Match of the Round
South Wallsend 0 def. by Wallsend 1 (Olivia Kennedy)
Sunday 14 July, 2.30pm, Walker Fields
Wallsend have claimed the spoils of their derby against South Wallsend for the second time this season. The first was a 3-2 victory in their catch-up game at Wallsend Park and this time around the Red Devils have taken all three points at Walker Fields with a 1-0 win.
Olivia Kennedy made the difference in the clash on Sunday afternoon. Her goal proved to be the winner as the only advantage either team found in the 90-minute battle. Though the Red Devils will be happy with their three points in Round 17, both sides agreed the game could have played out differently if the Wolves had more of their starting squad available.
Short-handed South Wallsend was missing a host of key players, including Erin Wilson, new recruit Kate Oliveira, Maddy Searl, and Kobie Ferguson. Leading scorer Ashlee Brodigan was also ruled out during the match, while Matildas star Gema Simon has yet to return.
The absence list played havoc with the first-grade side, as well as the reserves, and forced South Wallsend to forfeit in the Under 17s, Cas Wright said she was “very proud” of how her side had shaped up in the one-goal loss.
“The game went extremely well considering we had so many out,” she said.
“There was a point where we were considering having to forfeit because we had 22 out across the three squads and had to move so many players around to make sure we could play.
“You look back at things like us beating Merewether 9-1 when they had players out, and then when we have the same problems we lose just 1-0, that speaks volumes of our whole squad and I think it shows how good a lot of our players are.
“We know where we can land – top four – and as long as we achieve that in the next two games we should be okay. We need to get something like two wins from the last four, or some wins and draws. We will regroup now, it’s a hard road home, but we’ve really grounded out the senior squad and made sure we have every opportunity to make our aims.”
The three-point victory also keeps Wallsend on-pace with their own aims: top four.
The performance itself may not have wowed any spectators, Red Devils boss Brad Jones said, but the State Cup champions collected another win to stay right behind Merewether in the race for finals. That’s what matters to Jones and his side now.
“It was a tough derby win, South Wallsend did well after having a lot of players unavailable to frustrate us, and not allow us to play our controlled football,” he said.
“I don’t think we were every really not in control of the game, but I would have liked us to take a few more chances that we created. Their keeper did a really good job and made some key saves. The ground isn’t ideal for a short passing game, but I thought we adapted well. All in all, it wasn’t champagne football, but it was a very important three points.”
New Lambton 7 (Lauren Allan 3, Tara Andrews, Toria Campbell, Jenna Kennedy, own goal) def. Adamstown Rosebuds 0
Sunday 14 July, 2.30pm, Alder Park
New Lambton have moved one step closer to the first crowning moment of their Herald Women’s Premier League, with a 7-0 win over Adamstown at Alder Park putting them right in pole-position to mathematically secure the premiership in 2019.
It’s been a long road for the Eagles, with seventeen matches now tucked under their belt. Keelan Hamilton knows the job isn’t done yet though, despite the surging win at home for this year’s pacesetters.
“We have some tough fixtures on the horizon – Wallsend especially next week will be a tough one considering their form – but we’re only one win away from mathematically securing the title,” New Lambton’s coach said.
“It’s not done by any means, but we’re looking forward to that moment where we clinch it.
“Once we have that done, it will be a major advantage for us. Winning a premiership is the hardest thing you can do in football, you have to be consistent over so many games, and if we can do that with a few games in hand then we can recharge in time for the semifinals.”
Lauren Allan was the spark that guided New Lambton to their 15th win of the season. The Eagles’ winger slotted home a hat-trick against the Rosebuds in front of her home crowd, confirming New Lambton’s crucial three points.
Toria Campbell, Jenna Kennedy, and scoring machine Tara Andrews all added one of their own in the 7-0 win, while the final goal came from a mistake at the back.
“It wasn’t our best performance, battling through the big wind, but it was professional and we defended well,” Hamilton said of his triumphant Eagles.
