Only one undefeated team remains in the #NPLWNSW competition after round 8 with the gap between the top seven clubs only four points!
APIA Leichhardt 2-1 Blacktown Spartans
APIA Leichhardt played their best game of the season on Sunday night to defeat the league leaders Blacktown Spartans 2-1.
Shea Connors opened the scoring early in the second half before Deborah Anne De La Harpe scored a beauty to put APIA in control. Rosie Galea then managed to halve the advantage late but there was no time for the Spartans to find an equaliser.
Missing a number of key players, Brad Attard’s team gave a good account of themselves, but APIA were just too strong on the night.
You could see the intent from APIA from kick off with Sarah Langman and Liz Ralston given their first starts of the season.
Leah Davidson went closest early, creating some space on the edge of the area before whipping her shot against the upright, Sally James getting an important touch on the ball.
Blacktown went close five minutes from half time through Abbey Lemon who forced Langman into a fantastic save with a fine shot from some way out.
Only two minutes after the break and APIA almost were in front. Sarah Hunter picked up the ball in midfield and let fly as Sally James tipped the ball onto the bar.
What followed two minutes later was an incredible sequence of events. First, Shea Connors beat Sally James but not the bar as the ball got to Sophie Hoban who on the turn shot toward goal, only for her effort to be cleared off the line by an outstretched Naomi Chinama. The rebound then fell to Sarah Hunter who sent her shot high and wide of the goal.
The barrage of attacks continued, and only Sally James could have kept the scores level after the next attack. Doing damage down the right, Shea Connors beat her marker before crossing into the box. The ball fell to the feet of Sophie Hoban who hit the ball on the half volley, forcing James into a point blank save, tipping the shot onto the bar and over.
As would be the case though, from the ensuing corner, APIA finally hit the front. The Spartans did not deal with De La Harpe’s corner as Connors tapped the ball home from inside the 6-yard box.
Not long after, APIA deservedly doubled their advantage. De La Harpe from the set piece, found James’ top corner, giving the Spartans keeper no hope in saving the perfectly hit free kick.
With five minutes to go though, the Spartans gave themselves hope through Rosie Galea who took her goal well, finding Langman’s bottom corner to make it 2-1.
Despite trying to steal a point, APIA comfortably held on to claim an important three points.
Northern Tigers 2-2 Bankstown City
A point for the Northern Tigers against Bankstown City at North Turramurra was enough to send the Tigers to the top of the competition ladder.
The Tigers hit the from just after the half hour mark as Ash Brodigan opened the scoring from the penalty spot.
It was 2-0 with just over 20 minutes to go, Izzy Gomez the architect. Gomez won the ball in midfield, played a delightful ball through for Brodigan who picked up her second with a confident finish.
Cruising to victory, City did not lie down and they hit back three minutes later.
The Tigers couldn’t clear their lines as Paige Hayward picked up the ball just outside the area, curling the ball into the top corner to give Bankstown a lifeline.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, Bankstown had their equaliser. Siobhan Edwards popping up off the bench, springing the offside trap and placing the ball into the back of the net.
A massive point for Bankstown and maybe two points dropped for the home team.
Emerging Jets 1-1 Football NSW Institute
The two academies did battle and neither could be separated as the Emerging Jets and Football NSW Institute shared the spoils.
20 minutes in and the visitors were in front through Daniella Galic, sending her free kick into the back of the net.
The Jets equalised from their own set piece through one of their best players this season, Claire Adams in stunning fashion making it 1-1.
The Jets held on to record their first point of the season.
Macarthur Rams 2-0 Manly United
Manly United suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of the Macarthur Rams at Lynwood Park on Sunday night.
Two second half goals were enough for the Rams to snap a three match winless run.
It was the returning Patty Charalambous that opened the scoring. Popping up at the back post, Charalambous volleyed the ball into the back of the net giving the keeper no chance.
With just over 20 to go, it was game over. In some style, Beth Gordon took the ball into the box and sent the ball into the far top corner to make it 2-0.
The victory pushed Macarthur into second and saw United drop from third to seventh on the ladder.
Sydney University 3-1 Illawarra Stingrays
Another win for Sydney University, this time a convincing 3-1 victory over the Illawarra Stingrays.
It took only three minutes for the home team to open the scoring. Springing the Stingrays high defensive line, Holly Caspers burst in on goal and finished emphatically to give Uni the lead.
Caspers was at it again as the half came to a close after some serious Stingrays pressure. Taking full advantage of a keeping error, Caspers picked up her brace with a well placed finish.
It was game over with 30 minutes to go as Rola Badawiya took advantage of a goalmouth scramble to poke the ball home.
Tayleah Handcock then had a late consolation for the Stingrays with the last kick of the game in one of the best goals of the weekend across all Football NSW Leagues.
NWS Spirit 1-6 Sydney Olympic
A sorry NWS Spirit could not back up from last week’s win, being brought right back down to reality with a thumping 6-1 defeat against Sydney Olympic.
Cortnee Vine has been Olympic’s best this season and after five minutes, the blue and whites star player set up Charlie Rule at the far post to head them in front.
10 minutes later it was 2-0 as Charlie Rule once more got on the end of another Vine assist.
Things went from bad to worse for Spirit as two minutes later it was 3-0. Mackenzie Hawkesby stepped up to take a free kick just outside the area, curling the ball into the top corner and giving the keeper no chance.
We went 30 minutes in and it was 4-0. Rule had her first half hat trick with a fabulous header from a corner.
It took Olympic 20 minutes to add to the score in the second half as Hawkesby scored her second with a low drive into the bottom corner of the Spirit goal.
A minute later it was 6-0 as Vine was rewarded for her hard work with a good finish from just inside the area.
The goals kept coming as the Koalas finally got one with Sophie Harding setting up Morgan Roberts who finished well to make it 6-1and round off the scoring.
-By NPL NSW Women’s Chief Writer and Commentator Nikola Pozder