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East Gosford v Terrigal

East Gosford prepares for their second meeting of the year with league leaders Terrigal as the Rams look to end the opposition’s winning streak in the round 13 match of the round.

This top-of-the-table clash is an important fixture we have become accustomed to over the last year as these two sides have solidified themselves as the heavyweights in the WPL competition.

This rivalry has quickly become one of the most exciting fixtures on our calendar. After battling for first place last year, Terrigal ended the season undefeated to claim League Champions, but the Rams got the last laugh when they defeated the Tords in the Grand Final.

Fast forward to this season, these two sides met in the Association Cup Final and Terrigal were able to get some redemption from their Grand Final loss as they walked away 6-0 winners.

The Rams entered the year losing statistically their best two players from their 2023 squad, Golden Boot winner Kelly Hogan and Player of the Year Tahlor Thackray. Thackray will walk out this weekend with the opposition as she made the move over to Terrigal at the start of the year.

Nonetheless, Jorge Chavez was able to boost his squad with some great signings with the most notable being Jess Dominello who has started the year on fire, scoring 13 goals to her name in their opening 8 fixtures.

Chavez commented on how his squad is managing at the stage of the season. “Unfortunately, a few of our girls picked up some injuries from our last encounter with Terrigal and have been managing those injuries as best as they can.”

“I think like everybody else at this time of the year, we are dealing with a lot of sicknesses, but we seem to be getting everyone back on track and hopefully that means a full squad to select from come Sunday.”

As for their earlier meeting with Terrigal this season, East Gosford were held scoreless in their 2-0 defeat as Chavez suggests it was a learning curve for his side. “I think we learnt more about ourselves than about Terrigal the last time we faced them.”

“We were disappointed in ourselves that we didn’t play our normal attacking style of football. We were a little bit shy going forward and we have tried to rectify that at training to go back to what we know and what’s proven to be successful in the last few years. We have goal scorers in our team that like to create chances and hopefully, we can do that on Sunday.”

Jorge is adamant his team will need to start on the front foot in their meeting with Terrigal this weekend. “We need to attack from the get-go, we’ve produced multiple goal scorers in the last couple of years so that’s our strength and it will be our focus for the weekend.”

“We are expecting Terrigal to come out confident in this game. I believe the two ex-rams players in Tahlor and Maddie were two of the best players last time we played them and if they have similar games it will be extremely tough for us to beat them.”

It has basically been a perfect season so far for Gabby Blanch and her WPL side who sit on top of the WPL ladder and look on their way to claim their second consecutive League Champions title.

Since taking over as head coach last season, Blanch and Terrigal quickly stated themselves as a force in the WPL which was solidified when Terrigal went unbeaten throughout the entire 2023 winter season.

Terrigal find themselves in a very similar position after eight games, recording eight wins and even more impressively they have only conceded one goal in all eight fixtures.

Terrigal are looking stronger than ever, but Blanch suggests they might be entering this week’s important clash with some key personnel on the sideline.

“We are battling a few injuries, a few key players are missing from our squad at the moment, one who unfortunately won’t return this season. We are blessed with depth though, and I feel every player we signed has delivered on whatever has been asked of them so far.”

Terrigal has been extremely unfortunate when it comes to playing at their beloved home ground of Duffy’s Oval. The Tords have suffered multiple washouts and have been forced to lose their home-ground advantage on multiple occasions this season as they are still yet to play a home game in 2024.

Terrigal will prepare to adventure on enemy territory once again this weekend as they look to extend their lead at the top of the ladder to 8 points if they can successfully record victory over the Rams.

Sunday will mark over two weeks since Terrigal last got on the pitch with their last game played being their mid-week catch-up over East Gosford at Pluim Park.

Terrigal will need to make sure they shake off any rust early in the contest as East Gosford will be adamant to see a different outcome in front of a home crowd.

“East Gosford tends to throw everything at us,” described Blanch. “It’s a rivalry that will no doubt continue, and we know how crucial it is to compete for every single moment of the game.”

“I expect the usual. It’ll be hard fought, they won’t give up three points easily. It’s no secret they score goals well. They have a couple of players they rely heavily on, our defensive unit will need to be on. In turn, we’ll need to take our opportunities in attack.”

Blanch is determined if her side can play to their best ability they will walk away victors once again.

“This playing group is just getting better, and more intelligent with every game. At times we can be our own worst enemy, knowing how to avoid that is key for us. If we show up and play to our potential, we will take the points.”

Match Official – Stephen Wrightson

All Round 13 Fixtures –