It was goals galore in the five matches played in round 3 action of the NPL NSW Women’s competition.
Blacktown Spartans 2-2 Macarthur Rams
A game full of turn arounds at Blacktown Football Park as the spoils were shared between the Blacktown Spartans and Macarthur Rams.
It was a slow opening to the match with neither team really creating anything.
That was until the 12th minute when Laura Murtagh’s blistering run led to her cross goal pass for Patty Charalambous who couldn’t miss, slotting the ball home.
It was the away side that grew more confident and took control.
Consecutive chances fell to Leena Khamis but the usually reliable striker couldn’t take her chances with Brianna Clarke putting in a solid shift.
As the home side hoped to get into the break only one goal down, they went one better.
Rosie Galea made a fantastic driving run through midfield before slipping in Lily Bardsley who made no mistake with the finish.
It was the Rams who should’ve re-take the lead after the break.
Again Murtagh squared the ball for Charalambous but this time the winger blasted her effort over the bar.
That miss was punished very soon after.
Annabelle Daszcko picked up possession in midfield, took a touch and blasted from over 20 metres out, giving Khamis no chance and putting the Spartans in front.
With Ledbrook exiting the field of play, it seemed the Rams wouldn’t have the creativity to win the game.
This time Charalmbous became the creator, delivering an inch perfect cross for an even better header from captain Renee Rollason.
The experienced Rollason headed beyond Clarke to restore parity at Blacktown Football Park.
Neither side could find a winner in an exciting game.
Rams coach Stephen Peters was proud of his team’s efforts but knows they could’ve got more from the game.
“We should’ve been well in front at half time but credit to Blacktown, they worked hard to get back into it.
“The girls showed great character to come back and equalise,” said Peters.
His opposing number, Brad Attard was pleased to take appoint from the game.
“We didn’t really show up for the first half but we came back well and reacted in the second half,” Attard said.
Illawarra Stingrays 3-2 Northern Tigers
The Illawarra Stingrays came away with victory in a five-goal thriller against the Northern Tigers at JJ Kelly Park.
Michelle Carney had the home side in front after pouncing on a goal mouth scramble after a corner.
It was soon two as a Danika Matos cross fooled the keeper and came off the bar, falling into the path of Sheridan Gallagher who tapped home into an empty net.
Lauren Allan was then brought down in the box, dusted herself and dispatched the penalty to put the Tigers back into the game before the break.
Carney then had her second after some constant pressure on the Tigers goal, restoring the Stingrays two-goal advantage.
Lauren Allan got the Tigers back into the game with a fine assist for Daisy Arrowsmith who scored in an empty net.
The Tigers pushed for an equaliser but couldn’t find it.
Bankstown City 1-1 NWS Koalas
It was a share of the spoils at Jensen Park as Bankstown City and the North West Sydney Koalas couldn’t be separated.
The away side took the lead after 26 minutes.
Some nice combination had Sophie Harding found space in the box with an easy finish beyond the goal keeper.
Both sides battled and created chances but couldn’t score all up until the 84th minute.
Georgia Plessas took a pass into the area and made no mistake with the finish beyond Katie Offer.
That was all there was time for as both teams recorded their first points of 2021.
Manly United 1-2 APIA Leichhardt
Two pretenders clashed at Cromer Park on Sunday with APIA Leichhardt coming away with a tight 2-1 victory over Manly United.
An exciting game from start to finish with chances at both ends with the goalkeepers kept busy.
With less than 10 minutes to go before the break, the away side had the lead.
Georgia Yeoman-Dale broke away down the right, got to the by line and then caught the keeper off guard by scoring at the near post.
With 20 minutes to go, substitute Sophie Hoban picked up a ball from Susan Phonsongkham and expertly lobbed Simonsen to double APIA’s advantage.
Tara Andrews cut the lead in the 87th minute with a fine header from a corner but it was only a consolation as Manly suffered their first defeat of the season.
Emerging Jets 0-4 Football NSW Institute
The battle of the academies took place Sunday afternoon as the Emerging Jets took on the Football NSW Institute.
It took only three minutes for the Football NSW Institute to take the lead through Holly McNamara with a header from a corner.
Bryleeh Henry then doubled the advantage from the spot only minutes later.
On the half hour mark it was 3-0 as Sarah Hunter scored a belter from some way out, finding the top corner.
McNamara had her second after the break at another set piece, this time at the back post poking the ball home to round off the 4-0 victory.
Sydney University v Sydney Olympic – PP
By: NIKOLA POZDER, CHIEF NPL NSW WOMEN’S WRITER