Match of the Round
New Lambton 4 (Georgia Amess 2, Tara Andrews, Sophie Jones) def. Warners Bay 1 (Jenna Kingsley)
Sunday 26 May, 2.30pm, Alder Park
New Lambton have kept hold of their three-point lead atop the Women’s Premier League standings after ten outings, with a game in hand bolstering their lead further over the chasing South Wallsend and Warners Bay sides.
The Eagles keep hold of the roast they have made in their ten-game winning streak with a 4-1 win over the Panthers, after two periods of domination sealed the game for the league leaders.
First, Georgia Amess netted a lethal double for the side in the 13th and 18th minutes to give New Lambton a 2-nil lead over their travelling Warners Bay rivals. Jenna Kingsley was able to grab one back for the Panthers to close the first half on a 2-1 standing, but two minutes in the second half was to seal the three points for the Eagles.
A long-range cross from the right from Emily Wicks found goalscoring leader Tara Andrews in the box, and the Jets striker was able to slam home the chance to double New Lambton’s lead in the 64th minute. Sophie Jones added another a minute later after pouncing on a back-pass to Warners Bay’s keeper and sealed the deal for her team.
While New Lambton stretched their record to ten-straight and collected a three-goal winning margin, coach Keelan Hamilton said he felt his side had come off second best in many of the match’s moments. He was happy with the win but knew his side still has a lot of work to do.
“We didn’t control the game like we would like to, but we were good in moments, and I know you can’t have the team be perfect every time they step out onto the pitch,” he said at Alder Park.
“The girls did what they needed to do to get their jobs done, and I’m really happy with the result considering it was an important fixture for us in the premiership challenge.”
Considering Warners Bay are the defending premiers, and topped the table in 2018 with twelve wins in fifteen games, Hamilton knows his side has beaten “one of the best.” The Eagles’ boss also thinks his side may have been thinking that ahead of the game too.
“Sometimes in games against top sides like Warners Bay we haven’t found that confidence to impose ourselves into the game without and with the ball,” he said.
“We got in that mode and panicked a little bit. We will continue to improve on that because it will be key.”
For Panthers captain Cassidy Davis, who was part of the 38-point premiership squad from last season, she said the loss was pretty difficult to stomach considering she felt her team had been “the better team for the majority of both halves.”
“We started well, but two mistakes cause two goals, and that got us on the back foot,” she said.
“Then we came out in the second half and passed the ball well, but two more mistakes meant two more goals. I thought they were preventable, and that’s not individually that’s as a group. It’s disappointing and frustrating, but we’ll just have to go again.”
Despite falling by three goals at Alder Park, Davis still believes the title race, and the battle for finals in the league’s mid-table, are both far from over. Results in the first twelve weeks have already proven that the Westfield W-League midfielder said, and will continue to prove that.
“I think we can beat any team, and any team can beat anyone in the Premier League,” Davis said.
“I don’t think New Lambton should be as far forward as they are, but then they’ve got the job done in games and that’s why they’re there, to be fair. We know what we have to do to improve, however, and it’ll be good to have a refresh over the bye weekend coming up.”
Merewether United 7 (Rhali Dobson 4, Tamara Nash, Katy Gray, Courtney Anderson) def. Wallsend 1 (Sophie O’Brien)
Sunday 26 May, 2.30pm, Myamblah Oval
Merewether clocked another hefty victory in the Herald Women’s Premier League eleventh round, bowling over Wallsend 7-1 at Myamblah Oval on Sunday afternoon.
For the most part, it was the Rhali Dobson show as United’s key attacker put four past the Red Devils to deliver the six-goal win. The goal-haul continues the Westfield W-League winger’s purple patch of form and marks eleven goals in her past three outings for the club.
While Dobson scored four of the team’s seven, caretaker coach Peter Withers, who is helming Merewether while Cass Koppen is away, said it was a “complete” performance from the team to reverse their first-round mistakes.
“We saw a big turn around from the 3-1 loss last time we played Wallsend, to get that to a 7-1 win that even included a missed penalty is great, that’s for sure,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries throughout the season, and today marks the first gameday we’ve had our full squad available. It’s good to see that we are able to dominate games again, especially after taking a slow start to the beginning of this season. It was a good win for us considering our entire year.”
Wallsend were able to grab one back through Sophie O’Brien, who has opened her season’s scoring account after ten appearances for the Red Devils. It wasn’t enough for the away side, however, to overcome Merewether’s lethal scoring spree.
