Match of the Round
Newcastle Olympic 4-0 Mid Coast FC
Newcastle Olympic maintained its spot at the top of the Herald Women’s Premier League table with a convincing win over Mid Coast in blustery conditions at Darling Street Oval on Sunday.
Jemma House added another hat-trick to her season tally, while Brooke Summers also found the back of the net for the hosts.
“Defensively this week we were much better. We didn’t allow many balls to be played in behind and our goalkeeper was confident off her line so cleared the ball at crucial moments,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
“Middies like to play out from a very deep position so we knew we could be patient and dictate where they could target.
“This meant we could create critical transitions into attack if we worked as a unit.”
Georgia Little came from the field in the second half as a precaution but is expected to be available for selection for the side’s next match.
It is the second loss in a row for Mid Coast who were without proven goal scorer Courtney Anderson and Nicki Learoyd.
“It was disappointing today. It wasn’t like last week [against Broadmeadow]. We didn’t turn up, we didn’t play with intensity. We had a couple of key players out but it doesn’t really change anything,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.
“It wasn’t the same team that’s been on the paddock for the last month or so.”
Middies found it tough going against the experience of Olympic, with the visitors left chasing the game in crucial stages.
“I’ll go back and have a look at the video and see whether there were specific aspects tactically or structurally that we can sort of work on,” Grass said.
“The last month or so we’ve been pretty proactive in how we’ve gone about our game. [Against Olympic] we were reactive and always on the back foot in every moment of the game.”
Mid Coast next travel to Warners Bay to take on the Panthers, while Olympic’s clash with New Lambton set down for Wednesday will now be rescheduled.
“We will prepare by being clinical and disciplined at training, continuing to improve positionally in defence and taking the opportunities when they are created,” Attwill said.
New Lambton 0-3 Merewether
Big game experience shone through at Arthur Edden Oval on Sunday as Merewether overpowered New Lambton 3-0.
Merewether mentor Scott Ellis walked away impressed by his side’s performance, who he believes will only get better as the competition progresses.
“It was a pretty good team performance. This is the first game where we felt like we started to play to our ability,” Ellis said.
“Our backline was great. They kept [Adriana Jones] pretty quiet. The Warners Bay game I saw some really positive steps in the direction we want to go. Today was some of that really coming home to roost.
“Tamara Nash and Katy Gray had two of the best games they’ve had all year, in particular Katy Gray.”
Jamee Ellis and Ellie Butler combined to open the scoring for the visitors, who went to the break with a one-goal advantage.
Tamara Nash extended the margin early in the second half before Rhali Dobson capped off a positive day at the office for the Llamas late in the game.
“[Dobson] was around causing problems. We had other opportunities we didn’t really take so the score could have been more but keeping a clean sheet, playing well in the midfield like we did and scoring three goals, it was pretty much the performance I was after,” Ellis said.
Eagles mentor Brad Jones was left disappointed following the loss, which leaves New Lambton seventh on the table.
“We couldn’t finish off the good work we did through the middle of the park and we got caught on the counter by a slick counterattack team,” Jones said.
“[Merewether] didn’t have many chances but the ones they did they punished us.
“Bringing [Jones] in, everyone’s got to get used to each other. It is just a slow process that’s just got to continue to build.
“It is pleasing from my perspective to see that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, the football and what we’re trying to do is good, we just need to get it represented on the scoreboard.”
The win moves Merewether into third on the table, still with two games in hand including a grueling double header weekend against Mid Coast next month.
New Lambton’s clash with joint leaders Newcastle Olympic set for Alder Park on Wednesday night is in the process of being rescheduled.
Warners Bay 0-2 Broadmeadow Magic
There was action aplenty at John Street Oval as Broadmeadow Magic outclassed Warners Bay 2-0 on Sunday.
Windy conditions made for tough going as both sides pushed early. The visitors’ opening goal came inside five-minutes with Kobie Ferguson’s strike too good for the outstretched arms of Panthers keeper Ally Boertje.
Lucy Jerram almost doubled the advantage mid-way through the first half when her shot found the post, before Warners Bay almost had an equalizer at the other end thanks to the touch of Jen Hoy.
Jerram was again in the action not long after the break, her involvement ruled to be offside, while Maddi Dean was unable to convert a near perfectly positioned rebound in front of goal.
Dean did eventually find the back of the net. Her goal late in the second half ensuring the women in red returned home with all three points.
“I reckon we’re probably on about 60 per cent so there’s plenty of room for improvement,” Magic coach Jake Curley said.
“I think once Gemma [Harrison] and Erin [Wilson] get up to 100 per cent speed, I think we’re going to be pretty good.
“I thought we created a lot of chances, so 2-0 and a clean sheet I’m pretty happy. We’ve just got to keep backing up, keep getting the three points.”
Warners Bay struggled to maintain possession under pressure, something coach Craig Atkins said would be a focus over the coming weeks.
“In patches again the girls played some really good football but we’re just turning the ball over too much,” Atkins said.
“Every time we got the ball Magic put us under pressure. So the girls need to get back to knowing when to hold the ball and have a little bit more communication. That execution and the final ball is really hurting us at the moment and we weren’t as intense today.”
The win ensures Magic remain level with Newcastle Olympic at the top of the Herald Women’s Premier League table. Both sides sit on 16 points but Olympic have a far superior goal difference at +25.
Broadmeadow now turn their attention to Wednesday night’s catch up game against Thornton, before they again meet the Redbacks on Sunday.
“There’s going to be some players who will get a game off,” Curley said.
“Kobie Ferguson is coming back from two ACL injuries so she’ll get a break. We haven’t really trained because we’ve got games and games.”
Warners Bay are fourth on the table, two points clear of Adamstown.
Thornton Redbacks 2-3 Adamstown Rosebud
Adamstown remain within striking distance of the top four after they recorded an important win over a valiant Thornton side on Sunday afternoon.
The narrow 3-2 win leaves Rosebud perched in fifth place, two points shy of fourth-placed Warners Bay. Both sides have played the full contingent of eight games.
“It was probably our best performance with the ball over the season,” Rosebud coach Ryan Campbell said.
“Charli O’Connor, Rachel Duffin and Kiarra Lewis were all very good. All three had standout performances.”
It wasn’t all easy going for the visitors, who were forced to come from 2-0 down and scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to grind out a win. Kiarra Lewis bagged a brace, while an Emma Bates free kick sealed the result with just five minutes remaining.
It was a case of what could have been for the Redbacks, who held the momentum and the advantage on the scoreboard for the majority of the match.
“It is disappointing for the girls. [The] game plan worked very well in the first half. We maybe should have been a couple more in front by half-time,” Thornton coach Alan Primmer said.
“We let them score straight after we went 2-0 up and we just become desperate for the last 25 minutes and they ran over the top of us.”
Celeste Oretga-Edwards came from the field with a hamstring injury, with the Redbacks now forced into a reshuffle for Wednesday’s rescheduled clash with Broadmeadow Magic.
“[Oretga-Edwards’] work with Anais Moore in the middle of defence had been brilliant. We lost some shape after that,” Primmer said.
“Wednesday night we back up against Magic with a reshuffle. A few girls, [Anais] Moore, [Ainsley] Childs, [Taleah] Mountford and [Riley] Smith all have work and Edwards will be in doubt with her hamstring.”