Round two in the NPL NSW Women’s competition was one full of late drama, incredible comebacks and some experienced victories.
Football NSW Institute 1-2 Illawarra Stingrays
The Football NSW Institute hosted the Illawarra Stingrays at Valentine Sports Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was the away side that got off to a blistering start, racing off to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from captain Michelle Carney and Talitha Kramer.
The Institute halved the deficit on the half hour mark courtesy of a Holly McNamara penalty.
It was Institute’s captain making the most problems for the Stingrays, going close shortly after on two occasions.
But the home side couldn’t break down the stubborn Stingrays as the away side held on to take their first three points of the campaign.
Macarthur Rams 1-0 Emerging Jets
At Lynwood Park the Emerging Jets gave some account of themselves accounts Macarthur Rams on Sunday afternoon.
The Rams had two fine chances in the first half to break the deadlock, one coming off the post.
Leena Khamis then should’ve had them in front mid-way through the second half but her shot went wide.
Things got tougher for the home team as the Jets started growing in confidence and a red card Olivia Sloan made things even harder.
It would be Khamis though who would become provider, slipping in Laura Murtagh who outmuscled her defender before placing the ball beyond the on rushing goalkeeper.
That was enough for the Rams as they made it two from two.
North West Sydney Koalas 2-3 Manly United
An intriguing match at Christie Park where the Champions showed that champion spirit against the North West Sydney Koalas.
It was the home side that got off to a fine start, taking the lead after only three minutes when a Koalas corner was headed into the goal by a Manly defender.
Eight minutes later it was 2-0 as Rachel Perrins tapped home after a parried Sophie Harding shot.
Morgan Roberts almost made it three mid-way through the first half but her header cannoned off the upright.
10 minutes into the second half, Emily Minnet halved the deficit on the volley.
Minnet then had the equaliser three minutes later after a fine header from a Jane Vanzino cross.
With all the momentum, Manly pushed for the complete turnaround.
And it didn’t come until the 92nd minute as Kahli Johnson showed some individual brilliance to find the winner with the last kick of the game.
Bankstown City 0-1 Blacktown Spartans
It was a tight match at Jensen Park as the Blacktown Spartans travelled to take on Bankstown City.
It was the home side that looked the better on the evening but neither side could create a proper first half opportunity.
Bankstown had the first chance of the game through Georgia Plessas after some neat work down the right by line by Logan Garard at the start of the second half.
The Spartans then had a chance of their own through Galea but Natalie Milenkovski stook firm.
From there it was all the home side as chance by chance built up.
Bethany McGhee came off the bench and was bearing down on Clarke in goal, only to square the ball for Petratos before the ball was somehow scrambled away.
McGhee was in the thick of it creating another opportunity for Price.
It seemed as the game would finish a draw but then the Spartans stole the show.
A fine cross by Rosie Galea in behind the defence found the head of substitute Michelle Dal Bon who headed beyond Milenkovski.
A real smash and grab victory that coach Brad Attard enjoyed.
“A thriller at Bankstown,” said Attard.
“The girls dug deep for the 90 minutes and I think that last minute goals sums up what they deserved.”
His opposite number Matthew Costantini was not as pleased after the game and regretted the missed opportunities.
“If you don’t take your chances you don’t win games,” said Costantini.
“We switched off for a split second and it cost us , similarly to last week.
“We just want to play good football and improve on last season, try improve and give the club a good reputation.”
By: NIKOLA POZDER, CHIEF NPL NSW WOMEN’S WRITER