Herald Women’s Premier League Round 4 Review

April 26th, 2021

 Jack Antcliff

Match of the Round

Broadmeadow Magic 7 defeated New Lambton 0

Broadmeadow Magic reaffirmed its position at the top of the Herald Women’s Premier League table on Friday night with a crushing seven-goal win over New Lambton.

“We were pretty good I thought… really effective on set pieces, and overall play was really good,” Broadmeadow Coach Jake Curley said.

Ashlee Brodigan bagged a hattrick for the home side while Nadja Squires found the back of the net on two-occasions.

“I thought our combination play was good. Defensively we were strong,” Curley said.

“We had a lot of possession, so the players were able to work on those areas and combinations.”

The side’s opening goal came after just 58-seconds, but the statistics would suggest it is the team’s defence that has proven the difference this season.

Goalkeeper Alison Logue has only been forced to make one save, and Magic having conceded just three goals.

Kalista Hunter also found the scorecard for the home side, who led the Eagles 4-nil at half time.

In the eyes of Curley, the performance of Kirstyn Antoni was another shining light for Magic, who are hungry to clinch this year’s silverware.

“Through our spine we were strong… It is now just about working on our composure, which they did really well on Friday,” Curley said.

Magic face Adamstown next at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, while New Lambton will need to regroup before an away trip to Taree on Sunday.

According to Eagles Coach Maddy Searl, who only stepped into the role of last week, her side was determined despite the result.

“We will continue to work hard at training, the players all know what our goals are, and we will keep working towards them.”

The Eagles are yet to win a match this season, with their closest defeat a 2-nil loss to Adamstown in round one.

“Lapses in defence from set pieces really hurt us… I was proud of the players for not giving up,” she said.

Not dissimilar to many teams in the competition, New Lambton have been hit hard with injuries. The Eagles went into Friday night’s match without six of its senior squad.

“Key personnel for us are carrying niggles so they will be monitored through the week,” Searl said.

Adamstown Rosebud 2 defeated Charlestown Azzurri 1

Adamstown proved too good for Charlestown on Saturday night in an entertaining battle at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.

Leia Puxty and Ellyse Lynch both found the scorecard for the home side, who sit third on the Herald Women’s Premier League table. The post-match appraisal from coach Ryan Campbell a positive one.

“The attitude of the players towards the result was impressive and a massive improvement on the weekend before,” Campbell said.

“The first half we played well and controlled the game with the ball which I was looking for. The players created chances and limited the opposition to only longer distance shooting.”

Adamstown’s early season form has netted them two wins, a draw and a loss. Campbell believes it is a sign of more to come with the Buds looking every chance to upset the competition frontrunners.

“We created more chances this week but can still be more clinical. This should come with confidence,” he said.

“We will focus on small tactical details for our style of play looking towards this weekend’s match…. Taking chances in key moments got us the result this week which we haven’t done in other games.”

Charlestown next week face Warners Bay, with coach Michael Lee again faced with the unenviable challenge of picking a side from the small group of players passed fit to play.

“It was a pretty ordinary performance on Sunday… We didn’t play well, we were behind the pace from the get-go,” Lee said.

“They [Adamstown] got stuck right in from the start.

It was not all bad news for Azzurri on Saturday, as Jess Gentle made her debut for the side. Gentle scored Charlestown’s only goal despite having played a full game of rugby before the match, though is expected to be unavailable next weekend.

The lack of available players has hamstrung Charlestown in recent weeks including their first-round match being washed out. The injury list is a star-studded one with Tamara Nash, Nicole Jones, Imogen Tusek, Carolina Casic and Isabella Ramzan-Levy either out injured or not yet at full fitness.

In other news, Azzurri’s round one match against Mid Coast has been rescheduled for Saturday 22 May at Lisle Carr Oval. Mid Coast then host Charlestown the following day at Taree Zone Field.

