MATCH OF THE ROUND

Kanwal 0 – Gosford 2

WPL Round 4 Match of the Round saw Gosford keep their perfect start to the season going with a 2-0 victory over the Bulls.

As expected, the matchup between Kanwal and Gosford did not disappoint. From the kick-off, both teams came out strong. The Gosford side looked focused and pumped up for the game and that showed early as it only took them 5 minutes to find the opening goal through a half volley from Taylor Thackeray on the edge of the box, after some brilliant combination play. This goal woke Kanwal up as the game settled into a fast-paced encounter with both teams creating chances. Gosford were denied any scoring opportunities to double their lead by Kanwal’s strong defensive efforts and Kimberly Burke once again proving her skills with safe hands in goals. Kanwal was also denied opportunities to level the game due to solid defending from the Dragon’s backline. The Kanwal attackers were unable to find the net after countless pinpoint crosses from Casey Cooper were cleaned up by Gosford’s keeper Narissa Dolbel, the score remained 1-0 at the break.

The second half of action proved just as quick and strong as both teams searched for a crucial goal. The legs for both teams started to tire, though the game remained at a very high pace. Still, neither team could break down the opposition defence. With 20 minutes remaining Gosford was awarded a penalty for a handball by defender Tajsha Birrell, a call that could have gone either way. Nevertheless, Gosford’s Jess Dominello stepped up and riffled home her sides second goal to take the game to 2-0. Kanwal fought hard for the remainder of the game, pushing numbers forward to create more attacking options. A free-kick just outside the 18-yard box late in the second half almost saw Kanwal on the scoreboard curtesy of Hayls Ballard as she curled the ball over the wall but once again Narissa was able to get low and see it away. Shortly after, Hayls had one more opportunity with a strike outside the box just missing the top right-hand corner. The match finished 2-0 as Gosford came away with the 3 points in a very tight and physical game.

“Jen and I are super proud of the girls after this week. We knew Gosford would be our toughest game yet and they didn’t disappoint! We were 100% in that game on Sunday and had our chances to find the net. The effort and intensity that our girls showed was fantastic, we went out with a game plan and for the most part, it worked for us, we are excited to keep that level of football up. It was a positive performance for our girls moving into the next 1-2 games,” expressed Kanwal coach Hayls Ballard when reflecting on the game.

Kariong 2 – Wyong 3

Wyong got their season up and running with their first win since re-joining the WPL competition, narrowly beating Kariong 3-2.

Wyong began the stronger of the two teams, starting the game with great teamwork and precision passing. It took a while for Kariong to find their rhythm but once they did the Cougars found themselves on the scoresheet first thanks to a strong run down the line from Amy Sutas who went on the cross the ball to teammate Tamara Hanlon who’s expertly taken shot found the top corner and gave the Wyong keeper no chance at saving the effort. Kariong remained on top for the majority of the half as they looked to protect their 1-0 lead but some defensive errors and great runs from the Wyong attack saw Georgia Davis secure two goals with two great finishes to give Wyong a 2-1 lead at half time.

Both teams started well as the last game commenced, the ball was played end to end in a very evenly contested second half. Kariong’s goalkeeper Abbey Omayao was exceptional once again in between the stick for Kariong as tremendous saves kept her side in the match. It took an excellent strike outside the box by Sarah Whitehouse to give Wyong their 3rd goal of the game. Amelia Copeland found herself on the scoresheet for Kariong, but it would not be enough for the Cougars as they went down 3-2 in a very even match between the two sides.

“The loss against Wyong is upsetting for us as we didn’t show up with our best football on the day. With a few key players still missing, it was difficult for us to find flow throughout the game. I am looking forward to our next match against Wyong to hopefully gain a better result.” Stated Kariong coach Haylie Eyers after the game.   

Wyong coach Paul Halton was thrilled by his team’s performance as they picked up their first win of the season. “It was a good game played by both teams with some enterprising play through our midfield thanks to Sarah Whitehouse, Kate Duffy and Cheyenne Dearie. The squad is taking shape now and hopefully, the results will keep coming our way.”

