Three rounds in and we have a four-way tie for first place in the NPL NSW Women’s competition.
Macarthur Rams 1-3 Illawarra Stingrays
A clash of the titans took place at Lynwood Park as the Macarthur Rams and Illawarra Stingrays did battle.
It was the travelling South Coast side thought who came away with all three points, pushing the Stingrays to second place on the ladder.
For the Rams, it’s two straight losses and Norm Boardman will be looking for a reaction as soon as possible.
The match started at a high intensity with half chances for both teams in an end to end affair.
But it was the away team that pounced on a Rams defensive error.
A quick free kick from half way caught the home side unawares as Erica Halloway pounced, volleying beyond the onrushing Sham Khamis.
Macarthur struggled to get into the game and as half time approached things got worse for the home team.
Khalia Hogg this time tested Khamis with the keeper saving well but unable to hold the ball, allowing Hannah Beard to arrive first to the scene to place the ball into the back of the net.
The second half saw the Stingrays have the first chance and they should’ve settled the game.
First Halloway should’ve scored but Khamis made an amazing save before Beard had a chance, only for the Rams keeper to come out on top again.
The home side found a way back into the game half way through the first half.
Rosie Galea stepped up to take a corner, curling the ball into the back of the net direct from the set piece, beating Trudy Burke in the Stingrays goals.
The goal gave the Rams a spring in their step as they began pushing forward in search of an equaliser.
All hope was extinguished though when Halloway had her second.
A low corner was poorly defended by the Rams, allowing the attacker to back heel the ball into the back of the net and restore the two-goal buffer.
Scott Chipperfield’s side comfortably held out the Rams till the end of the game to record an important win.
Manly United 0-3 FNSW Institute
First game of the day took us to Cromer Park as Manly United hosted the FNSW Institute.
It was the Institute that went home happy, taking all three points from a difficult away fixture.
Three goals, two from AIdeen Keane and one from Isabella Chidiac had them over the line.
The win pushed them up in to the top five with two wins from three.
North Shore Mariners 2-3 Emerging Jets
It was derby day as the North Shore Mariners took on the Emerging Jets at Valentine Sports Park.
Brooke Kennedy headed the Jets in front early in the first half.
Gab Marzano soon had the Jets level though before Renee Poutney restored the Jets advantage.
Poutney then had the Jets on their way to a massive victory with a neat finish to make it 3-1 for the Jets.
Marzano cut the deficit to 3-2 but that was all the Mariners could muster in what was the shock of the round.
Northern Tigers 2-1 Blacktown Spartans
At North Turramurra Recreational Area, the Northern Tigers welcomed the Blacktown Spartans.
It was the away side that got off to the perfect start, taking a 1-0 lead through Ash Crofts which they held till the break.
But the Tigers hit back in the second period and recorded a come from behind win thanks to goals from Daisy Arrowsmith and Josie Wilson.
It’s two in a row for the Tigers and their definitely throwing themselves about in the talk for a finals place.
The Spartans are getting closer but David Saliba needs to insure heads don’t drop.
Sydney University 2-2 Sydney Olympic
It was a top of the table clash between Sydney University and Sydney Olympic at Sydney University Football Ground.
It was the newly promoted side though that got things rolling.
Georgia Plessas put them in front as early as the eighth minute before Susan Phonsongkham doubled the advantage.
Alex Epakis required his girls to come from behind again and that they did.
First Nikki Flannery halved the deficit before Julie-Anne Russel picked up a late goal to secure a point for Uni.
The two are joined at the top of the table along with the Illawarra Stingrays after three games.
Bankstown City 1-2 NWS Koalas
At Jensen Park, the North West Sydney Koalas travelled to take on Bankstown City.
Sophie Harding had the Koalas in front after pouncing on a Bankstown error, calmly placing the ball into the back of the net.
Bankstown had their equaliser through an own goal and were right back into the game.
But Emma Stanbury soon had the Koalas back in front, placing the ball into the back of the net.
The win puts them in equal first place on the ladder.
-By NPL NSW Women’s Writer Nikola Pozder