In a tight game at Jensen Park in the National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s competition, Bankstown City Lions held on to a point against the Northern Tigers.
It was a game where not much was given away from either team and chances were tough to come by, resulting in the stalemate.
Bankstown’s job of picking up the much-need win was made tougher when Tiana Jaber was shown a red card in the first half.
The depleted Tigers could not capitalise on the player advantage and had to settle for a point at the conclusion of the 90 minutes.
Bankstown’s defence looked shaky early on with Claudia Cholakian and Ash Brodigan unable to take advantage.
Susan Phonsongkham almost caught Sarah Willacy out as her cross turned into a shot, the Tigers keeper reacting well.
Ella Tonkin was next to try her luck, rising highest at the back post following a corner, sending her free header wide of the target.
The home side looked to put some pressure on the Tigers defence with a corner minutes from half time, instead, they were reduced to 10.
Following the referee signalling a free kick for the Tigers, Tiana Jaber was booked for dissent, as she walked away, the referee again reached for the pocket, giving the central defender her second yellow card and subsequent red card for dissent once more.
The Tigers had one final chance at the end of the first half, but Cholakian’s free kick sailed over the bar.
Matt Costantini didn’t go to the bench at the break but made tactical adjustments which seemed to work.
Immediately upon the resumption, captain Liana Gullo and Phonsongkham looked to put the Tigers under pressure but could not find the final ball to test Willacy.
Five minutes after the restart the Tigers were almost in front, a Josie Wilson cross went goalwards putting Danielle Bartels under pressure in the Lions goal.
The home team’s keeper tipped the ball onto the post before the Lions defence reacted quickest to clear the danger.
It was Bankstown to create next, the fantastic Trudy Camelleri created space on the edge of the area and shot toward the goal, only for the shot to be blocked by Ella Tonkin with loud shouts she had used her hand.
The best chance of the game went the way of the Tigers just before the hour mark as Teal Kilbride delivered a teasing ball into the box which was missed by Bartels.
It fell to Caitlin Doeglas at the far post but the winger couldn’t find the target with an empty goal in front of her.
With 10 minutes to go the Tigers had a chance from a set piece just outside the area but Lily McMahon’s effort was blocked by Skye Casacchia who was everywhere for the home team.
The next big opportunity arrived in the first minute of stoppage time as Tonkin again was the target following a free kick, her header very well saved by Bartels before the Bankstown defence again stood tall.
With the final kick of the game the Tigers had one last chance from a corner, the deep delivery found Josie Wilson who put it back in the danger zone but somehow Bankstown survived as Bartels clutched to the ball on the line in dramatic circumstances with the whistle blowing for full time.
Bankstown City Lions 0
Northern Tigers 0
Sunday, 20, August, 2023
Bankstown City Lions: 21. Bartels, 3. Ambrose, 5. Jaber, 6. Gullo, 8. Casacchia, 10. Phonsongkham (33. Al Fararjeh), 11. Bacon, 13. Koulizakis (16. Mostaghimi), 19. Keir, 39. Apostolakis, 40. Camelleri (4. Karrys-Stahl).
Substitutes: 14. Montenegro, 24. Grimbilos, 54. Scamardella.
Northern Tigers: 1. Willacy, 2. Wilson, 5. Cabezas (4. Lake), 6. Gomez, 10. Cholakian, 13. Tonkin, 15. McMahon, 18. Brodigan (63. Cartwright), 21. Doeglas, 35. Wharepouri.
Substitutes: 43. Drever, 57. Meli, 61. Rickard.
By – Nikola Pozder