The second half of the season kicked off yesterday in the NPL NSW Women’s competition and it remains as close as ever.
Match of the Round – Macarthur Rams FC 3-1 Manly United FC
Macarthur Rams had to respond after last week’s defeat against a plucky Many United and that they did, coming away with a 3-1 victory at Lynwood Park.
It was the away side that probably opened the game the better, pressing the Rams deep in their half.
They probably should’ve had the lead on 15 minutes but Sham Khamis pulled off an incredible save from Emily Minett’s header.
So it was a real kick in the teeth for Chris Williams’ side when some telling pressure from the Rams saw them hit the front just after the half hour mark.
Leena Khamis slipped in Rosie Galea with the winger calmly slotting the ball passed Nicole Simonsen for a 1-0 lead.
The home sides confidence grew from here and their chances began to pile up.
10 minutes after their opening goal, the experience of Renee Rolason saw the Rams double their lead.
The defender stepped up to take a free kick just outside the box and found the bottom left corner of Simonsen’s goal.
Manly started the second half on the front foot and tried to get back into the game immediately.
With just over 20 minutes to go, United threw themselves right back into the game.
A fine free kick by Patty Charalambous found Minett at the far post who headed in perfectly to the far post, giving Khamis no chance in the Rams goal.
It didn’t take the home side too long to restore the two-goal advantage.
Nikola Orgill picked up the ball and crossed into the box but it took a wicked deflection, leaving Simonsen stranded as the ball bounced into the back of the net.
Manly couldn’t get back into the game as the home side held out to sit only three points outside of the top five.
Sydney University 3-2 Bankstown City
It was quite the game at Sydney University Football Ground as the home side came away with all three points in a five-goal thriller against Bankstown City.
Mel Caceres had Uni in front after only 14 seconds of the game! Stealing the ball off the Bankstown right back, she then took on another defender before slotting the ball home.
Just before half time, Vesna Milivojevic had Bankstown level, winning the ball in the Uni box before despatching it into the back of the net.
But only minutes into the second half, Uni were in front again after Julie-Ann Russell slotted a fine volley into the back of the net.
Bankstown wouldn’t give up though and equalised once more in style, Stefani Skerlevska picking out the top corner with a special goal.
The game went end to end as both teams tried frantically to find a winner.
It would come from an unlikely source minutes from the end with Taren King curling the ball into the top corner to roundoff a spectacular 3-2 victory.
North Shore Mariners 0-3 Illawarra Stingrays
The Illawarra Stingrays made light work of the North Shore Mariners, coming away with a 3-0 win at Northbridge Oval.
The Stingrays three goals came from Michelle Carney, Chloe Middleton and Talitha Kramer.
Three points for the Stingrays keeps them in fourth position.
Northern Tigers 4-0 FNSW Institute
Another win for the Northern Tigers meant they moved to outright first on the competition ladder.
A four-goal haul saw them come away with a commanding 4-0 victory.
Maddie Bart picked up a brace while Hannah McNulty scored one and Daisy Arrowsmith got the other, keeping up her great goalscoring form.
Blacktown Spartans 2-1 Sydney Olympic
It was a special afternoon for the Blacktown Spartans as they knocked off league leaders Sydney Olympic 2-1.
With new signings Mackenzie Hawkesby and Demi Koulizakis both in the squad, the away side would’ve been confident they could take all three points.
Instead, it was the home side that took the lead minutes from half time.
Ash Crofts was played in by Linda Dudek as she poked the ball beyond Jada Mathyssen.
Olympic would find their way back into the game on 63 minutes through Teresa Polias.
With the game looking set for a draw Crofts thought she had missed a golden opportunity, only for Beth Gordon to score the winner and a massive three points for the Spartans.
BY – Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s Writer