Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic 0-4 Newcastle Olympic
Newcastle Olympic have one hand on the premiership trophy after a Jemma House inspired win over Broadmeadow Magic.
The competition’s leading scorer led the way for the visitors with her eighth hat-trick of the year as Olympic cemented top spot on the table. Georgia Amess also found the scoresheet.
“The first half was a really good half of football. It was competitive for everyone, we both had our chances, we both let them go,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
“We just knew at half-time that we would slowly wear them down. We know that we’re probably the fittest team in the competition and we just had to stick to our game plan and be patient.”
Scoreless at half-time, Olympic were clinical in the second as the visitors put away four unanswered goals.
“It was just about being more aware of our ball movement and trying to be a little bit quicker and not taking as many touches,” Attwill said.
“We just wanted to speed things up. We play well quickly, we want that intensity to be high.”
The premiership is now almost administrative for Olympic who would need to lose against New Lambton next week and have Broadmeadow Magic defeat Mid Coast FC to be once again level on points. Olympic have a far superior goal difference of +45 compared to Magic’s +20.
Magic coach Jake Curley was left lamenting what might have been after his side failed to convert opportunities into goals in the first half.
“We struggled with the final third and a lack of discipline,” Curley said.
“We talked about where they were dangerous and we conceded in those areas.”
Magic round out the regular season with a trip to Taree to take on Mid Coast FC next weekend. Curley does not believe the loss to Olympic will halt his side’s momentum.
“Having one bad half in the last six weeks is not something to lose confidence about. That happens in football,” Curley said.
Erin Wilson drew compliments from the coach, who has been impressed by the side’s performances given 2020 was the first year Magic had featured in the competition since 2011.
“For a new team with a number of new players I think the year has been really good,” Curley said.
Merewether United 3-4 Warners Bay
Warners Bay locked in a finals place with a win over rivals Merewether United on Sunday.
Jen Hoy led the way for the Panthers with three goals, while Elodie Dagg also found the back of the net in the 4-3 win.
“I thought the girls played really well. Right from the whistle they started well and scored an early goal,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said.
“Overall, the girls did their role as individuals and as a unit.”
According to Atkins, the performance was still far from his side’s best, with composure in front of goal a focus moving forward.
“We’ve still got a lot to do on our finishing. We had a number of chances and we could have buried the game,” Atkins said.
“We just need more composure in front of goal, just relax a little bit, have a look where you need to put the ball and compose yourself.”
The Panthers finish the regular season with a trip to Adamstown Oval to take on Adamstown Rosebud and, while the result will not change their position on the ladder, Atkins sees the game as just as critical.
“I said to the girls on Sunday it’s semi-finals football now. That’s how I want you to play, play with that intensity, be first to the ball,” he said.
“We have to do the simple things right.”
Down 4-1 in the second half, Merewether clawed its way back into the match through Rhali Dobson and Lori Depczynski.
“It took the girls a little while to get a handle on Jen Hoy but once they did, we did pretty well,” Merewether coach Scott Ellis said.
“We reverted a little bit, we just wanted to play the ball first time all day rather than keeping the ball.”
Alison Logue missed the clash through injury, while Jamee Ellis returned for the home side having missed last weekend’s double header against Mid Coast.
“For us, we’ve just got to be patient in the build-up and not rush. When we didn’t rush and when we just found the holding midfielder and moved the ball from side to side, we pushed them back and created good opportunities,” Ellis said.
Merewether will likely meet Warners Bay in week one of the finals series.
Thornton Redbacks 2-4 New Lambton
New Lambton returned to the winner’s circle with a two-goal win over Thornton.
In the last Herald Women’s Premier League game to be played at Thornton Park it was the visiting Eagles who found the scoresheet in the 25th minute thanks to Adriana Jones.
The home side returned fire seven minutes later through Jaz Hughes. Her shot initially found the gloves of New Lambton keeper Tru Parker before Hughes slotted away a deflection to level the score.
And as the heavens opened, so did the goal count as Jones and Tahlia Gossner extended the margin to 3-1 to the Eagles. Taleah Mountford clawed one back for the Redbacks to leave the game in the balance mid-way through the second half.
Kate Heap sealed the deal for the Eagles with a spectacular effort from long range.
“Mentally the win is a big one. For the girls these last eight weeks has been hard so now just to have a win and while we did concede two, the positives override the two goals conceded,” New Lambton technical director and interim head coach Cas Wright said.
The win came as New Lambton announced Greg Lowe as head coach for next season. Lowe has previously worked as a coach with the Newcastle Jets Academy and also at Valentine FC during its stint in the Herald Women’s Premier League.
“We’ve just got to stick to our plan and move forward. 2021 for New Lambton is very exciting,” Wright said.
Emily Wicks joined a growing casualty list for the Eagles, who face Newcastle Olympic next week.
And while Thornton will be disappointed to have not walked away with points from their home ground’s swansong, it wasn’t through lack of effort. Coach Al Primmer had nothing but admiration for his side’s performance.
“The effort was wonderful. I’ve never doubted the effort and that’s us. It shows a lot about Thornton through all the years, the girls play for each other,” Primmer said.
Asked about the nearing end of Thornton’s time in the Herald Women’s Premier League, Primmer reflected on the development pathway the club has played for many young up-and-coming Hunter Valley footballers.
“It’s exactly how we started. We started with a bunch of 15, 16 and 17-year-olds and that’s how we finished. When I looked out there near the end of first grade, I think we had six 18-year-olds or under,” he said.
“We started as a youth development club and that’s how we finished. I’ve said it to a lot of people, our worst player in under 14s is just as important as our best player in first grade.”
Thornton round out their time in the competition with a trip to Arthur Edden Oval to take on Merewether United.
Adamstown Rosebud 4-1 Mid Coast
Adamstown Rosebud were too good for Mid Coast FC as Rosebud ran out 4-1 winners over the visiting Middies on Sunday morning.
Emma Bates bagged a brace as Kimmy Trappett and Belle Hewitt also added their names to the scoresheet.
“The girls were pretty keen to go out and play well and to show they don’t deserve to be where they are on the table,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.
“They did that, there were lots of good performances.”
Having struck the lead early Adamstown managed to hold out the Middies attack, with the side quick to close out the match with the result on the line.
“We took our chances for once. I think the fact the girls actually got a result when they deserved it,” Campbell said.
“When it went to 2-1, in other games we probably would have let them back in the game but we scored to make it 3-1 pretty quickly after that.”
Rosebud finish the season with a return to Adamstown Oval to host Warners Bay, after Sunday’s game was played on the synthetic surface at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.
“We train on it and it probably suits our style a lot more than playing at our home ground does,” Campbell said.
“I just hope that we finish the season positively and we show what we’re about and how we want people to know us as a team.”
The loss ended Mid Coast’s slim hopes of finals football but coach Mick Grass was adamant season 2020 had delivered plenty of positives.
“If anything comes out of this season it’s that more consistently what we are doing is actually working and we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.
Courtney Anderson added another goal to her season tally, with the customary attack a stand-out in a losing side.
“We weren’t up to the standard we were up to last week [against Merewether],” Grass said.
“It was disappointing that we just weren’t committed enough of some of the set pieces. You’ve got to want it more if you really want to get the result.
“If we committed ourselves better in those moments, we don’t go into half-time as far down as we were.”