MATCH OF THE ROUND

Kanwal 4 – East Gosford 1

WPL Round 8 Match of the Round saw Kanwal get the better of East Gosford 4-1 in front of a home crowd at Wadalba Sports Complex as the Bulls now overtake the Rams on the WPL ladder.

East Gosford got off to a great start away from home as they opened the match with confidence playing some good football. Kanwal entered the match playing with skeleton numbers for both grades with multiple players out unwell, this caused Kanwal to start the match in a slightly different formation to what they are accustom to. This new formation only lasted a maximum of 10 minutes as Kanwal reverted back to their normal formation and soon found joy and comfortability as the Bulls played their usual football and passing game. The opening goal came after only 12 minutes with Courtney Smith scoring a well-placed corner taken by teammate Jennifer Reeves. Kanwal soon after doubled their lead to 2-0 with a screamer from Hayley Green, Green was able to hit a first-time volley off a great cross to give the Bulls a 2-0 lead. An East Gosford attack saw them rewarded with a penalty after the ball made contact with the hand of Kanwal’s Casey Cooper. Annika Hanses stepped up for the Rams as she converted the opportunity and took the score to 2-1 at halftime.

There was plenty of great football played by both teams in the second half as East Gosford tried desperately to get another goal and take the game back level. However, Kanwal’s Alisha Dudman danced through the East Gosford defence and left 1-on-1 with the opposition goalkeeper, Dudman slotted her chance and gave Kanwal a 2-goal lead for the second time in the game. Being down two goals, East Gosford seemed to change their formation in the hopes of salvaging anything from the fixture, but they had no luck as Kanwal remained poised at the back and eliminated any East Gosford attack. Alisha Dudman cleverly put Hayls Ballard on goal with a well-timed through ball that allowed Ballard to slow home leaving the final score 4-1.

Kanwal’s Hayls Ballard credits the opposition who made them fight for the win. “East Gosford play good football and they are quick, so they definitely made us work hard for the points. The 3 points from this weekend were super important of us, we have been creating chances and just not be able to finish so it was nice to finally get a few in the net this past Sunday!”

Woongarrah 1 – Southern & Ettalong 2

Woongarrah suffers another loss in their closest contest so far this year as the Wildcats fall 2-1 to Southern & Ettalong in Round 8.

Southern commenced the first half strong as they maintained the majority of possession in the middle of the field. Southern found the opening goal in the 20th minute after a strong free-kick from Alana Currie beat the Woongarrah goalkeeper which saw Southern take a 1-0 lead. Despite being a goal up, Southern kept their pressure on Woongarrah and were able to double their lead. Tatum Ansiewicz produces some great play down the left-hand side and then delivered a cross to Kathleen Farrell who, after a couple of shots, was able to find the back of the net and give her side a 2-0 lead at halftime. Woongarrah did extremely well holding Southern to only 2 goals after a very solid opening 45 minutes from the Wildcats defence and goalkeeper.

With a few minor changes at the halftime break, Woongarrah came out stronger as they looked to press in the midfield and in the front third in hopes of trying to convert one of their multiple chances. Midway through the second half, Woongarrah would finally get the goal they were searching so hard for when Niesha Monteleone chipped the ball over the SEU defensive line which allowed Emma Hurley to convert and take the game to 2-1. Woongarrah pressed hard for an equaliser as they constantly sent long balls in behind the defence, but the Southern defence remained solid. Southern had chances of their own to put the game to bed but could not take advantage of any of their goal opportunities. For the final 5 minutes, Woongarrah had some remarkably close chances inside their oppositions 18-yard box in hopes to gain at least one point from the fixture, but the whistle sounded, and the game remained 2-1 to Southern.

Woongarrah’s Dave Hurley is very happy with the way his team carried themselves in this game.  “As we are now beginning the middle section of our season, it’s very pleasing to see what we have been working on at training, is now starting to show on the pitch, with a very impressive second-half performance from my team”

“It was not our best performance, but we could defend well and create some chances. I believe the way that Woongarrah played with long balls all the time, tested our defence well and we were able to control and manage most of the game,” added Southern’s Augusto Terra.

Umina 1 – Terrigal 2

Umina suffers their first loss to a team who isn’t Gosford for the first time since 2019 as the O’lasses come from behind to win 2-1 over the E-Gals.

It was a very open start to the game as both teams struggled in the midfield and their backline. Unfortunately for Umina, a key midfielder was away, and another key midfielder arrived 15 minutes after kick-off which caused Umina to get off to a shaky start in the middle of the park. Umina did find the opening goal of the match after a Gemma Crowson corner found Freja Murray on the edge of the box who struck the ball into the bottom left corner to give Umina a 1-0 lead. Terrigal would remain down 1 goal at the break as they were unable to capitalize on chances of their own in the first 45 minutes.

At halftime, Terrigal made some tactical changes in the hopes of salvaging something from the match-up and the O’lasses did exactly that. 6 minutes into the second half, Sophie Piltz scored Terrigal’s first goal of the day and her 5th goal of the season to take the game back level at 1-1. Umina had a second half to forget as they turned over plenty of possession with poor passing and also were very slow in transition whilst losing the majority of 50/50’s. With only a few minutes left it looked like the two sides would share points, but a great Terrigal team goal saw Jordyn Toms-Wedge seal the win for her side as her effort on goal found the back of the net. Jordyn now has 4 goals in the last 2 games as Terrigal overtake Umina with that result and sit outright 2nd on 18 points.