Withers praised the Llama’s for their attacking prowess, from Dobson’s eleven to the whole team’s 26 goals in the last few games. According to the side’s assistant coach, the team has hit “a great bit of form” right in the middle of the season.
“We’ve wandered into that form and it’s great for us,” he said.
“We were too complacent at the start of the season for a number of reasons, and we lost games that on paper we should have been far more competitive in. We’ve spoken about it now though, and we’ve got that consistency coming back into the side. That’s really the key moving forward.”
South Wallsend 5 (Ash Brodigan 3, Gemma Harrison, Maryjane Mason) def. Thornton Redbacks 1 (Jasmyn Hughes)
Sunday 26 May, 2.30pm, Walker Fields
South Wallsend continued their season’s trend of “starting slow” in games, recovering from a 1-0 deficit early in the first half to score a 5-1 win over the travelling Redbacks.
Jasmyn Hughes netted Thornton’s ten minutes into the match at Walker Fields. Ash Brodigan was soon to answer back however, levelling on the 16th minute. Gemma Harrison put the Wolves back ahead in front of their home side, but with a tenuous 2-1 lead.
Maryjane Mason also joined the scoring for South Wallsend in the second half, as the team “came out of the sheds looking completely different,” coach Cas Wright said of her triumphant side. Brodigan rounded out her hat-trick to clinch the 5-1 victory.
“As always we were slow out of the blocks and Thornton scored first because of that,” Wright said.
“For us, it was about making sure we could move forward towards securing that second spot for now. After the first half, we righted the ship and played a different style of football. That second half was when we started firing against Thornton.”
While his side was sunk 5-1 in the end, Redbacks coach Alan Primmer said he was “proud” of the way that his girls handled their assignments. After weeks of watching “scrappy” goals go into the back of his team’s nets, he said he was happy to see only quality goals able to beat Thornton’s stalwart defence.
“The first four that Southy scored against us had to be top-shelf to actually beat us, and while I’m not at all happy that we conceded them, it was good to see that they had to pull that kind of goal out to beat us,” Primmer said.
“We might have gone down, but I’m really happy to see the efforts of the girls in the loss.”
Primmer also praised his side’s defensive efforts considering the team was missing key rearguard players, Anais Moore and Allysa Hall.
“Without Anais and Allysa were had to do a fair bit of defensive reshuffling, and that probably added to the conceded goals,” he said.
“We basically turned up cold-turkey and had to fix some of the defence spaces with players, so I think the team did really well considering that was how we turned up at Walker Fields.
“I said to the girls “This is one of the form teams in the competition,” and we went with them for a while, so I’m happy in that regard.”
Football Mid North Coast 0 def. by Adamstown Rosebuds 1 (Chelsea Lucas)
Sunday 26 May, 2.30pm, Wayne Richards Park
Adamstown have scored their second win of the season in an edgy battle at Wayne Richards Park in Port Macquarie, as the game descended into an “arm wrestle” between the victors and hosting Football Mid North Coast.
According to home coach Mick Grass, both sides lacked that “cutting edge” in front of goals, with a goal-mouth conversion from Chelsea Lucas the only thing to split the two sides over ninety minutes.
“Both teams had trouble breaking the other one down, and even the only goal came from a scrappy kick-around in the box that ended up going through someone’s legs,” the Middies boss said.
“That said, it was a good fight even if it wasn’t a great display of finishing, just disappointing to be on the wrong end of it because the girls played well in patches.
“I don’t think we played terribly at all, we just couldn’t finish our chances, and credit to Adamstown because they played well when needed, and kept us away from their goal for the majority of the game. We just couldn’t get there in the end.”
Travelling Buds coach Paul Devitis said he and his squad were “very happy” to collect three points on the road, especially against a table-rival like Mid North Coast. Considering the side’s tendency to leak goals so far in 2019, he also said it was “especially pleasing” to march away from Port Macquarie with a clean sheet in tow as well.
“Our defensive performance was very solid, and we didn’t let the opposition create many threats on our goal,” he said.
“Our passing was very pleasing, and something we worked very hard on at training throughout the week.
“We were much more composed on the ball, and our ability to switch the point of attack was great to watch. When Mid North Coast did put us under pressure we also handled it well. Overall it was a strong whole-team performance, and we were consistent for the full ninety.”