MATCH OF THE ROUND
Terrigal v Wyong
WPL Round 7 Match of the Round sees Terrigal who are looking to overcome last week’s defeat host Wyong who are coming off their second win of the season.
Terrigal is coming off their 2nd defeat of the season that was handed to them in round 6 by Kanwal (3-1). This was the first occasion for the year where Darryl Darke’s O’lasses side have conceded more than 2 goals in a single match. Despite coming up empty-handed last weekend, Terrigal still boasts the 2nd best defensive record in WPL, only having conceded 6 goals in 6 rounds and the Terrigal side are yet to lose 2 matches in a row so you can expect confidence to still be high within the squad.
Terrigal assistant coach Gregory Parker is expecting a very durable and resilient Wyong side ahead of their clash this weekend. “We expect a tough game on Sunday from Wyong. Their improved results reflect good recruitment and playing style. Terrigal are continuing to improve technical competencies and tactical approaches. Our goals are longer-term and sustainable in Reserves and First Grade: That is to win games within our playing style and develop our next level of first-grade players from within the club. The squad are young and developing, they are improving consistently. The last six rounds have demonstrated a developing attacking style. Darryl Darke and I continue to look at how we can get the best out of the squad week to week.”
Wyong is coming off their second win of the year after coming out victorious over Woongarrah last weekend 5-3. The Emu’s showed great character coming from behind 2-0 at halftime to get the result for their club. Last weekend’s result also marks the first time Wyong have scored more than 3 goals in a single match this year as their attacking Piper Menteith is finding great form in front of goal with 3 goals in the last 2 games. Wyong will be on the search for their first consecutive wins of the season.
Wyong coach Paul Halton is extremely pleased with how his squad is coming together but does not know what to expect from the Terrigal side this weekend who they are yet to play. “The squad is coming together nicely now, with the acquisition of a couple of new players. Looking back to round 1 compared to now we show a vast improvement in the girls with a lot of combinations coming together and them all gelling as a team. Terrigal is another unknown team to us, I’m hoping our defence can hold strong and our attack can hit the target, but we are looking forward to this clash as it will be a real test for the girls.”
East Gosford v Kariong
East Gosford will welcome Kariong to Hylton Moore as the Rams look to regain their top 4 spot while the Cougars are still in search of their initials 2021 WPL points.
It has been a very up and down season so far for the Rams who looked to be one of the top contenders early in the year. The Rams went unbeaten throughout the Association Cup group stage and made it all the way to the grand final without conceding a goal but unfortunately went down 4-0 that day. Since then, the Rams have struggled with consistency, mainly due to a high number of injuries to key players. East Gosford did get the better of Kariong on both occasions last year with a 4-1 and 4-2 win. A win for East Gosford could put them back into the top 4 as they look to play finals football this year.
Kariong, much like their opposition this weekend, has been very unfortunate with injuries to start their season. Kariong is still in search of their opening win of the season and the challenge does not get much easier for them this week. Kariong currently has the 2nd worst attacking record in the league with only 5 goals from 6 rounds but every time their opposition East Gosford have lost this year the Rams have failed to score and will hope to go up early away from home and defend their lead.
Kanwal v Killarney
Kanwal and Killarney are both coming off fantastic wins in round 6 and will look to build on this come their clash this weekend.
Kanwal are coming off a very tough last 3 weeks as they have had to face first-place Gosford (0-2), second place Umina (3-3), and third place Terrigal (3-1) in back-to-back weeks. Kanwal has walked away with 4 points out of a possible 9 in those fixtures. Over these three weeks, Kanwal has played a very positive style of football and will look to do so again in front of a home crowd at Wadalba Sports Complex, their 4th straight home fixture. Coach/Player Hayls Ballard will look to keep her terrific from going as she has scored 3 goals in her last 2 games to help her side sit along in 5th place.
Killarney Vale is coming off their third clean sheet win of the year as the Terriers beat East Gosford 2-0 last weekend. Killarney only sits 1 point behind this weekend’s opposition Kanwal and will look to jump over the Bulls with a win away from home. Killarney did get the better of Kanwal last year in their only match 1-0. Every game Killarney have lost this year, they have failed to score but, in every win, they have kept a clean sheet so expect Killarney to once again be looking to keep the opposition scoreless.
Woongarrah v Umina
Woongarrah is back at Hamlyn Terrace for the first time since round 3 as they look for their first win over last year’s Premier’s Umina.
Woongarrah ended their goalless start to the season last weekend against Wyong with attacker Nyah Small picking up the Wildcats first goal for the year as she went on to score her first-ever hattrick in their 5-3 loss. Despite finding the back of the net for the first time this year, Woongarrah did throw away a 2-0 halftime lead by conceding 5 second-half goals as Dave Hurley’s side still look for their opening points in both grades.
Umina is coming off their first loss of the season as they came out second best in their top of the table clash against Gosford. The E-Gals went down 2-0 in a game that could have been very different if Umina took their chances. Umina is now without a win in the previous 2 rounds and will look to get back to winning ways as they want to stay as close as possible to Gosford if they want any chance of being crowned League Champions. Umina came out victorious over Woongarrah last year with a 2-0 win and will hope WPL leading goal scorer Kate Styles will be back to scoring ways this weekend as she has scored a miraculous 11 goals in 6 games.
Southern & Ettalong v Gosford
The 2019 WPL Grand Final replay will take place this weekend as Southern welcome undefeated Gosford City to James Browne Oval in round 7.
Since having their second defeat of the year to Umina (6-1), Southern has gone on to win back-to-back games over Killarney (1-0) and Kariong (2-0) whilst keeping a clean sheet. Southern was not able to get the best of Gosford last year as the Dragons defeated them 6-2 on that instance. However, a win for SEU this weekend would put them only 3 points behind 1st place as they look to play finals football after missing out last year.
As many may have predicted, Gosford remains unbeaten after the opening 6 rounds of competition with a perfect start to the season. What makes things even more impressive, The Dragons boast the best defensive record in the league having only conceded 1 goal all year and that came in the very 1st round. Since then, the Gosford defence has remained solid with 5 clean sheets in a row. Ex-Southern captain and now Gosford player Tahlor Thackray will be up against her old club for the first time since leaving them as she looks to continue her superb goal scoring form. Tahlor current sits 2nd in the Golden Boot race with 9 goals from 6 games, scoring in every game so far this season but one.
Written by Adam Blunden.