“We didn’t give Adamstown many opportunities which is what we were looking to do. It’s always nice to keep a clean sheet and Adamstown had some positive results in the State Cup last weekend so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The girls did their jobs well.”
Thornton Redbacks 2 (Ainsley Childs, Taleah Mountford) def. by Warners Bay 7 (Jenna Kingsley 4, Sophie Stapleford 2, Cassidy Davis)
Sunday 14 July, 2.30pm, Thornton Park
Warners Bay have returned to the WPL with a big win over Thornton, just a week after finishing runners-up at the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup.
It was a key win for the Panthers, who continue to battle for that second-place seed ahead of the playoffs, and the 7-2 triumph at Thornton Park has given them three more points towards that year-end cause.
Jenna Kingsley shone for the travelling side as she scored four. Sophie Stapleford also netted multiple goals against the Redbacks, claiming a brace, while captain Cassidy Davis rounded out the seven-goal pile.
Thornton notched two back in the second half through Ainsley Childs and first-time goal scorer Taleah Mountford, but a first-half collapse from the young side had already written the results of the game in ink.
“The old Thornton reared its ugly head again today,” Alan Primmer said a short 10 minute period in the first half that shattered his team’s chances at points.
“24th minute we were completely in the game, 34th minute it was 5-0. We capitulated in a big way.
“That’s not us, we had turned off from the contest. They tracked balls that we weren’t, there were second balls that Grace [Harvey] had saved that Jenna [Kingsley] was able to hit in that she shouldn’t have got to. We can’t just watch that happen.”
The five-goal loss may have been a disappointing return for Thornton to the Premier League after the State Cup weekend, but Primmer believes the extended time away from the field may have had a hand in the lethargic nature of his squad.
“We’ve not played Premier League football for nearly a month, which didn’t help with the non-intensity – and that’s really what it was, non-intensity – at all. We can’t let it get us down though, we have to go onwards and upwards as we settle back in.
“We have a few big games this coming weeks, and if I can get the attitude from the second half from the team then I think we can do well. If we see that first half again, there’s unfortunately a chance we’ll be fixing up Wallsend’s goal difference instead of anything else.”
Football Mid North Coast 0 def. by Merewether United 5 (Jamee Ellis, Tayla Braithwaite, Courtney Anderson, Indianna Asimus)
Sunday 14 July, 2.30pm, Wayne Richards Park
Merewether have kept hold of their narrow margin ahead of Wallsend with a 5-0 win against Football Mid North Coast at Wayne Richards Park on Sunday afternoon.
The defending champions have found themselves embroiled in a battle for fourth place with the reigning TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup victors. Wallsend have been on a roll with results in recent weeks, though Merewether have been able to keep pace with a string of victories of their own.
Ahead of the sixteen-team tournament last weekend, Merewether delivered New Lambton their second draw of the season in a 1-1 clash at Myamblah Oval.
It was Courtney Anderson that added to the five-goal haul again this weekend. This time she was joined on the scoresheet by Jamee Ellis, Tayla Braithwaite, and Indianna Asimus as Merewether secured points for the second time in a row.
Middies, who were shell-shocked with a 13-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders New Lambton last time out in the Herald WPL, had marked improvements in their play according to coach Mick Grass.
The side had battled to a semi-final finish at the TAFE NSW Women’s State Cup last weekend after ousting South Wallsend 1-nil in the final pool game of the tournament, and that confidence has bolstered the young side in their league campaign. An uplift of spirits, and concentration, has also helped the side, who put in a “massively improved” performance despite the 5-0 loss.
“Big, big improvement on the last game against New Lambton,” Grass said.
“Our whole effort across the park was great, we were competitive and challenged for every ball. I know the score doesn’t really tell the whole story, but Merewether were disappointed they couldn’t put more past us.
“I even believe the game could have ended 4-2, 3-2, or something like that, and there were just a few small things we didn’t finish. Having the week off away from the league has given us a renewed enthusiasm. I’ve said it before – we’re not too worried about points, so losing isn’t a massive issue at the moment. We want to keep developing, and go from there.”