NPL Women’s NNSW Round Two Review: Jerram double helps Magic maintain perfect start

March 28th, 2022

 Jack Antcliff

 JAE Media

Match of the Round
Charlestown Azzurri 1-3 Broadmeadow Magic

A double to Lucy Jerram led Broadmeadow Magic to a 3-1 win over Charlestown Azzurri on Saturday.

The match was moved to Gateshead’s Allen Davis Field because Charlestown’s Lisle Carr Oval pitch was deemed unsafe for play following recently completed drainage works.

Magic are now two from two to start the season after a win coach Jake Curley described as far from his side’s best.

“I thought we were not great individually. We play a very attacking shape and when we are not effective with the ball it becomes a game of transition,” Curley said.

Kirstyn Antoni scored Magic’s third goal, with the performance a base to build from.

“The biggest take away for me was the fact the girls knew it wasn’t their best performance and even though we got the three points the girls were disappointed after the game,” Curley said.

“For us we just need to play more games as a group to get cohesion.”

Magic now turn their attention to a match up against high-flying Maitland on Friday.

“I think as a playing group the girls have high expectations of how we should play and I really like the high standards they set themselves,” Curley said.

“We know when teams play us they work that little bit harder and we need to match their enthusiasm and intensity to get the result.”

It was a tough afternoon for Charlestown who went into the match without strike players Jenna Kingsley, Courtney Anderson and Jess Gentle.

“It was a little bit disappointing purely on the fact we conceded two goals of defensive errors, the first one and the last one, and even the third one was a good header where we just left Kirsten Antoni on her own,” Azzurri coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said.

“I thought we did well to manage the game and take a bit of the intensity out of it. We managed to still get our foot on the ball and keep it well in patches.”

Tamara Nash scored Azzurri’s only goal, with Charlestown’s approach remaining the same despite the raft of changes.

“I don’t think we were concerned. The girls were still confident and we matched them, even though we had a lot of players out of the senior grades,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“The attitude and the effort from the girls was great which was good to see.”

Azzurri play Adamstown Rosebud next weekend with the focus for Papaspiropoulos to reduce the soft goals conceded from mistakes.

“Making sure we don’t concede any soft goals from our own defensive errors or small lapses of concentration [will be important],” he said.

Adamstown Rosebud JFC 8-0 New Lambton FC

Adamstown Rosebud cruised to a dominate 8-0 win over New Lambton on Saturday night, though the win came at a significant cost with Ellyse Lynch carried from the field with a knee injury.

Lynch went to ground midway through the second half with the extent of her injury not yet known.

The Buds dominated from the outset on a dreary night at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility with the intermittent rain having little impact on the young Adamstown squad in the early stages.

“I was happy with our first half performance but I thought we dropped our level a lot in the second half,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.

With the result secured, Campbell made a number of substitutions in the second half and provided a glimpse of the depth on show at Rosebud.

“We wanted to test out how things would go with a different team out and wanted to get conditioning minutes into the players who didn’t start the game,” he said.

Rosebud face Charlestown Azzurri away from home next week, with the focus still on improvement for the young squad.

“We want to keep focusing on ourselves and improving our ability to play through opposition pressure,” Campbell said.

It was a tough night for the Eagles who were forced to chase the game from the outset. But New Lambton coach MacKenzie Davis was adamant her side is on the right path.

“Results like that show us how much more work we have to do. We knew it would be a tough day and now we know the pace for our next Adamstown fixture,” she said.

The loss did little to dampen spirits at Alder Park, with the squad eager to write the wrongs next weekend against Mid Coast.

“Two rounds in and our squad is becoming more cohesive with each session,” Davis said.

“With a brand new squad full of individuals the players are working hard to establish a playing style and keep things positive and progressive.

“We need to have more confidence in our ability and make sure myself and my coaching staff do all we can to prepare the squad for our big fixtures.”

Newcastle Olympic 0-5 Maitland FC

Maitland fired a warning to the rest of the competition with a comprehensive 5-0 win over heavyweights Newcastle Olympic on Sunday.

The inspirational Sophie Stapleford led from the front for the Magpies, while Sophie Jones and Chelsea Greguric also found the scoresheet at Darling Street Oval.

Maitland coach Dave Walker described the performance as a “really positive result.”

“Generally, our attacking style kept us in the opposition half for a good chunk of the first half which really set us up,” he said.

“The objective in the second half was to increase that ball movement and the rest of the goals were scored in free play.”

The performance of Stapleford drew praise from many including Walker who described her as crucial to the Maitland program.

“She is pivotal. Not only in how she leads by her performance on the park but her work rate and her commitment to the team as well as her individual performance is second to none,” Walker said.

There were plenty of positives for Walker who finds himself at the helm of the only club not to concede a goal in the opening two rounds.

“We are also quite happy to have two rounds with a clean sheet. I think there is still room for improvement in our defensive areas,” Walker said.

“I think the highlight for me was the combinations and the teamwork and ball play.

“The goals do happen in the final third but if you’re not creating through the middle, for me that is the engine room.”

It was a tough afternoon for Newcastle Olympic who slumped to their second straight loss, with the focus now switched to next week’s match against Warners Bay at home.

Olympic coach Paul DeVitis described the result as “very disappointing” with the way in which the side conceded of most concern.

“We all sort of acknowledged that we were just out fought by Maitland. Just those little basic thoughts like being first to the ball,” DeVitis said.

Warners Bay FC 6-0 Mid Coast FC

Warners Bay delivered what coach Craig Atkins described as a “much improved performance” as they cruised past Mid Coast on Sunday.

Adriana Konjarski proved unstoppable for the Panthers with four goals at John Street Oval, while the timeless consistency of Elodie Dagg delivered again. Dagg scored two goals to take her season tally to three.

“[Konjarski] has been really positive. She is putting in some fantastic performances on the field and supporting some of the younger girls,” Atkins said.

The Panthers stepped up the intensity from their round one win over New Lambton, with the early pace far from reminiscent of early season football.

“We had to step the intensity and the tempo of the game up and I thought the girls, especially in the first half, were quite dominative in terms of possession,” Atkins said.

Atkins was forced to alter his starting side late in the day after Airlie Davis and Kristy Martin were ruled out, while Tara Pender came from the field nursing muscle soreness.

“We have got some good depth this year. It was a great opportunity for the other girls to get out there and get a taste of first grade,” Atkins said.

Warners Bay now turn their attention to another tough match up against Newcastle Olympic at Darling Street Oval.

“The way we played in that first half is something we need to reflect on and continue to improve on. We have just got to focus on us and keep working hard and lifting each week,” Atkins said.

Despite an unfavourable score for Mid Coast coach Mick Grass was quick to point out the positives as his side prepares for its next assignment as they host New Lambton.

“I probably thought we played in possession better than we did last weekend [against Maitland]. We were able to keep the ball for longer periods, we were able to create chances to score,” Grass said.

Middies threatened in patches at John Street but could not break down the final line of the Warners Bay defence.

“At 4-0 I thought we could have easily been 4-3 but we didn’t take chances,” Grass said.

“We were 4-0 down because individuals just aren’t doing their defensive duties to the best of their ability at the moment.”

The quest for constant refinement continues at Taree with Mid Coast making small incremental improvements towards a more complete performance.

“The girls need to just stick to our guns and continue to refine what we are trying to do,” Grass said.

“We worked on a few things with the ball this week and we were far more effective at creating chances to score. We definitely created opportunities and we have just got to refine that.”

Related Topics:
NPL Women's NNSW Round Two Review

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