What a round of football in the NPL NSW Women’s competition, thrills, spills and goals galore.
Northern Tigers had a win and a loss in their double up week, while the same can be said for Sydney Olympic.
APIA Leichhardt are now three games without a win, but it’s a first loss in some time for Sydney Uni.
Bankstown City have now notched up two straight wins and are catching those in front of them.
Six points separate second all the way down to ninth in what is the closest season ever and we are still not at half way!
Northern Tigers 2-0 Macarthur Rams
The Northern Tigers moved into second place on the competition table after defeating the league leaders Macarthur Rams 2-0 at North Turramurra.
After arguably their worst performance of the season mid-week, Jason Eagar had his girls eager to bounce back immediately.
It was the home side that probably started the better, racking up a large number of early corners.
The deadlock was broken with five minutes to go in the first half.
Malia Steinmetz took the ball outside the area and let fly on the half volley, into the top corner giving Khamis no chance.
20 minutes from full time the points were secure.
Shay Evan picked up a loose ball at the far post before blasting the ball beyond Khamis to make it 2-0.
Emerging Jets 1-3 Bankstown City
Bankstown City made it two wins on the bounce when they defeated the Emerging Jets on Sunday afternoon.
Matthew Costatini’s side remain in 11th place but have edged closer to those in front of them on the ladder.
On the half hour mark, the away side hit the front.
For the umpteenth time this season, the Jets gave a goal away, this time Panayiota Petratos closing down the keeper to deflect the ball into the back of the net.
Things got worse for the home side as Bankstown doubled their advantage.
Some silky skills from Logan Garard slide in Olivia Price who dinked the ball over the keeper in expert fashion.
The Jets started the second half in the best possible way, scoring after only five minutes.
A ball cut back to the edge of the area had Brianna Williams smacking her shot into the top corner and beyond Annie Grove.
Just as the Jets began creating and pressing, they were brought right back down.
Olivia Price moved into the box before being brought down.
Price dusted herself to find the back of the net from the spot and claim all three points with less than 15 minutes remaining.
Football NSW Institute 1-1 APIA Leichhardt
A fine game at Valentine Sports Park saw the Football NSW Institute and APIA Leichhardt share the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
It’s the third straight game now APIA have failed to win and their premiership hopes have taken quite a hit.
Sophie Hoban looked most likely for the away side, going close on a couple occasions.
22 minutes in though, the Institute punished APIA for a defensive error.
In fine form this season, Charlie Rule made no mistake with her finish on the edge of the area, putting away her sixth of the season.
APIA continued pressing as they were early on but couldn’t find a goal before the break.
Despite APIA’s pressure, the Institute should’ve doubled their lead as Rule hit her shot over from only a meter or so in front.
With 25 minutes remaining, Grace Maher had APIA on level terms.
With her second goal in as many games, Maher did well to get through the Institute defence before placing the ball into the bottom corner.
Hoban had a chance to win it for APIA late on but her effort went just wide of the goal.
Sydney Olympic 1-2 North West Sydney Koalas
The North West Sydney Koalas broke a horrid run of form, scoring the biggest shock victory of the round against Sydney Olympic at Belmore Sports Ground.
After picking up four straight wins, including a mid-week win over the Northern Tigers, Olympic were one of the competition’s form teams.
And they continued in that fashion, taking the lead on 14 minutes through Mackenzie Hawkesby.
A ball through by De Domizio had Hawkesby beat her defender with speed before placing beyond Offer.
Only one minute later and the Koalas equalised in some style through Sophie Harding.
The Koalas striker burst through the Olympic defence, getting passed her markers with ease before dribbling passed Jada Mathyssen and sliding the ball into an empty goal.
Despite the early goals, neither side could add to the score line in the first half.
In the 57th minute, Harding became creator as she crossed across goal for Rachel Soutar who blasted the ball home from inside the six-yard box.
Olympic pushed but the Koalas stood firm to secure their first win in seven matches.
Illawarra Stingrays 2-5 Blacktown Spartans
Goals galore at JJ Kelly Park but it would be the visitors that had more, the Blacktown Spartans winning 5-2 against the Illawarra Stingrays.
It was the home side that hit the front from the spot as the ever-reliable Michelle Carney slotted the ball home in some style.
Talitha Kramer then had a couple chances to extend the Stingrays lead but wasn’t able to.
On the stroke of half time, the Spartans would punish the Stingrays for their missed opportunities.
Ash Crofts finally broke her duck with a smart finish on the edge of the area to secure her first goal of the season.
Five minutes into the second period and the away side over-turned the deficit, Rosie Galea playing a superb ball across goal for Tiarne Flavin who had her second in as many weeks.
This time though, the home side equalised.
Carney found herself with a golden opportunity inside the box, forcing Sally James into an incredible save before slamming the ball home on the rebound.
Not long after, the Spartans were back in front.
Maja Markovski continued her fine form in front of goal in some style, turning her marker before placing the ball into the back of the net.
Minutes later the lead was doubled with a goal of the season contender.
Hannah Lowry picked up the ball from more than 35 metres out before letting fly, her effort coming off the underside of the bar before hitting the back of the net.
The points were sewn up five minutes from half time, Maja Markovski brought down in the box with the referee awarding a penalty.
Markovski took the resulting penalty and despite the Stingrays keeper picking the right side, the penalty had too much power, hitting the back of the net.
Manly United 2-1 Sydney University
We’ve been eagerly waiting for the champions to kick into gear and this week it looks like it has as Manly United defeated the premiers 2-1 at Cromer Park in the 2020 grand final rematch.
A tight first half with not many chance meant that the two sides entered the break locked at 0-0.
Supporters hadn’t even returned from the half time break when Manly hit the front, 12 seconds into the second half.
Remy Siemsen getting onto the end of a ball into the area before blasting a powerful volley beyond Boric who had no chance.
Sydney Uni have been dangerous from set pieces all year and with 10 minutes left, they had their equaliser.
Taren King rose the highest from the corner, powering her header into the back of the net.
As the clock ticked, Manly re-took the lead.
Siemsen laying off the ball for Caitlin Jarvie, as the latter side footed it beyond Boric to secure all three points for Tom Hopley’s side.
Round 2 rescheduled fixture reviews
Sydney Olympic 2-1 Northern Tigers
Sydney Olympic welcomed the Northern Tigers to Valentine Sports Park on Thursday night after a last-minute change of venue.
It was the away side that got off to a great start when Aideen Keane muscled her way through before tapping the ball home.
But it was all Sydney Olympic in the first half.
Chance after chance came and went until Mackenzie Hawkesby changed that.
What seemed a nothing ball from the centre of defence, went all the way through to Hawkesby who made no mistake with her finish to equalise.
The Tigers came out better in the second period but couldn’t break down a stubborn Olympic defence.
Aimee Phillips then made a fine run down the right before crossing across goal for Teigen Collister who sent the ball into the back of the net.
It’d be Olympic that would look more likely after that, going close through Sarah Yatim and Hawkesby. Securing a massive three points.
Sydney University 1-1 APIA Leichhardt
Sydney University and APIA shared the spoils at Sydney Uni Football game in the other rescheduled match last week.
APIA hit the front from after Grace Maher saw her penalty get saved before being quickest to the rebound to bundle the ball home.
Uni responded in the second half an should’ve equalised in the second period through Torpey.
Shortly after, Sarah Morgan had the home side level, popping up at the far post.
Both teams had opportunities to win it, Maher hit the bar from distance while Demi Koulizakis missed a sitter from right in front.
BY: NIKOLA POZDER, CHIEF NPL NSW WOMEN’S WRITER