By Renee Valentine
Match of the Round
Merewether 4 (Ellie Withers 2, Sophie Jones, Jamee Ellis) defeated Valentine 0
Half-time: Merewether led 3-0
Sunday at CB Complex
Merewether downed Valentine 4-0 yesterday and can seize the outright competition lead with a win over last-placed Warners Bay on Wednesday night.
United were dominant yesterday – they controlled the midfield, were strong across the park and got in behind Valentine’s defence with pace up front.
Merewether opened the scoring around the 35-minute mark when defender Jamee Ellis’s left-footed long-range effort found the back of the net.
The visitors extended the lead five minutes later when midfielder Jane McDonald slipped a perfectly weighted ball through the Valentine defence for Sophie Jones to slot past Phoenix goalkeeper Olivia Sneddon.
Ellie Withers gave Merewether a 3-0 advantage going to the break when she slipped through the Valentine defence to score with a low shot. Withers got on the score sheet again with the only goal of the second half.
Valentine had their chances to score in the second half but Imogene Tomosone was in outstanding form in goals for Merewether. She made a diving save to deny Cassidy Davis in a one-on-one situation 10 minutes into the second half then leapt high to parry away another shot of Davis’ from the left wing which was then cleared out of the goal area by McDonald.
The result kept Merewether’s unbeaten record intact and brought to a grinding halt Phoenix’s recent winning streak.
Valentine women’s football manager Terry Campbell conceded Merewether were “way too good for us today” and the performance showed “why they are favourites to win the competition”.
It was Valentine’s equal-worst defeat of the year – they also lost 4-0 to joint league leaders Adamstown.
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen was pleased with the result and performance.
“We changed the formation today – I really wanted to dominate midfield and I think that is what we did,” Koppen said.
“We tried to keep it simple and it worked for us.”
Adamstown 6 (Lauren Allen 3, Clare Cummings 2, Oliva Trinka) defeated Wallsend 0
Half-time: Adamstown led 5-0
Saturday at Adamstown No.1 Oval
Lauren Allen scored her second hat-trick in as many matches as Adamstown outclassed Wallsend 6-0 on Saturday.
Rosebud led 5-0 at the break after what Wallsend interim coach Hayden Botham was a “disastrous first half”.
“We just didn’t do the basics right at all … and they are onsong at the moment, they are a classy team,” Botham said.
But Botham was encouraged by an improved second-half effort in which they held the competition high fliers to just one goal and expected it to give them confidence as they prepare to battle Thornton at Thornton Park on Wednesday night in a rescheduled match.
“We’ve just played the top three teams, now we have got to come back and dominate the lesser teams … we lose two girls next month so we need to get as many points as we can before that,” Botham said.
Adamstown coach John Jiggins, who missed the match as he was in Brisbane for the national futsal championships, was most pleased to hear his side recorded a clean sheet.
The match against Wallsend was the last for American imports Taylor Gerstenfield and Stephanie Tuccio.
Adamstown prepare now for a weekend double header in which they host Mid North Coast on Saturday then Valentine on Sunday.
Mid North Coast 3 (Niki Bestwick, Courtney Anderson, own goal) defeated Thornton 2 (Naomi Abbott 2)
Sunday at Thornton Park
Mid North Coast produced their third win in a row to regain fifth place on the ladder with a 3-2 victory over Thornton in a see-sawing game.
The match was locked at 0-0 at the break and both coaches agreed there was not much between the two sides.
Thornton had played a midweek match and Coach Alan Primmer felt the third game in a week had perhaps taken its toll on his players.
“We looked tired and that’s how we played in the second half,” Primmer said.
“Mid North Coast had fresher legs and spark at the end to get the goal.”
Mid North Coast took an early lead in the second half through Niki Bestwick before senior Redbacks player Naomi Abbott took the game into her own hands and scored a brace.
The visitors equalised in a goalmouth scramble off a corner around the 75-minute mark then Courtney Anderson found the winner for Mid North Coast in the dying stages.
Mid North Coast’s Matt Baker was pleased to get another three points ahead of a tough double header with competition heavyweights Adamstown and Merewether this weekend.
Thornton back up against Wallsend on Wednesday night for their fourth match in 11 days and Primmer will urge his charges to lift mentally for the clash.
South Wallsend 2 (Georgia Amess, Abbie Herffernan) defeated Warners Bay 0
Half-time: South Wallsend led 2-0
Sunday at John St Oval
South Wallsend consolidated fourth spot on the ladder with a 2-0 win over Warners Bay yesterday.
The game was not even 10 minutes old when Georgia Amess put the visitors ahead with a close-range tap-in then Abbie Heffernan extended the lead midway through the half when she chipped the Warners Bay goalkeeper.
South Wallsend missed a penalty in the second half and Coach Marc Hingston thought his side should have scored more but “I was more than happy with that”.
“The type of football we played in the first half showed we deserve to be in the top four and if we can keep reproducing that then there is no reason why we can’t match it with any team,” Hingston said.
Hingston said his side needed to work on being “ruthless” when they were in front.
Interim Warners Bay coach Darren Sylvester could not fault his side’s effort and commitment and felt they “improved as the game went on”.
They were without four senior players and Sylvester said a positive note was being able to give three 14-year-olds a Herald WPL appearance.
Warners Bay back up against Merewether on Wednesday night and will welcome the return of Taylah Smith for the game.
Sylvester said he will be working on defensive structure and better transitioning ahead of the match with the league leaders.
Points table: Adamstown 31, Merewether 31, Valentine 25, South Wallsend 16, Mid North Coast 14, Thornton 12, Wallsend 9, Warners Bay 8.