By Renee Valentine
Match of the Round
Wallsend 3 def. Warners Bay 2
Sunday 2pm at Wallsend Oval
Wallsend made a flying start to what could prove a defining month by reclaiming a top-four position in the Herald Women’s Premier League with a 3-2 win over Warners Bay yesterday.
Wallsend have three rescheduled matches to play this month starting with Adamstown on Wednesday night. They play South Wallsend a week later and Valentine possibly the week after that. In between they travel to Wauchope for their Round 10 clash with Mid North Coast this weekend and play Valentine in Round 11.
“It’s going to be a busy month,” Wallsend coach Rob Botham admitted.
“The way the competition is, if you win two or three in a row, all of a sudden you are in the top four and have a bit of a break.”
Wallsend threatened Warners Bay’s goal early and took a 1-0 lead on the 30-minute mark when Casey Smith headed home a free kick.
Four minutes earlier the visitors had lost goalkeeper Teagan Jones to an ankle injury. She was replaced by field player Laure Kenworthy.
Warners Bay levelled through Nicole Carter early in the second half before Brooke Langford and Sophie Phillips gave the hosts a 3-1 lead. Tulia Palozzi scored towards the end of the match to put the visitors back in the hunt for points but Wallsend held on for victory.
“I thought we did alright, “ Warners Bay coach Jason Daniluck said.
“Key moments probably let us down but I was more than happy with the effort out there and we’ll take a couple of things from the game.”
Daniluck made special mention of 15-year-old Jade Walker who made her WPL starting debut late in the game for Warners Bay.
Warners Bay will be without Jones when they travel to Thornton on Wednesday night for their rescheduled match with the Redbacks.
Valentine 2 def. Football Mid North Coast 0
Sunday 2pm at CB Complex
Valentine scored a confidence-boosting 2-0 win over Mid North Coast yesterday.
Phoenix coach Cassandra Wright had asked her side for a strong 90-minute performance after slow starts had let them down at times this season and Valentine responded by scoring first for the first time this season to lead at the break for only the second time this year.
It was also their first clean sheet of the season and Women’s Football Manager Terry Campbell said it was a good result heading into a busy 15-day period in which they play five games starting with Merewether on Wednesday night.
Phoenix, who were without key players Hannah Brewer, Laura Byrnes and Marnie Parfitt, opened the scoring late in the first half when Nadja Squires rushed in to pick up the scraps after Gemma Pearce’s free kick hit the crossbar.
Pearce put the game out of Mid North Coast’s reach late in the match with a goal of her own.
Mid North Coast had their chances to score and had a goal disallowed for offside and Coach Matt Baker said they still needed to do better in the final third.
Merewether 2 def. South Wallsend 1
Sunday 2pm at Myamblah Oval
Merewether United kept their three-point league lead with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over South Wallsend yesterday.
South Wallsend, who were without captain and playmaker Laura Hall for the clash, led after 15 minutes. Georgia Amess put the visitors 1-0 ahead when she met a free kick and finished from close range and South Wallsend kept the lead until early in the second half.
Merewether kept their composure despite trailing and came out firing in the second period, scoring through Sarah Halvorsen and Lori Depczxynski to take the ascendancy.
”We lost our way a bit,” South Wallsend coach Marc Hingston said. “But it’s a work in progress.”
Hingston said experience was probably the difference at the moment but remained confident South Wallsend would cause some problems as the competition started to head towards the business end of the season.
“We’ve come closer than anyone else, which is something,” Hingston said.
Merewether back up to host Valentine on Wednesday night.
Thornton 0 def. by Adamstown 6
Sunday 2pm at Thornton Park
Adamstown beat Thornton 9-2 when they met in the first round and they continued in the same vein over the weekend when they squashed the Redbacks 6-0 yesterday.
Lauren Allen scored a hat-trick for Rosebud, who had taken a 2-0 lead with the game just two minutes old. Kate Lindsay scored two goals for the visitors and Olivia Trinkett also found the back of the net.
“We played some good football and scored some spectacular goals,” Adamstown coach John Jiggins said. “But we also looked a bit scrappy at times because we haven’t been on the park for three weeks.”
Thornton coach Alan Primmer said “we just weren’t at the races today” and was keen to see how his side would respond when they host Warners Bay on Wednesday night.
“I don’t think we forget about it, you can’t,” Primmer said. “You’ve got to take it on board and learn from it.
“The girls have got to understand they’re playing in a higher league and you’ve got to turn up every week and, if you don’t, that’s what happens.”
Adamstown back up to play Wallsend on Wednesday night.