MATCH OF THE ROUND
Southern & Ettalong v East Gosford
Southern & Ettalong will welcome East Gosford to James Browne Oval for your round 10 WPL Match of the Round.
Coach Augusto Terra and his Southern & Ettalong side will be looking to right their wrong from round 1 as well as last weekend’s disappointing loss to Terrigal (1-0) come round 10 in front of a home crowd. This will mark Southern’s first home game since round 7, with a win possibly propelling them back into the finals spot. Southern are yet to lose two games in a row so expect them to bounce back strong this weekend. Southern have proved they are a dangerous and competitive team as they have only dropped points to the top 3 clubs and East Gosford.
Augusto is anticipating a very strong Ram’s side and is looking forward to the contest. “It is going to be a tough game, East Gosford is a good side and they proved that in the first round against us. We have won every game so far, except for the top 3 teams on the ladder and East Gosford. After 9 rounds, we have had huge progress as a team, allowing us to be competitive in every game against any opponent. We have been working well during the week to make sure we are focused and ready to bring the three points home.”
East Gosford took it to league leaders Gosford last weekend before the game was unfortunately postponed due to a serious injury. East Gosford will take a lot of confidence out of their opening half against rivals Gosford into this weekend as they look to improve on their round 1 1-0 win over Southern & Ettalong. East Gosford coach Jorge Chavez stated after their round 1 clash with SEU that his side was very fortunate in getting a result as he labelled his team, “flat all game and struggled to get into their normal rhythm of fast passing and movement off the ball.” East Gosford has a great chance to go level with Southern with another win this weekend as the Rams look to regain a top 4 spot.
Terrigal v Killarney
Terrigal will be looking to solidify and keep their 2nd place spot on the ladder as the O’lasses will host Killarney District this Sunday.
It was a very close encounter the first time around for these two teams as Terrigal got a 1-0 win over the Terriers back in round 1. On that day, Indiana Moyes’s late second-half goal was all that split these two sides. Terrigal currently sits in 2nd place on 21 points, that’s only 3 points behind league leaders Gosford who do possess a game in hand. Terrigal’s defence has only conceded 7 goals in the competition thus far while their attackers have also found a great run of form with Jordyn Toms-Wedge and Sophie Plitz scoring 11 goals combined. Another win this weekend will help the O’lasses solidify their place at the top of the table.
After the halfway mark of the season, Killarney finds themselves mid-table in 6th place with 13 points, but only 1 win away from the top 4. Killarney were leading last year Grand Final winners Umina 1-0 before they eventually fell 3-1 to the E-Gals. Killarney have now conceded 5 goals in their last 2 matches, before this, Adam Tait’s side only conceded 1 goal in their previous 4 fixtures. Killarney will focus on getting back to their clean sheet ways as the Terrier side is yet to lose 2 games back-to-back this whole season. Killarney will be looking for a fast start in the hopes of picking up their first win since round 7 and staying within the race for a top 4 finish.
Wyong v Gosford
Wyong will be out to prove how far they have come since round 1 against Gosford who scored 11 goals in their first encounter against the Emus.
Wyong’s first game when returning to WPL was against none other than reigning League Champions Gosford. On that day back in round 1, Gosford introduced Wyong to the league with an emphatic 11-1 win over Paul Halton’s Emu side. Wyong will be out to prove just how far they have come this season since that opening round. Wyong did concede 5 goals to Kanwal last weekend, before that Wyong hadn’t conceded more than 5 goals in a game since the opening 2 rounds. A big positive for Wyong heading into this game is that they are the only team that has scored against the Dragons after 8 rounds (the Gosford game got abandoned last weekend) and their leading goal scorer Piper Menteith will be out to do the same this weekend.
Gosford remains a perfect 8 wins from 8 games as we reach the second half of the year, and even more impressively Gosford has kept 7 clean sheets in a row since conceding 1 goal in their opening encounter. Having only conceded 1 goal in 8 rounds is a true testament to how strong Gosford are once again this year as they look to go unbeaten for the season. The rest of the year for Gosford remains as simple as repeating every result from their first 8 rounds as they look to become undefeated League Champions. Tahlor Thackray and Maddie Yates have been in outstanding form in front of goal for Gosford as they boast 23 goals between them, that more than every other club’s total goals for the season besides Umina.
Kanwal v Woongarrah
Woongarrah will travel to Wadalba and face Kanwal as the Wildcats look to continue last week’s form into Sunday against their local rivals.
After last week’s 5-2 win over Wyong, Kanwal finds themselves back where they would think they belong and that is within the top 4 of the competition. Last weekend was the first time Kanwal scored 5 goals in a match this season all the way since round 1 when they beat this weekend’s opposition Woongarrah 5-0. Coach and player Hayls Ballard has been in terrific form as of late for her side, scoring 5 goals in the last 5 matches as she looks to keep her momentum going into the derby this weekend and hopefully her side can repeat their 5-0 win over the Wildcats in round 1.
Before last weekend, Woongarrah was sitting without a win and in the last place with only 4 goals scored in 8 matches, now Woongarrah finds themselves coming off their first win of the year in a match where they won 6-0 over Kariong. Woongarrah scored more goals in their last 90 minutes than they had in their previous 8 rounds. Dave Hurley will be hoping that this is a turning point for his side as they now look to their rivals this weekend. After a rather forgettable start to the season, back-to-back wins could completely turn the momentum around for Woongarrah.
Kariong v Umina
After the halfway mark of the season, Kariong are still looking for their first win and will hope they can get 3 points at home against Umina this weekend.
Kariong continues their worst form of the season as Haylie Eyers and her side have now gone goalless in their last 4 games. Kariong seemed to of had their best chance of picking up their first points last weekend when they met Woongarrah, but the Wildcats proved to be too much for them on the day as Kariong went down 6-0. Kariong are only 1 of 4 teams who have scored two or more goals against Umina this year as they will look to get back to scoring ways this weekend and hopefully secure their first win and clean sheet of the year.
Umina are coming off a comeback win in round 9 as they were down a goal to Killarney, in a fixture they ended up winning 3-1. Umina will look to keep the pressure on Gosford and Terrigal at the top of the table and mirror their results from the first half of the season and put together a run of wins. Umina’s defence has been far from their best lately as the E-Gals have not kept a clean sheet since round 7. Umina still possesses current WPL Golden Boot Leader Kate Styles who gained another goal last weekend to take her tally to 14 for the year, she will play an instrumental part in Umina’s success for the remainder of the season.
Written by Adam Blunden.