A new competition leader and an intensifying battle for fifth spot rounds up the latest instalment of NPL NSW Women’s competition.
NWS Koalas 1-0 Northern Tigers
With the league leaders coming down to Christie Park the North West Sydney Koalas knew they had to win to keep their finals hopes alive against the Northern Tigers.
A Sophie Harding goal was enough for the home team to inflict on the second loss of the season for the Tigers.
The loss saw them lose first place for the first time in over a month.
For Jaime Gomez’s team, the finals dream remains alive and they’re now five points from the five with seven games remaining.
The Koalas had the first chance of the game but Princess Ibini couldn’t convert Deborah-Anne De La Harpe’s cut back.
It was the home side that was looking the better and keeping most of the possession.
Morgan Roberts really should’ve had the home side in front but she missed a golden opportunity from point blank range.
Again the Koalas threatened, this time from a corner but they didn’t challenge Eliza Campbell.
The start of the second half saw minimal chances created by either side.
With less than 30 minutes to go, a brain explosion from Romina Parraguirre almost had the Tigers in.
In the 70th minute Aimee Phillips had a great chance to put the Tigers in front but she couldn’t find the target.
And only a couple minutes later the home side was in front.
Harding rose highest from a corner and unmanned, she headed the ball into the back of the net.
The Tigers picked their game up after conceding and had many wandering where was this football for the previous 80 minutes.
They went close with 10 to go but somehow Parraguirre got the ball away.
Phillips had one last chance late but Parraguirre saved well to keep her clean sheet and take all three points.
Blacktown Spartans 1-3 Macarthur Rams
Macarthur knew prior to kick off how valuable three points were in this game and they didn’t disappoint, coming away with all three points and moving into the top five.
It didn’t start all their own way at Blacktown Football Park as the home side took an early lead.
A deep kick from Casey Dumont saw Linda Dudek flick a header on for Ash Crofts who made no mistake, lobbing the keeper and adding to her season tally of goals.
The Spartans took the lead into half time.
Without Renee Rollason, currently in France with the FNSW Institute Girls side and Sham Khamis, the Champions responded in style.
Some poor defending gifted the Rams the equaliser as Leena Khamis found the back of the net.
Only minutes later it was 2-1 as Nikola Orgill got onto the end of a Rosie Galea pass to put the ball beyond Dumont.
With the Spartans pushing for a late equaliser, Khamis broke their hearts in the dying embers of the game on the counter with a smart finish to make it 3-1.
Emerging Jets 1-1 Illawarra Stingrays
The Illawarra Stignrays travelled north expecting to take all three points against the Emerging Jets but it wasn’t to be.
Neither side could find a way to goal in the first period as they went into half time locked at 0-0.
Early in the second period the away side had the lead, Michelle Carney converting from the spot.
Soon after though the Jets had a golden chance from a penalty of their own.
Renee Pountney stepped up and made no mistake, finding the top right corner of the goal.
The south coast side pushed hard in the closing stages but couldn’t find the winner.
NS Mariners 1-3 Sydney Olympic
Sydney Olympic did what they had to do to move into second place on the ladder, taking all three points against the North Shore Mariners.
As has become standard for the Mariners, they went down early, Georgia Plessas putting Olympic in front.
Gab Marzano then had an opportunity from the penalty spot to bring the game level after a controversial call.
Jada Whyman dived the right way but there was too much pace on the ball and the teams went into half time locked at 1-1.
In an open game, both teams had their chance but it was Olympic that would strike next.
Some fine work by Sarah Yatim saw her square up Susan Phonsongkham who couldn’t miss with an open goal in front of her.
Only minutes later Phonsongkham made it two, capitalising on some poor marking to tap the ball home and wrap up all three points.
Football NSW Institute 0-2 Sydney University
Sydney University knew that a win could put them at the top of the table and they did just that, beating the Football NSW Institute 2-0.
Two first half goals from the in form Cortnee Vine were enough for Alex Epakis’ side to come away with the spoils.
Thanks to the NWS Koalas victory over the Northern Tigers, Uni moved to the top of the table.
Bankstown City 2-1 Manly United
Bankstown City kept their slim finals hopes alive with a tight 2-1 win over Manly United at Jensen Park.
The home team had the lead on 16 minuses as Nicole Simonsen spilled a Tanya Baban shot, into the path of Jess Cirignano who tapped home.
With the half time whistle beckoning, Bankstown doubled their advantage.
Vesna Milivojevic did well to win the ball before moving in on goal and beating Simonsen but not the post, with the rebound falling to Cirignano who was Johnny on the spot to put the ball into an empty net once more.
Manly pushed hard to get themselves back in the match and halved the deficit deep into stoppage time with a well controlled finish by Chloe O’Brien.
It’d only be a conciliation though as Bankstown registered an important victory.
By – Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s writer