Southern & Ettalong 1Umina 6

Umina goes top of the WPL ladder on goal difference after a very impressive 6-1 win over Southern & Ettalong.

Southern started the game well, exciting a well-constructed block in their midfield and their defensive line that made it hard for the Umina squad to play through. Southern were rewarded for their patience after a quick counterattack saw Letisha McCormack open the scoring and put Southern ahead 1-0 with a great finish after some even better build-up play. Another chance moments later saw Southern almost double their lead over Umina. With 10 minutes to go Umina coach Steve Donaldson made two changes in formation as he would reap the rewards off the back of Hannah Batten who scored 1 goal and created the other for Chelsea Campbell to give the E-gals a 2-1 lead at the half.

The second half of the contest saw Umina find their groove against a Southern side who played a lot more open as they searched hard to get back on level terms with Umina. This allowed Steve’s Umina side to dominate the last 45 minutes with 4 well-worked goals. Southern put their heads down and started to force the ball which resulted in a crucial turnover of possession, Southern still had a couple of chances but were not able to put the ball in the net while Umina was very effective on their end. Chelsea Campbell was amongst those on the scoresheet as she was able to get her second goal of the match. A second-half double from Kate Styles and a single from Hayley Fullwood were also amongst the Umina scoresheet as Umina walked away from round 4 on top of the WPL ladder.

Terrigal 3 – East Gosford 0

Terrigal continues to put the rest of the competition on notice after another great result in front of a home crowd, beating East Gosford 3-0.

Terrigal hosted East Gosford in round 4 on a very overcast and dreary day. It was always going to be a challenge and an enormous test to the East Gosford squad who had 5 starting first graders out and unfortunately the reshuffle in personnel took its toll as East Gosford started very slow against Terrigal. Terrigal created all the early chances as they looked to get in behind the Rams defence with long balls to their very quick attackers. Only moments before half time, Terrigal’s continued development of possession and attacking style of play saw Indiana Moyes convert on a fortunate bounce to give Terrigal a 1-0 lead at the break.

As the second half progressed, another injury to a key East Gosford player Ashleigh Bax saw another reshuffle in players with East Gosford coach Jorge Chavez having to use players who already played a full game in Reserve Grade. To the Rams credit they never gave up and created numerous chances to score but unfortunately just could not find that elusive goal they were searching for. Pushing players forward left their defence vulnerable and Terrigal took full advantage during the game as Sophie Piltz and Jordyn Toms-Wedge were both able to find the back of the net with two nicely crafted goals. Another clean sheet is praise to the consolidation of the Terrigal defence.

“Despite all the injuries sustained, most due to unseen fouls, both Rams teams find themselves in the top four and with some crucial games this weekend we will hopefully welcome back 2 injured players into reserve grade as we slowly rebuild.” Added East Gosford’s Jorge. 

Killarney 1 – Woongarrah 0

Woongarrah goalless start to the season continues into round 4 as they fall short to Killarney 1-0.

Killarney looked to start quickly in front of a home crowd this past Sunday with some attacking raids on the Woongarrah defence early, but the Wildcats defended their goal well and looked dangerous on the counterattack when they had possession of the ball. Unfortunately for Woongarrah, whilst maintaining some positive possession, a small lapse in their back third gave Killarney too much time in front of goal as Jo Thompson fired the ball past Woongarrah’s goalkeeper to send the Terriers 1-0 up. Killarney kept the pressure on the Woongarrah goal in hopes of doubling their lead before half time but could not finish off any chances as the half time whistle sounded and the score remained 1-0.

The Woongarrah squad were determined to grab the game back in the second half and worked hard to do so. Killarney once again came out strong in the second half as they still searched for their second goal, Killarney had a number of attacking corners but were not able to capitalise and convert them into goals. Woongarrah’s defence remained strong and was able to keep a second-half clean sheet for the first time this year. After a very attacking second half from both teams, the score remained 1-0 at full time as Killarney picked up their second win of the season.

WPL Leading Goal Scorers –

9Kate Styles (Umina)
7Madelene Yates (Gosford)
4Taylor Thackray (Gosford), Hannah Batten (Umina)

WPL Points Table –

WPL Club Championship –

Written by Adam Blunden.