Umina coach Steve Donaldson congratulated Terrigal post-match while also adding that his team were below par on Sunday afternoon. “Well done to Terrigal, they really took it to us and should’ve had a few more goals if it wasn’t for our goalkeeper Sam Fulwood. In recent weeks, we’ve felt we have been unlucky and not had the results to what they could have been, but a loss was thoroughly deserved in this fixture. In past season’s we’ve had a similar game in each where we have been able to come out better from and start to play great football, hopefully, it has the same effect this season too.” 

Terrigal assistant coach Gregory Parker commented, “I believe the squad still has a lot of improvement to come for the second half of the season. We are taking each game as it comes and continue to develop the squad in keeping with our playing philosophy and long-term goals.”

Gosford 7 – Kariong 0

Another dominant Gosford performance and clean sheet see the Dragons go 6 points clear at the top of the BPL table.

Kariong started the game off with a very high defensive line and compressed the space which forced Gosford off to a slow start, it took a while for the Gosford side to work their way out and find space against a resilient Kariong side. Once Gosford found the opening goal through Jessica Dominello after some well-worked link-up play through, this allowed the Dragons to settle down and have more success as they found their tempo and moved the ball which allowed space starting to appear. 2 more first-half goals from Maddie Yates and Abbie Kitchener saw Gosford comfortably take a 3-0 lead into half time.

The second half of action saw Gosford start much stronger, and with a few tactical tweaks, they created chance after chance. Kariong felt the pressure as they also lacked defensive teamwork. Two second-half goals from Tahlor Thackray, another from Jessica Dominello and a substitute goal from Laura Mundy say Gosford finish the day off with a comprehensive 7-0 win. Despite some promising chances, Kariong did not manage to score resulting in Gosford keeping their 7th clean sheet in a row as they still have only recorded 1 goal against after 8 rounds.

“Although the game was tough to swallow for us, it’s always good to verse Gosford and learn from the way they play football. We have a lot to work on before our next game against them to hopefully improve our result,” voiced Kariong’s Haylie Eyers post-match.

Gosford’s Pete Edwards credits a valiant Abbey Omayao who was exceptional in goals for Kariong.  “A huge shout out to the Kariong goalkeeper Abbey Omayao who was outstanding all game, saving chance after chance as she frustrated our strikers from scoring more. There were at least 5 1-on-1 saves she made along with a brilliant near-post save that kept the score from blowing out anymore. I’m happy with another clean sheet and a flurry of goals. Confidence remains high and positive in both grades as we look to take on derby opponents East Gosford in the Mate Association Cup Final rematch next week.”

Wyong 2 – Killarney 2

Killarney misses out on the chance to go into 4th place with a win as they travelled to Baker Park and split point with Wyong in a 2-2 draw this past Sunday. 

In what was labelled as a very open game of football, Wyong enjoy the better of the play in the opening half but 20 minutes in a counterattack saw Killarney make a break as one of their players was brought down in the box and Killarney were awarded a penalty. With the chance to put her team in front, Bethany Hogg stepped up to take the penalty as she converted well to send the Terriers 1-0 up. Both teams seemed to attack from this point as the game remained very open, Wyong were awarded a free kick just outside the Killarney 18-yard box which Jessica Peachey stepped up and converted for her side to put the score back level at 1-1. Not long after scoring their first, Wyong’s Cheyenne Dearie beat a couple of players and then gave a well-placed ball across the face of the opposition goal which was tapped in by Jessica Peachey who grabbed her second goal of the day and put her side up 2-1 at half time.

The game continued where it left off after the break as the second half was very similar to the first with both teams enjoying plenty of attacking raids in a very end-to-end contest. 25 minutes into the second half, the Killarney striker was once again fouled in the box and awarded a penalty for her efforts. Bethany Hogg once again stepped up for side and once again was successful as she levelled the score at 2-2. Wyong were very unlucky not to find another goal as they were denied more than once from the crossbar and the post which saved Killarney as Wyong would have felt on another day it could have been a different result. Killarney had the last chance of the game as they searched for a winner and once again a player was brought down in the box, but this time Killarney were not awarded a penalty as Wyong held out for a draw.

The girls turned last week’s disappointing performance around and showed what they can do on the park,” commented Wyong coach Paul Halton when reflecting on the game,

Killarney’s Adam Tait will be hoping his team can improve for next weekend’s game as he welcome’s some cattle back to his squad. “We will look to be a lot better next week with some players are set to return to the squad.

WPL Leading Goal Scorers –

13Kate Styles (Umina)
12Taylor Thackray (Gosford)
11Madelene Yates (Gosford)
6Jessica Dominello (Gosford), Jordyn Toms-Wedge (Terrigal)
5Hannah Batten (Umina), Piper Menteith (Wyong), Sophie Piltz (Terrigal), Hayls Ballard (Kanwal)
4Tatum Ansiewicz (Southern), Hayley Fullwood (Umina)

WPL Round 8 Reserve Grade Results –

WPL Points Table –

WPL Club Championship –

WPL Round 9 Fixtures –

Written by Adam Blunden.