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Killarney 0 – Southern & Ettalong 1

WPL Round 5 Match of the Round saw Southern just edge out Killarney in a 1-0 win that sees Southern jump to equal points with East Gosford and 4th on the ladder.

Both teams entered the game sitting on 6 points and needing a win to jump their opposition. Away from home, Southern started strong as they played quite consistent throughout the whole game, this made it extremely hard for Killarney to create any real chances and worry Southern’s backline. Southern looked to take an early lead after 5 minutes when they created a great chance but was met by an even better save from the Killarney goalkeeper Chloe Smith. Once again Southern had another golden opportunity to take the lead after they were awarded a penalty but once again could not convert as Chloe Smith made another fantastic side to keep the game level at 0-0. The only goal of the game came around the 25-minute mark when Southern’s Tatum Ansiewicz finished well to put her side 1-0 up.

The second half of the contest was labelled a very stop-start half with both teams turning over possession when placed under pressure rather than finding a teammate. Killarney looked to come out more aggressive and put pressure on the Southern side but whenever Killarney would look to be in a dangerous position the SEU backline stuffed away any chances as they remained strong all game. Southern ended the game with their second clean sheet of the year, a great turnaround from the Southern defence who conceded 6 the weekend before against Umina. Killarney is still yet to score in any game they have conceded in. 

Southern’s Augusto Terra was pleased with his team’s performance in what was a very close encounter. “Overall, the game was very close but that it’s a good result for us with the team playing a great football match.”

Gosford 7 – Woongarrah 0

Gosford regains 1st place on top of the WPL ladder as their perfect start to the season continues for The Dragons.

Another dominant performance from last year’s WPL League Champions now puts them alone in first place after rivals Umina dropped points in a 3-3 draw against Kanwal. The first half was a defensive battle for Woongarrah, as The Dragons started the game with a very fast pace as they took control of the ball early and looked to dominate possession in Woongarrah’s back third. The initial goal set the tone early for Gosford as they quickly followed that goal up with a second moments later. 1 goal each to Maddie Yates and Jessica Dominello and 2 goals for Taylor Thackeray in the first half saw Gosford take a very comfortable 4-0 lead into halftime.

With some minor formation adjustments, Woongarrah commenced the second half with the concept of smothering and pressuring the Gosford midfielders. This change over in plan worked for the first 20 minutes for the Wildcats but eventually, the continued pressure exhausted the Woongarrah players which allowed Gosford more freedom with the ball and to have success at the opposition goal. A long-range effort scored by Laura Mah gave Gosford their 5th goal of the day which is quickly followed up by another long-range effort this time by Taylor Thackeray who managed to complete her hattrick and put Gosford 6-0 up. The final goal of the game came just 10 seconds before the full-time whistle as Brittni Nicol also found herself on the scoresheet as the game finished 7-0.

“Our first-grade team went into the game prepared for a tough fixture against one of the grand final participants and minor premiers for the 2020 season. Although the score was disappointing for us, our team worked hard and a no stage gave up,” commented Dave Hurley.

East Gosford 4 – Wyong 2

East Gosford finds themselves back in the winner’s column after beating WPL newcomers Wyong 4-2.

After last week’s disappointing performance, the Rams looked eager to start again and play the football they know they can. From the opening whistle, East Gosford looked dangerous, attacking the Emu’s backline with intent. The early pressure paid off when Ashleigh Bax put teammate Kayla Vanderfield through on goal who did not disappoint as she slotted home her first goal of the season and a much-needed goal for the Rams. The goal seemed to unleash the confidence which has been lacking in the Rams since losing key players to injury over recent weeks. As East Gosford continued to attack the Wyong goal, roles were reversed on the 25th-minute mark as Kayla returned the favour and set up Ashleigh who doubled the lead 2-0. The Rams went into the break full of confidence after a dominating first half which saw them 2-0 up.

To Wyong’s credit, they never dropped their heads as they came out firing in the second half, knowing that a goal would put them right back into the game. Wyong would go on to find that goal on the 52nd-minute mark through Piper Menteith to take the game to 2-1. Suddenly, a game that seemed to be controlled by the Rams became complicated but nerves were eased a few minutes later after a goal of the season contender saw Hayley Blunden deliver a well-taken cross which captain Erica Partridge met with a half volley screamer. Having taken back a 2 goal lead the Rams once again felt comfortable and in control of the game but a mental lapse in defence and a Wyong free-kick found Kate Duffy unmarked in Ram’s box as she found the back of the net and just like that it was 3-2. It took until the 88th minute for East Gosford to put the game to bed with Kayla Vanderfield once again finding herself on the scoresheet as the game finished 4-2.

