PHOTO: Valentine Sports Photography
Match of the Round
Warners Bay 4 (Jenna Kingsley 2, Nadja Squires, Sass Seaborn) defeated Adamstown 2 (Emily Frost, Elodie Dagg) at John St Oval On Sunday. Half-time: 2-2.
Defending champions Warners Bay scored two late goals to beat Adamstown 4-2 at John Street Oval on Sunday after being locked at 2-2 at the break.
The game had barely started when fleet-footed Sass Seaborn made a break and scored from the edge of the 18-yard box to give the hosts a 1-0 lead after one minute.
But Emily Frost levelled the score moments later when she scored into the top far corner of the net from the left.
The score retaliation was a sign of things to come as the two sides arm-wrestled their way through the first half.
Jenna Kingsley put the home side back in front around the 30-minute mark when she scored off a free kick just to the right edge of the 18-yard box.
But Elodie Dagg tapped in from close range about five minutes later to have the game deadlocked going to half-time.
The match continued to and fro and in the second period and both sides had their chances.
The heat also started to play a factor with numerous players suffering from cramps.
Warners Bay got their chance to again take the lead when Kingsley was felled in the box with less than 10 minutes remaining. Skipper Nadja Squires scored into the top right corner with the spot kick.
Kingsley completed a match double when new Warners Bay shot-stopper Rhianon Stokes sent the ball long and the Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League player sped onto it in Adamstown territory and beat visiting goalkeeper Olivia Sneddon with a low shot into the back of the net.
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis felt it “was a pretty average performance by us”, despite the win.
“We lacked intensity; it was hot and the field didn’t help,” she said.
“We weren’t first to the ball enough and let it bounce too much in the first half. The second half was better.”
Adamstown coach Ben Herron said they “lacked a bit of composure in that top third” but “couldn’t be prouder of the effort” as Adamstown’s trial-game preparations were limited and he thought they would be further off the pace than they were.
“I think that took its toll but all credit to everyone because they were all out on their feet.” he said.
Merewether 6 (Rhali Dobson 2, Lori Depczynski, Grace Macintyre, Tayla Braithwaite, Jaimee Ellis) defeated South Wallsend 0 at Evans Park. Half-time: Merewether 5-0.
Merewether United showed goal scoring was not going to be an issue for them this season when they led South Wallsend 5-0 at half-time before winning 6-0 at Evans Park on Sunday.
United coach Cassie Koppen wanted to add strike power to her squad this year and recruited proven attacking weapons, not to mention Westfield W-League players, Rhali Dobson and Grace Macintyre.
The move will pay dividends if their first-up efforts are anything to go by. Dobson scored a first-half double and Macintyre also got on the scoresheet before the break.
Both looked dangerous every time they touched the ball but the whole Merewether outfit were dominant, especially in the first half.
The game was only 13 minutes old when Leticia Quinlan won the ball from a South Wallsend defensive blunder and passed for Captain Lori Depczynski to streak onto in the box and score low into the bottom right corner. Three minutes later Tayla Braithwaite was on the spot to finish from close range after South Wallsend goalkeeper Darby Bell fumbled the ball.
Dobson’s double and Macintyre’s goal were both from close range and some defensive shakiness cost South Wallsend.
Set-piece specialist Jaimee Ellis scored the only goal of the second half with a superbly taken left-footed free kick from 35 metres out.
United coach Cassie Koppen was “thrilled” with the start to the season.
“We took the foot off the gas a bit in the second half but they didn’t give us as much time on the ball either,” Koppen said.
“I’m still very happy that we didn’t concede any and still had control of the game.”
South Wallsend coach Gary Wilson described it as “a bad day at the office” but was much happier with the second-half effort of his side.
“We were a bit shell-shocked in the first half and got punished for some fairly blatant errors, but to their credit, they really got stuck in in the second half and took a bit of pride in the shirt,” Wilson said.
“We’ll get better.”
Mid North Coast 8 (Sophie Jones 3, Courtney Anderson 2, Bianca Mason 2, Britt Hargreaves) defeated Thornton 0 at Taree Zone Field
Sophie Jones scored a hat-trick in Mid North Coast’s 8-0 rout of Thornton, putting last year’s wooden spooners top of the table in the process.
Mid North Coast scored just 12 goals last season and had not won a game before Sunday since 2015.
But they declared they would be semi-finals contenders this year with a comprehensive win over the Redbacks.
Jones, Shannon Day and goalkeeper Imogene Tomasone are all from the Mid North Coast but have spent the past several seasons travelling to play for Newcastle-based Herald WPL teams.
Their addition to the Mid North Coast outfit made an immediate impact and manager Kathie Bestwick said the “new-look squad pulled everything together quite well in their first official game.”
Courtney Anderson and Bianca Mason both scored doubles and Britt Hargreaves also got on the scoresheet.
Thornton coach Alan Primmer said a lack of trial games in pre-season was a telling factor.
“They were way too good for us today; they were too slick and too fast,” he said.
“We looked like a team that had played one trial game.
“But there were a couple of positives out of the game, one was the performance of Sarah Bennett who has come into the squad this season. She played a really good game.”
Wallsend had the bye.
Points table: Mid North Coast 3, Merewether 3, Warners Bay 3, Wallsend 0, Adamstown 0, South Wallsend 0, Thornton 0.
Round 1 WPL 18s, 16s, 14s Results:
18s: South Wallsend 3 beat Merewether 0; Adamstown 3 beat Warners Bay 2; Thornton 1 beat Mid North Coast 0.
16s: South Wallsend 7 beat Merewether 2; Warners Bay 3 beat Adamstown 0; Thornton 2 drew Mid North Coast 2.
14s: Merewether 1 drew South Wallsend 1; Adamstown 5 beat Warners Bay 0; Mid North Coast 3 beat Thornton 0
Round 2 – Sunday, 2.15pm
Merewether v Adamstown, Evans Park;
Warners Bay v Wallsend, John Street Oval;
Mid North Coast v South Wallsend, Taree Zone Fields;