NPL Women’s NNSW Round Four Review: Magic outlast Warners Bay as Maitland go top

April 11th, 2022

 Jack Antcliff

Match of the Round
Warners Bay FC 2-3 Broadmeadow Magic

The experience of Newcastle Jets trio Tara Andrews, Lauren Allan and Cass Davis was not enough to inspire Warners Bay as fellow heavyweights Broadmeadow Magic downed the Panthers 3-2 on Saturday night.

Warners Bay rallied from 3-0 down midway through the second half at John Street Oval to trail by one but could not find the equaliser.

“Our first 45 minutes was not our best football. We didn’t start the game well at all,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said.

“We probably got going in about the 60th minute and the last half hour I thought we dominated possession and had a number of chances to win or if not draw.

“It was one of those performance where we go back to the drawing board.”

Despite the result, Atkins was full of praise for Davis who led the Panthers’ second half recovery.

“It was a very good foundation. That last half hour I thought we had them camped in their half and had a number of chances saved by their keeper and created a lot of opportunities,” Atkins said.

“We started moving the ball the way we wanted to and really started to open them up.

“It was Tara’s first game from two months out and Lauren and Cass got through 90 minutes.”

Magic coach Jake Curley was delighted with the result and praised his side’s efforts.

“Our main takeaway probably was if we play our game, we can be competitive with any team. I was impressed with every player. Everyone played their role in the win,” he said.

Jordan Evans, Lucy Jerram and Chelsea Lucas all found the back of the net for the visitors, with Curley forced into a significant change in the second half.

“I thought the first half we were really good and played the way we want to play,” he said.

“In the second half we had to change our front three due to injury which changed the dynamic of the game but I thought our discipline and defending was outstanding.

“I think the girls rose to the occasion and from the first to the last minute the girls kept working hard for each other which is all you can ask for as a coach.”

Maitland FC 3-2 Charlestown Azzurri

Maitland have climbed to the top of the table after a dramatic 3-2 win over Charlestown on Sunday.

Magpies coach Dave Walker described the match as brilliant from both teams.

“It was one of the most entertaining games of football I have been part of. From our perspective we are happy with the result,” Walker said.

“I felt we could have hurt Charlestown a little more. There was a couple of opportunities we didn’t quite take.”

Sophie Jones, Bronte Peel and Mercedes McNab all found the back of the net for the Magpies, who sit ahead of Broadmeadow at the summit thanks to a superior goal difference.

“There is no doubt there is a bit of pride and sense of achievement from the players. Some of these games last year slipped by. In saying that, realistically everyone is focused that we are only three games in,” Walker said.

“With what we are doing we are building each game and will continue to improve.”

Charlestown were below their best at Cooks Square Park, with the visitors unable to find the lead after heading to the sheds at 1-1.

“It was disappointing because it wasn’t our best performance. We still had moments where we probably could have pinched something out of it even though it wasn’t our best day,” Azzurri coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said.

“We let ourselves down by not taking our chances. We missed a penalty and Maitland took their opportunities in the second half.”

In bizarre circumstances, the Azzurri coach was shown a red card when the match official was unable to determine which Azzurri player had committed a foul just outside the penalty area.

Papaspiropoulos, who was forced to watch the match from a distance, was left perplexed by the situation.

“I genuinely couldn’t understand. If someone has to get sent and the match officials have no idea who, then I will gladly wear it,” he said.

The week off for Easter presents an opportunity for reflection for all sides, with Papaspiropoulos determined to resolve the simple errors that cost his side the match.

“We will do a video session just to go through a couple of things that we want to work on,” he said.

“A few of the issues on Sunday were just basic errors in execution and decision making which we can quite comfortably address at training and just a little bit of adjustment of the shape in possession.”

New Lambton FC 1-16 Newcastle Olympic

Newcastle Olympic recorded its first win of the season against a New Lambton side now left to pick up the pieces after a demoralising 16-1 defeat.

Olympic hammered home an incredible 16 goals in 90 minutes to leave the Eagles soul searching and coach MacKenzie Davis with a long list of required improvements.

The difference between New Lambton and Olympic at Alder Park on Sunday was reflected by the score line. With Davis naming fitness, experience and quality all as factors in the result.

Where to from here will be the question being asked by many around the grounds, with the Eagles still winless after three matches and locked at the bottom of the table.

“We will reflect on this game as we always do, result aside, and look at areas where we can close gaps quickly,” Davis said.

“Olympic were excellent and we have to learn from how these teams play. It will help us to improve.”

The weekend off could well be a blessing for New Lambton, with Davis hopeful she can extract consistency from her young squad.

“It is not our best form that we’re looking for necessarily. We are looking to bring consistent competitive performances week in and week out,” Davis said.

Olympic coach Paul DeVitis was simply happy to secure three points.

“Our mentality this week and last week was just we need to get back in the winner’s circle. It didn’t really matter who we were going to play, we would have had the same attitude,” he said.

And while the Olympic mentor was grateful to see a high score it was the way in which the side converted in front of goal that was most appreciated.

“I guess it is one where you really want the girls to enjoy the experience of scoring goals but also be mindful that you are there to improve on something,” DeVitis said.

“We said at half-time, the main objective of this half is to, if we are going to score goals, they should be the kind of goals that we have been working on.”

Libby Copus-Brown marked her debut for the club by getting on the scoresheet. Copus-Brown made 38 appearances for the Newcastle Jets, before shifting to Western Sydney in 2020.

“Automatically, it brought new enthusiasm. I think it was quite an easy introduction for her because she played with the majority of this squad before in her days at Wallsend,” DeVitis said.

Adamstown JFC 9-0 Mid Coast FC

Adamstown returned to the winner’s circle on Sunday with a comprehensive win over a Mid Coast side struggling for momentum early in the season.

Rosebud coach Ryan Campbell described the win as a more composed performance after a disappointing loss to Charlestown Azzurri last weekend.

“We were much more composed in possession and our build up play was a lot more like it should be,” he said.

Maddy Howard impressed for Adamstown in her first start for the season, while captain Kiarra Lewis and Kimmy Trappett both scored hat-tricks at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.

“It was great to see players more comfortable to receive the ball in central areas when under pressure and be positive,” Campbell said.

“We are looking forward to having a break now and a week off to freshen up before returning to training.”

Middies coach Mick Grass was seen to be engrossed in a deep conversation with his side about where to from here after full-time.

“We just talked about the direction we need to head from here in regard to commitment,” Grass said.

“We have had a really disrupted pre-season and start to the season in regard to weather and COVID related issues. The sessions we have had, far too many players are unavailable for sessions.

“I thought the first half we were reasonable. I thought we did a pretty good job defensively and created some chances to go forward with the ball.

“The second half, with fatigue setting in, and what we want to do not quite engrained because of training issues, we fell apart.

“We are going to have a session on Tuesday. It will be a debrief session. It will be an opportunity for all players to show what they are willing to commit to for the rest of the season.”


Related Topics:
NPL Women's NNSW Round Four Review

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