Match of the Round
Newcastle Olympic 2 -2 Broadmeadow Magic
It was a debut of a different kind at Darling Street Oval on Sunday afternoon as Newcastle Olympic hosted Broadmeadow Magic for the first time in the Herald Women’s Premier League.
The traditional derby didn’t disappoint either, with the bruising encounter finishing in a 2-2 draw.
Early momentum favoured visiting Broadmeadow as Lucy Jerram put Magic in front within the opening 10 minutes before Kobie Ferguson doubled the advantage from the penalty spot.
“I thought the girls were excellent in the first half and fought hard in the second half,” Broadmeadow coach Jake Curley said.
The momentum quickly altered however as Kalista Hunter was sent from the field just a matter of minutes shy of the break for a professional foul.
“It changed the game completely but I was happy with how the girls stood up and continued playing,” Curley said.
The second half was vastly different to the first as Newcastle Olympic turned up the intensity.
Georgia Amess provided the perfect service for Brooke Summers to move the home side back into the contest before Jemma House showed why she is the competition’s leading scorer with a cracking goal from a free kick.
“We sort of underperformed in the first half… but credit to the girls they continued to work hard and get themselves back in the match,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
“The quality of our first half we were just turning the ball over too quickly. We weren’t really making the most of any opportunities we had.
“We would have loved to win but to be 2-0 down at half-time and to work hard enough to come back and sneak away with a point [was pleasing]. We’ve had a couple of tough games but nothing like what we got today.”
Both sides now switch their focus to mid-week fixtures. Olympic are scheduled to play Thornton on Thursday, while Magic take on Adamstown on Wednesday.
“[We’ve got] only one session before the mid-week game to work on a few things and to give the girls a break,” Curley said.
Thornton Redbacks 0-5 New Lambton
New Lambton recorded its first win in season 2020 buoyed by the debut of Adriana Jones in Eagles colours on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles were too good for Thornton in a performance coach Brad Jones believes is just a sign of things to come from his young squad.
“We’ve identified a few elements to our game that we consider that we’re really good at. Our passing game is good, our player movement is good, we’re just concentrating on that all the way up the park,” he said.
“I was so pleased for the girls that this week they can actually see an outcome. They can see that what we’re doing actually works.”
Sophie Stapleford bagged a brace for the home side while Taylah Bryde, Tahlia Gossner and Ellie Jones also found the scoresheet.
“The football was good. We were fluid, we executed… I think our midfield combination of Lisa Cochrane, Tahlia Gossner, Emmeline Pepper was really good.”
Up 4-0 at half-time, the Eagles had a number of strong chances in the second half but could only manage the one goal past Thornton keeper Danielle Redding.
The proposition of a clash with leaders Olympic on Sunday is one that Eagles coach Brad Jones is looking forward to.
“I’m actually excited that we’ve got Olympic next week. At the end of the day they’re the headlines, they’re the ones expected to be winning this comp. We take confidence from a good day’s football into a game that we have no pressure,” Jones said.
Despite the result, Thornton coach Alan Primmer drew a number of positives from the clash. But the loss of noted attacker Susan Randall to a knee injury inside the opening 20 minutes proved another blow in what was a tough day in the office.
“Jaz Hughes worked her butt of as usual. Luci Maddison did a great job on AJ and Danielle Redding in goals kept the score down,” Primmer said.
“[Randall] was looking threatening and had gotten in behind a couple of times already.”
Thornton next face Olympic on Thursday, before they host Merewether on Sunday.
“We have training tomorrow night. [We] have to change a couple of things as we’ve lost Susan [Randall] for a while and a couple of girls have work,” Primmer said.
Mid Coast FC 4-2 Adamstown Rosebud
Mid Coast made it three wins in a row on Sunday afternoon as they came from behind early to defeat Adamstown at Taree Zone Field. The win moves Middies into third on the ladder.
“There’s a lot of belief in the girls now… after three in a row, it’s been a while since the club’s had three in a row in first grade, so the girls are really believing in what they’re doing right now,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.
Adamstown were first to find the scoresheet in the entertaining fixture but quickly relinquished the lead as Mid Coast asserted a level of dominance over the visiting Rosebud.
“Mid Coast showed a lot of energy and effort and they made it really tough for us. And they took their chances really well,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.
“We didn’t play poorly… it was one of those games you couldn’t get any rhythm or momentum, because the game kept stopping over and over.
“They were probably just a bit more clinical when they got their chances at key moments.”
Courtney Anderson bagged a brace for the home side, who according to Grass scored the 4-2 win off the back of a strong performance from his midfield.
“I thought our midfield were excellent today. Nicki Learoyd in the middle of the park, I thought she was great… they all stood up and did a really good job,” Grass said.
“Our ability to keep pressure on the ball was what got us home.”
The thought of testing his side against the top-rated teams in the competition does not daunt Grass, who now turns his attention to Sunday’s clash with Broadmeadow Magic. The following week Middies play top of the table Newcastle Olympic.
“They’re some of the top teams [Magic and Olympic] and we’ll gauge ourselves off them. We play Broadmeadow next week, so we will really see where we’re at then,” Grass said.
For Adamstown it was once again a case of lacking polish in the final third. Rosebud now shift their focus to Wednesday’s catch up game against Broadmeadow Magic.
“We’re doing quite well from a competitive point of view and a playing point of view but we’re not necessarily taking our chances when we get them,” Campbell said.
“We just prepare as normal. We’ve just got to get a little bit of confidence from somewhere.”
Warners Bay 0-2 Merewether United
Sunday afternoon’s much anticipated clash between Warners Bay and Merewether may not have lived up to the high-scoring affair many had expected but proved just as exciting for the small crowd on hand at a warm John Street Oval.
Tamara Nash continued her strong run of form for the llamas. She opened the account for the visitors within minutes of the kick-off. Nash’s goal was one of few genuine chances in the opening half as both sides struggled to execute in the final third.
“The first half we had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t take. We were camped on the edge of Warners Bay’s box for quite a while but we just couldn’t find the finish,” Merewether coach Scott Ellis said.
“To be honest it was a bit of an ugly win.”
Warners Bay looked the more likely to score after the break but, without striker Jen Hoy who was ruled out late due to illness, the Panthers couldn’t make it count where they needed.
“I thought the girls dominated large parts of that match but as you know you’ve got to score goals to win matches,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said.
“Lots of positives… I can’t really fault the girl’s performance bar the final third. We’ve still got a lot of work to do there.”
Merewether closed out the result late as Nicki Jones combined with Rhali Dobson to extend the margin to two goals.
“Rhali hasn’t scored yet but she’s had a massive impact on just about everything,” Ellis said.
The final third is set to remain the focus for both sides as the competition nears the halfway mark.
“We’re lacking that anticipation… instead of watching the ball, we need to be looking forward and anticipating its going to there and make those runs,” Atkins said.
“We’ve just got to back ourselves that little bit more.”
For Ellis, the Merewether coach was adamant there was more improvement to come from his squad.
“Even though we won it felt like a draw. That’s because the girls thought the result could have been better,” Ellis said.
“We’ve still got a long way to go to get to where we want to be and I’m starting to see glimpses of it.”