Match of the Round
Merewether 4-1 Adamstown
Described by Merewether coach Scott Ellis as three points his side “couldn’t afford to drop,” Merewether continued on its winning ways at the weekend, overpowering traditional rivals Adamstown 4-1.
Rhali Dobson added to her season tally with two goals while Katy Gray and Tamara Nash also found the back of the net for the Llamas, who sit in second place on 20 points.
“Early on we were playing well but couldn’t put anything away. Again, just rushing to go forward got the better of us at times, where we wasted a lot of opportunities just by being too focused on going forward,” Ellis said.
“It was a really good defensive effort. But we’re still not yet at our best. We’re taking small steps every week. At our best, we would have put away another four or five goals.”
Merewether still have two games in hand over competition leaders Broadmeadow Magic, including Wednesday’s night clash with Thornton.
“We’ll have a light session on Tuesday where we focus on taking our chances in the final third in terms of building up to the goals and not just rushing forward all the time,” Ellis said.
Adamstown were first to find the back of the net at Arthur Edden Oval through Emma Bates but couldn’t go on with the job as the Llamas’ experienced side took control.
“[Bates] was just very composed and confident and got on the ball and did a good job, scored a nice goal,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell.
Campbell described the three-goal loss as his side’s “best performance by far over the season,” with plenty of positives to take into next weekend’s clash with Newcastle Olympic.
“The first 40 minutes we were by far the better team and if we can put a 90 minute performance in like we did for 40 minutes then the girls will take a lot of confidence from that,” Campbell said.
“In critical moments we just got punished for mistakes that we made and then because they have got experience, they know how to stay on top of the game.
“It was frustrating to that point that we dominated so much but yet still went into half-time 2-1 down.”
New Lambton 1-4 Broadmeadow Magic
The Broadmeadow Magic machine continued to roll on at the weekend, as the women in red outclassed New Lambton on a picture-perfect day at Arthur Edden Oval.
Maggie Quinn bagged a brace, while Gemma Harrison and Maddie Dean also found the back of the net for the visiting Magic, who are now five points clear at the top of the table.
Coach Jake Curley described the win as a “good result,” with the focus now turned to a top-of-the-table clash with Merewether next Saturday.
“It was close in the first round [against New Lambton] but on Saturday we were probably the better team and we controlled the game I would say after the first 15 minutes,” Curley said.
Curley was full of praise for mid-season signing Erin Wilson, describing her performance as “amazing” in what was another important win for Broadmeadow.
“I think the group is in a good place. Everyone’s bought into what we’re trying to do,” Curley said.
It was a tough day at the office for New Lambton, with Lisa Cochrane and Sophie Stapleford injured in the loss. Both are awaiting scans, with the pair likely to be sidelined for a number of weeks.
“We lacked a little bit of composure just in our play at times. When we used the ball, we actually found we could play through them but they just wound us down and ground out a win,” New Lambton coach Brad Jones said.
“At 3-1 we’d actually started to control the game and actually looked quite good.”
Young defenders Kate Heap and Emily Wicks both drew strong praise from Jones, while Adriana Jones found the back of the net for the first time in Eagles colours.
“It’s been a few weeks coming. It was a good combination play to get it up to her but a classy finish. [Adriana] deserves a lot of credit,” Jones said.
New Lambton will need to regroup quickly, with the Eagles to face Newcastle Olympic on Wednesday night.
“It’s just going to be about each player doing their role on the opposition and be conscious of where the threats come from,” Jones said.
Thornton 0-3 Mid Coast FC
Mid Coast returned to the winner’s circle with a convincing win over Thornton on Saturday.
The win keeps Middies’ slim hopes of finals qualification alive, with the side three points shy of fourth- placed Warners Bay. Mid Coast still have a game in hand against second-placed Merewether.
“We really focused on just getting the win on Saturday. Just to stay in the competition it was mandatory for us,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.
“Was the performance complete, probably not. But we had to just get the three points and get home again.”
Chelsea Hall, Jess James and Emma Shipperlee all found the back of the net for the visitors, with Shipperlee drawing strong praise from Grass.
“I thought Emma in the midfield was excellent. She was full of energy and pretty creative through the middle of the park there for us,” Grass said.
According to Grass, his side still has improvement to be made when it comes to execution.
“I think similar to last week [against Warners Bay] our first 20 minutes I thought we were really sharp. I thought we could have racked up a really big score the way we were playing and then after about that 20 minute period mistakes started to creep in,” Grass said.
“To me that’s probably a concentration problem, so that’s where we’ll have to focus on getting the players’ heads right to be able to focus for the entire match.”
Despite the loss, it was an otherwise momentous day for Thornton who will transfer its WPL program to the Maitland Magpies from next year.
Played at the traditional home of Maitland at Cooks Square Park, the Magpies used the clash to announce former New Lambton premiership-winning coach Keelan Hamilton as the coach for its first grade WPL side next season.
“We just couldn’t get into the game. The girls tried hard and had some good patches but Middies were just quicker all day,” Thornton coach Al Primmer said.
“Cooks Square Park is wider than Thornton Park which meant more space, which I do not think we used well.”
Thornton next face Merewether in a round seven catch up game on Wednesday, with changes expected to the side that faced Middies.
Newcastle Olympic 7-2 Warners Bay
Newcastle Olympic fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition on Sunday afternoon as they overpowered Warners Bay in comprehensive fashion.
Jemma House again led the attack for the home side who piled on seven goals in what was a clinic for the crowd at Darling Street Oval.
Georgia Little also found the back of the net on two occasions, while Georgia Amess added to her season tally and Jessica Evens put in a contender for goal of the year.
The Olympic backline was also impressive in keeping danger duo Jen Hoy and Elodie Dagg quiet for the majority of the match.
“I knew we had to be better with our defence and I was a bit nervous at first. We changed our formation a little bit to accommodate [Hoy] knowing she is good enough to score near enough every time she touches the ball,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
A subtle change in attack saw Little play a more forward attacking role, with Attwill impressed by the talented footballer’s ability to adapt to multiple positions.
“She’s so good she could play any position but it is just trying to find the right position for her in our side,” Attwill said.
Newcastle Olympic next face New Lambton on Wednesday, with the coach keeping her cards close to her chest.
“We might change a few things. We’ll see what happens,” Attwill said.
Locked at 1-1 at half-time, Warners Bay looked every chance of stealing three points from the highly-rated Olympic but were left to rue a lack of intensity in the second half.
“First half it was a descent contest I thought, a number of chances from both sides and going into the break at 1-1 I thought game on here,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t show up in the second half and they made us pay pretty heavily.
“A lot of our play was way too casual and not enough people demanding the ball, wanting the ball enough and Olympic were just on our toes all day.”
Hoy scored two goals for the visitors, while Elodie Dagg also looked strong in a losing side.
“It’s going to be highly intense next week and hopefully we can bounce back and we probably need to bounce back in a big way,” Atkins said.