked to score a memorable upset.
“We dominated the majority of the game but kept them in the game by not finishing our chances,” Atkins said.
“We will take a fresh approach into next week with a tough road trip to Maitland coming up. We need to work on being clinical in the final third and execution of passes.”
Mid Coast coach Mick Grass described his side’s performance as “the best we have played since round one,” noting the side had “executed the simple things.”
“Our first touch was clean, we had crisp passes, we had good movement off the ball,” he said.
Middies remain seventh on the ladder though based on Sunday’s performance it would be unreasonable to rule them out of a surge towards the middle of the table.
“I was really proud of the effort on Sunday. The first half was pretty even and unfortunately like the last few games we were the ones who blinked first,” Grass said.
“They took the lead but I thought the second half we were really dominant. We played probably the better football, created more chances.”
In more good news for the club, Josie May returned to the park in reserve grade.
May has been battling a back complaint, with a return to the senior squad welcome news for Grass, who is already managing a small squad that has been hamstrung by injuries.
“Given where we let ourselves down, I think we just go back and work on that final third. We need to make sure we execute those chances we do create,” he said.
Mid Coast will hope for better fortunes when they host Newcastle Olympic at Taree on Sunday. Warners Bay play Maitland at Cooks Square Park.