Newcastle Olympic 6 defeated Mid Coast 0

Newcastle Olympic remain just three-points shy of Broadmeadow Magic after a six-goal win over the visiting Mid Coast on ANZAC Day.

Jemma House led the charge for the home side, with coach Harmonie Attwill pleased the team managed to keep a tough Mid Coast side scoreless.

“Overall, it was a pleasing performance across the park. A clean sheet and some quality goals scored,” Attwill said.

“We combined well in the front third and were more clinical on Sunday in front of goals then previous matches.”

Jade McAtamney drew strong praise from the Olympic mentor, while the performance of House had the crowd on its feet, as she added three goals to her season tally. McAtamney scored two.

“Defensively, we played smart and worked hard to eliminate any chances in the midfield,” Attwill said.

Olympic next face Maitland away from home on Friday night.

“A win is a win at any stage of the competition, but we will look to take confidence out of Sunday’s match into our game against Maitland,” Attwill said.

“This week, we have a short turnaround so our aim will be to keep intensity high and build into the match.”

The Mick Grass coached Mid Coast did its best to upset the defending champions but looked a class below as House and McAtamney ran riot at Darling Street.

Grass described the performance as “disappointing,” while noting that the “focus remained on us,” as the side prepares for next week’s match against New Lambton.

“I can make all the excuses in the world, but we just didn’t really turn up at the start… We were just comprehensively outplayed by a far better team on the day,” he said.

“I said to the players after the Adamstown game that I had seen in their faces before the start of the game that they were up for it. On Sunday, that was a different story.

Middies currently sits seventh on the table with one point and a for-and-against score of -6.

“Energy for 90 minutes is what it takes for us to match the top sides… At this stage we are not close to them, we have a lot of work to do.”

“To me the opportunity for improvement is about preparation and making sure each player turns up and that they are ready to go.”

Warners Bay 1 defeated Maitland 0

A weekend off did little to disrupt Warners Bay at John Street Oval as the Panthers scored a 1-nil win over the visiting Maitland.

It was end-to-end action from the open as both sides threatened the opponents respective goal mouth. Maitland struck the posts, while Warners Bay looked dangerous from distance, although neither team could find their way onto the scoreboard in the first half.

The deadlock was eventually broken thanks to Mattiese Loretan in the second stanza as she managed her way around Magpies keeper Imogene Tomason, who made her return to the league after an almost two-year absence.

The win capped off a disrupted fortnight for Warners Bay, with last week’s match against Mid Coast postponed. According to coach Craig Atkins, the win brought back a “bit of fight,” in the Panthers outfit.

“Our ball movement was much quicker, we started off slow, Maitland had the upper hand on us early… We just needed to stop and chill out and get back to what we need to do, and we did that,” Atkins said.

“We had a really strong finish to the first half. I just said to the players at half time we need to keep that momentum going.”

“We need to keep control of the ball and keep it moving and the players came out and Mattiese scored a really good goal to get the result.”

Warners Bay now face a shortened six-day turnaround before they meet Charlestown on Saturday. Atkins will be hoping his side can continue the strong communication that saw them dominate from the onwards of the 25th minute.

“I was watching, and we weren’t working as a unit midway through the first half… People were just making decisions as individuals, rather than as a unit,” he said.

“There was a bit of a communication breakdown so once we rectified that, the players pulled together as a unit and from then on, we had the better run of the game.”

Leading into round four, Maitland had scored the second highest number of goals in the competition, only outdone by the ladder leaders, Broadmeadow Magic. Coach Keelan Hamilton had every reason to be disappointed his side did not add to that tally on Sunday.

“The first 25-minutes we hit the posts, we missed a header from inside the six-yard box, and we’ve missed an open goal,” he said.

“From then on Warners Bay really increased their intensity of play and really took control of the game…. Overall, I was disappointed with the performance as a team and individually at time as well.”

Hamilton described the performance as a “frustrating” one, with his side still yet to find its best football.

“Our consistently week to week and within games is not there to be successful… That is why we have been competitive each week and close but not getting the chocolates.”

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