The NPL NSW Women’s competition finally kicked off over the weekend but it was an incomplete round.
In fact, only two of six games were played in the whole round with three postponed due to Westfield W-League player commitments and one washed out
Match of The Round
Bankstown City 1-6 Manly United
At Jensen Park, it was the perfect start to 2020 for Manly United who battered Bankstown City 6-1.
Bankstown struggled to cope with Manly’s five in midfield and their continuous high press throughout the game.
Even more pleasing for Chris Williams was that six different scorers found themselves on the scoresheet.
It would be the home side with the first chance through new signing Aimee Phillips but her shot couldn’t find the target.
But with their first real chance, Manly took the lead.
Japanese import Naoko Wada crossed in a menacing ball which Corrine Winkler attacked, heading into the back of the net just after the quarter hour mark.
This is where Manly began their dominance.
10 minutes later and the away side doubled their advantage.
Nicole Stuart played in a fine ball for Elizabeth Copus-Brown who expertly finished beyond Jordan Weisman.
Wada was creating all sorts of problems for Bankstown and almost had her second assist of the game when she played in Chloe O’Brien who shot just over.
With 10 minutes to go in the half, it was three.
Wada’s shot from distance was fumbled by Weisman as the ball trickled over the line giving the Japanese import a goal on debut.
Phillips looked most likely to make something happen and again went close for Bankstown.
As half time approached, Wada almost had her second, hitting a wicked free kick which Weisman somehow kept out.
But the Lions picked one up just before the break to give them some hope, courtesy of Nicole Simonsen.
Similarly to Weisman at the other end, Simonsen couldn’t hold onto what looked a routine save from Georgia Plessas as the ball trickled over the line.
It was the substitutes that kicked United into gear in the second period.
A fine run by Bryany parker down the left and an equally good cross for Nicole Stuart almost had Manly adding to the score.
From the ensuing corner, Hannah Peric held the ball up well before O’Brien struck, only for Clauadia Cholakian to stick a foot in and force the ball over the line.
It could’ve been five only a few minutes later after Cholakian was brought down in the box.
Wada stepped up to take the spot kick but slammed her effort against the upright.
Substitute Grace Arnold then went close with a cheeky chip but Weisman saved well.
With three minutes remaining, Copus-Brown delivered a fine free kick allowing Peric to head home to make it six.
Only one minute later and it was six as another substitute Kate Stanbridge picked up her debut goal with an excellent finish after a great ball by Copus-Brown.
With players missing from both teams, we can see improvement coming from each as the season progresses.
Macarthur Rams 1-0 Emerging Jets
Troy Spink’s Macarthur Rams got off to a winning start as they defeated the Emerging Jets 1-0 at Lynwood Park.
It was the young Jets side that probably started the better, creating a few half chances.
The teams couldn’t be separated though and went into half time locked at 0-0.
Seven minutes after half time though, the Rams hit the front.
Renee Rollason’s free kick wasn’t held by the Jets keeper, allowing the experienced Leena Khamis to arrive on the spot and blast the ball into the back of the net.
The brave Jets pushed for an equaliser but couldn’t break down the Rams defence.
Khamis almost had her second with a first time volley but her powerful effort cannoned back off the bar with minutes remaining.
The Jets almost had an equaliser through Babic in stoppage time but the ball went inches wide of the post.
Illawarra Stingrays v Northern Tigers – PP
FNSW Institute v Blacktown Spartans – PP
APIA Leichhardt v Sydney Olympic – PP
Sydney Uni v NWS Koalas – WW
By: Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s Writer