Match of the Round
Warners Bay 5-1 Mid Coast FC
Despite Warners Bay’s vastly different line-up to previous years, the Panthers are again pressing to play deep into finals football.
Captained by former Adamstown player Elodie Dagg, Warners Bay were too good for Mid Coast on Sunday as goals to Dagg, Jen Hoy and Georgia Cook helped the home side to a 5-1 win.
“We played well in patches and then sort of dropped out. We were a little bit flat,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said.
“That was just due to communication between the girls. We led 2-0 at the break then conceded one but it was good to go on with the job and score another three.”
The strong performance of Cook was another positive sign for the club, who sit fourth on the table, one-point behind Newcastle Olympic.
The Panthers play Olympic next weekend.
“[Cook] was excellent today. I really encouraged her and Sian to be getting forward a lot more. They’ve been a little bit hesitant,” Atkins said.
“Georgia pushed forward from left back and scored two great goals. She was quality.”
Warners Bay went to the break with a two-goal advantage but were far more composed in the second half as big game experience again proved critical in key moments.
“We spoke about the lead at half-time. 2-0 is probably one of the most dangerous leads you can have in a game of soccer,” Atkins said.
“We just made it a clean slate at half-time and we came out of the blocks and were dominating and couldn’t hit the back of the net and conceded.
“To the girl’s credit they lifted themselves and went on with the job.”
The loss followed a rollercoaster week for Mid Coast, who on Tuesday were told their season was all but over due to new advice from the NSW chief medical officer. A little over 48 hours later, Middies were again back in the competition based on changes to the advisement.
“We started the game pretty brightly. I thought we were quite good in the first 25 minutes or so but really fell in a heap after that and really couldn’t recover,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.
Middies’ only goal came via a scrappy contest close to goal, with the visitors unable to wrestle back momentum.
“We don’t really have any excuses. We’ve just got to look at ourselves and what we’re doing away from the games in training,” Grass said.
“[Sunday] was a big game for us and for us to not be able to get the job done. I’m pretty disappointed.”
Merewether 2-1 Newcastle Olympic 1
Merewether moved within striking distance of top spot on the Herald Women’s Premier League table on Friday night as the Llamas edged out Newcastle Olympic in a thriller.
An elegant free kick from Jamee Ellis was the difference with the Llamas now just two points behind Broadmeadow on the table. Merewether also have a game in hand over Magic.
“That’s a huge win. I said beforehand that might be the minor premiership. If we can get past Magic and don’t stumble when we shouldn’t we’re a real good chance,” Merewether coach Scott Ellis said.
“[Newcastle Olympic] were pushing us, they were pressing us hard.
“It was really a case of us playing the way we want to. Not letting the other team dictate the pace and the style.”
The Llamas were forced to come from behind at Arthur Edden Oval. Laura Hall found the back of the net inside 10 minutes for the visitors before Rhali Dobson equalised midway through the first half.
“First half they came out and were very physical and we kind of let them get away with it. They rushed us and we let them rush us,” Ellis said.
“We were under the pump to be honest.”
Llamas shot stopper Alison Logue was clinical in the second half as Olympic continued to push through leading goal scorer Jemma House and Georgia Amess.
Newcastle Olympic couldn’t convert on the scoreboard despite dominating the majority of possession with the women from Darling Street now third on the table.
“I’m devastated for the girls. We had a plan, we did everything we said we would do, in that second half we just weren’t as disciplined as we needed to be,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
“We knew what we were walking into. It is just disappointing we couldn’t come away with a win.
“It’s the second game we’ve played them and outplayed them but lost. I’m devastated.”
Finals football will be the next time Olympic meet the Llamas, with the prospect of a grand final between the two sides a tantalising one.
“It would be great to play them in the grand final. That would be ideal,” Attwill said.
Adamstown 3-1 New Lambton
Adamstown kept their finals hopes alive as the home side cruised to a 3-1 win over New Lambton on Sunday.
Rosebud sit fifth on the table, two points shy of fourth-placed Warners Bay, with coach Ryan Campbell confident his side can continue its winning ways. Emma Bates, Kiarra Lewis and Ellen Hughes all found the back of the net for Adamstown.
Ella Spicer, who only turned 15 during the week, drew strong praise from the coach on what was just her second start in first grade.
“She’s got a lot of potential. Last year she was playing under-14s for Adamstown, this year she’s stepped up from 14s into first grade,” Campbell said.
Adamstown’s four wins this year have come against lower ranked opposition, with the side now desperate to edge out those sitting higher on the table if they are to be any chance of finals football.
“I just said to the girls, we’ve taken 12 points from Thornton and New Lambton, so we now need to turn points against other teams into results,” Campbell said.
Adamstown next face Merewether in their derby clash on Sunday.
“We approach it how we approached this week, where we’re more composed and confident to play the way we want to play, rather than feeling like we have to play to their game. We want to play our way,” Campbell said.
New Lambton coach Brad Jones was left lamenting the loss, which bar an almost miracle, ended his side’s hopes of playing finals football.
“We had enough chances to win three games today but it is just the story of our season. We’ve got to finish,” Jones said.
Down 1-0 at half-time, Taylah Bryde gave the visitors hope of a come from behind win when she found the back of the net early in the second half. The Eagles almost had the lead minutes later, only for Adriana Jones to be adjudged offside.
“We didn’t take the chances, [Adamstown] did,” Jones said.
“It is now about continuing to play and develop the type of football we’re playing. And it’s about turning those chances into points.”
Thornton Redbacks 1-9 Broadmeadow Magic
Broadmeadow Magic moved into top spot on the table with a crushing win over Thornton on Sunday afternoon.
Maddie Dean, Gemma Harrison and Chelsea Lucas all found the back of the net on two occasions, with the women in red ahead by four at the break.
Lucy Jerram, Josie Rae and Kobie Ferguson also found the scoresheet as Magic fired a warning shot to the remainder of the competition with the message from coach Jake Curley that “it should have been more.”
“The girls just need to relax a little bit. They always try and do a killer pass probably a bit too early in the play. They need to wait and see what happens in front of them before they start trying to put balls in behind too quickly,” Curley said.
Magic can move further ahead of Merewether when they again face Thornton on Wednesday night.
“For me, the minor premiership is the most important thing. I’m a bit of a traditionalist. If we play the way we want to play, then results should come,” Curley said.
In form defender Laura Rapley will miss the clash due to work commitments, while coach Curley will look to rest a number of other players for the mid-week match.
The loss, albeit disappointing, was what Thornton coach Alan Primmer described as the impact of a “stop-start campaign” on game day and at training.
Despite the score, Danielle Redding drew praise in goals against the star-studded Magic attack while Ainsley Childs’ first half goal will be talked about for weeks to come.
“Ainsley is great. She trains well and does her job and scores all these crackers with her left foot. She is right footed and hasn’t found the back of the net with her right yet,” Primmer said.
Under-17s players Roy Hanks and Airlie Gray both made their debuts on Sunday, with the pair to line up for the Redbacks again on Wednesday.
Five other players from Sunday are unavailable for selection for the rescheduled clash, which kicks off at Magic Park at 7pm.