Wyong coach Paul Halton was happy with his team’s performance commenting “We played well considering some key players were missing, I’m proud of the girls and the way they played.”

“It was a great game with the Emu’s never giving up and with a state sprinter in their mix, they looked dangerous on the counter-attack all day. Full credit to our squad, they kept their heads up and made sure we walked away with 6 points today. We now look forward to our crucial game next week against Killarney who I know will be hard to break down. Hopefully, we will welcome back three first graders including our top goal scorer Annika Hansen who managed to score 2 goals against them in pre-season.” Said East Gosford coach Jorge Chavez.

Kanwal 3 – Umina 3

A 6-goal thriller in the round 5 clash between Kanwal and Umina saw the first draw of the year in WPL 1st grade.  

A great showing between two of last year’s top 3 teams saw Umina set a tone early looking to get at the defence of Kanwal in search of the opening goal. Kanwal’s defence proved too strong with Umina being denied multiple opportunities early on. The Bulls looked to play out from the back quickly after winning possession and almost troubled the Umina goalkeeper only to fall short with a few through balls that were able to be cleaned up by the Umina keeper. Kanwal eventually found the opener after 22 minutes when Farrah Dillon set up Hayley Green who slotted away a nice left foot goal from 20 yards out. Umina got back on level terms 8 minutes later when a Gemma Crowson corner found the head of Hannah Batten who got the equaliser for her side and kicked Umina back into gear. Just before half time Kanwal regained their lead with Casey Cooper hitting a superbly placed cross from a free kick that hit the head of Hayls Ballard who gave her side a 2-1 lead. However, the lead was shortly lived after Gemma Crowson won a penalty for her side which WPL leading goal scorer Kate Styles stepped up and converted to take the game to 2-2 at half time.

After the break, both teams came out firing again as both sides looked to break the deadlock. With the time passing and both teams hungry to score, the game became more intense with frustrations leading to yellow cards for both sides. Umina would eventually be the ones to break the deadlock after Kate Styles pounced on a mix-up in Kanwal’s defence to give her side the lead for the first time in the game. Kanwal never gave up and pushed until the end, where with 8 minutes left on the clock they were rewarded with an equalising goal after some great build up play and a strike from Alisha Dudman skimmed a Umina defender on the way through making it impossible for the keeper to make a save. The match ended 3-3 as Kanwal took points from Umina for the first time this season.

“Our biggest challenge this week was to back up our last performance against Gosford with another solid effort and we did just that. We are happy with the effort and intensity the girls showed this weekend. It was a physical game that got a bit tense but credit to the girls, they put everything into that game and walked away with a point out of it,” commented Kanwal coach Hayls Ballard.

Terrigal 5 – Kariong 1

Terrigal remains in the top 3 after another strong showing against Kariong saw the O’lasses come out 5-1 victors.

Terrigal entered the encounter against Kariong not at full strength following injuries received in the previous week’s game against East Gosford. The match started even between Terrigal and Kariong with both teams putting forward some teamwork to create chances at both ends of the pitch. Terrigal gained the upper hand early in the match when Sophie Piltz’s strike gained the advantage for the O’lasses who took a 1-0 lead after 6 minutes. Emma Power followed up with a goal of her own to give Terrigal a 2-0 lead at halftime.

The second half of action saw Kariong created multiple chances as they played periods of great football but despite their opportunities, the Cougars continued to struggle to find the back of the net. Terrigal continues their strong attack as they found themselves with 3 goals in the second half thanks to Sophie Piltz and Emma Power who both grabbed their second of the day with spectacular goals, and a great goal also to Jordyn Toms-Wedge saw Terrigal go up 5-0. Kariong did manage to get on the scoresheet through Tamara Hanlon who has now scored in back-to-back matches. Terrigal was just too strong on the day as they followed suit of their BPL in beating Kariong 5-1.

“It is always a tough game against Terrigal, they are a strong team with a good attack. With key players out with injuries, we lacked strength in our forwards, and I hope to get them recovered and back on the pitch soon, well done to Terrigal.” Commented Kariong coach Haylie Eyers after full time.

WPL Leading Goal Scorers –

11Kate Styles (Umina)
8Madelene Yates (Gosford
7Taylor Thackray (Gosford)
5Hannah Batten (Umina)

WPL Reserve Grade Results –

WPL Points Table –

WPL Club Championship –

WPL Round 6 Fixtures –

Written by Adam Blunden.