PHOTO: Valentine Sports Photography
Match of the Round
Merewether 3 (own goal, Rhali Dobson, Lori Depczynski) defeated Wallsend 2 (Libby Copus-Brown, Keely Gawthrop). Half-time: Merewether led 2-1. At Myamblah Oval.
Merewether chased the game then had to stave off a late Red Devils attack but never really looked in doubt as they downed Wallsend 3-2 at Myamblah Oval on Sunday.
Wallsend took a 1-0 lead in around the 20th minute when Libby Copus-Brown opened the scoring by beating Merewether shot-stopper Alison Logue in a one-on-one situation after the Red Devils went on the counter attack.
But the hosts dominated possession and retained their usual composure and it was not long before they levelled the score when Copus-Brown’s Westfield W-League Jets’ teammate Grace Macintyre’s shot from wide on the left copped a deflection off a Wallsend player for an own goal.
Rhali Dobson, also a Jets player, sent Merewether to the break 2-1 up when she ran onto the ball in space deep in Wallsend territory and coolly stepped around Red Devils goalkeeper Jess Sanderson to score at an angle into an open goal.
Dobson also had a hand in the hosts’ third goal when she took on the visitors’ defence before delivering a textbook cross into the box from the left of goal for United captain Lori Depczynski to score with a well-timed header around the 75-minute mark.
Wallsend’s Keely Gawthrop saw a chance to give the Red Devils some hope in the dying minutes and seized it when on the counter-attack, she spotted goalkeeper Alison Logue off her line and lobbed the shot-stopper with a shot from nearly halfway.
It was Wallsend’s first hit-out of the season after they had the bye in round one and their round two clash with Warners Bay was washed out. It was also the first game in seven days for them. They play Warners Bay on Wednesday night then Thornton on Saturday.
Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos said the Red Devils paid the price for their failure to retain possession but felt they would only improve with each outing.
“Our turnover of the ball was high and we just didn’t hold onto it,” Kapalos said.
“That allowed them to play, which you can’t let them do, so we’ve got a few things to work on.
“But they are one of the benchmark sides, so considering the score, we will walk away with something and we know we will get better.”
Wallsend will welcome the return of experienced centre-back Kalista Hunter for their rescheduled round-two match with Warners Bay on Wednesday night.
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen rued several shots on goal which went begging but could not be too disappointed.
“I think we controlled 80 or 90 percent of the game and we created a lot of opportunities for ourselves and were probably somewhat unlucky in not putting more away,” she said.
“We were creating the chances, they were just not going in the back of the net when on other days they might have gone in.
“But it was a physical game and I thought we remained composed and still managed to play the ball around, which was pleasing.”
Adamstown 1 (Emily Frost) drew with South Wallsend 1 (Gemma Pearce). Half-time: 1-1. At Adamstown Oval.
Adamstown coach Ben Herron described his side’s performance as “horrible” in a 1-1 draw with South Wallsend at Adamstown Oval, while Wolves coach Gary Wilson said the match would be a confidence boost for his charges after they opened the season with a demoralising 6-0 loss to Merewether.
South Wallsend scored first when Gemma Pearce headed home from close range off a corner inside the first 15 minutes of the match.
The visitors held the ascendancy until close to half-time when Adamstown’s Emily Frost scored with a back-post tap-in after the ball was crossed from the right.
“We were outcompeted, continually turned the ball over and we were second to everything,” Herron said.
“The girls will need to have a good hard look at themselves after that if they want to do well this season.”
Both sides had chances to put the game to bed late in the piece but could not convert.
Wilson said it was a step in the right direction for South Wallsend, who face a double-header this weekend. They play Mid North Coast in Taree on Saturday then host Warners Bay on Sunday.
“It was good,” Wilson said. “We had a few good opportunities to score but a draw was probably a fair result.
“I made some subtle changes … and it was a good starting point. We know what we are capable of, it’s just going to take some time. But it was a really good effort and an improvement on the first game.”
Warners Bay 3 (Nadja Squires, Georgia Minors, Jenna Kingsley) defeated Thornton 1 (Katie Smee). Half-time: 1-1. At John Street Oval.
Warners Bay came from behind to beat Thornton 3-1 and in doing so took the first three competition points of a possible nine in eight days.
They back up against Wallsend on Wednesday night then play South Wallsend on Sunday.
Thornton worked tirelessly to hold out Warners Bay and took an early lead on the counter-attack through Katie Smee.
Nadja Squires put Warners Bay back on level terms before half-time with a goal from outside the 18-yard box, then Georgia Minors and Jenna Kingsley both scored in quick succession late in the match to secure the three points.
“We weren’t very good again,” Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis said. “We had so many shots but just couldn’t score.
“We’ve just got to be a bit more patient at times.”
Despite the loss, Thornton coach Alan Primmer was much happier with his side’s effort than he was when they went down 8-0 loss to Mid North Coast in round one.
“We were leading for a good part of it and we were getting them to do what we wanted them to do, which was to force them to shoot from deep,” Primmer said.
“Unfortunately we lost Kristy Martin to injury and Ash Vickery was a late withdrawal with a back injury; I had three under-18 players coming off the bench and we just ran out of legs, and the second goal was that.
“We probably should’ve had a penalty at 3-1, which makes it 3-2 but I was more than happy with our effort, considering how we played against Middies. We really lifted.”
Merewether and Warners Bay both moved to six points on the competition ladder with the former taking top spot with a superior goal difference.
Mid North Coast had the bye.
Points table: Merewether 6, Warners Bay 6, Mid North Coast 3, Wallsend 0, Adamstown 1, South Wallsend 1, Thornton 0.
Rescheduled round 2 matches
Warners Bay v Wallsend, John Street Oval
Mid North Coast v South Wallsend, Taree Zone Fields
Saturday, April 1, 2.15pm
Thornton v Wallsend, Thornton Park
Sunday, April 2, 2.15pm
South Wallsend v Warners Bay, Walker Fields
Mid North Coast v Adamstown, Wayne Richards Park
Merewether have the bye