NPL Women's NNSW Round 21 Review: New Lambton end their season on a six-goal high, while Olympic cements second spot

Match of the Round 
New Lambton FC 6-0 Mid Coast FC 

New Lambton finished their season on a high, defeating Mid Coast 6-0 at Alder Park on Saturday afternoon.  

The Golden Eagles and Mid Coast played their final games of the 2023 season after missing out on the finals, sitting fifth and seventh on the table.  

New Lambton came out strong but to their credit, Mid Coast did enough to hold them out in the opening 16 minutes.  

But Middies could not hold New Lambton anymore, conceding four goals in 12 minutes, starting in the 17th minute when Ameera Makunja broke through the line of defence to slot the ball past goalkeeper Grace Davies.  

Three minutes later Sarah Moore doubled the lead after a one-two pass between Lauren Allan and Tara Andrews allowed Allan to sprint up the line and cross the ball into Moore who buried the ball into the back of the net.  

Within another couple of minutes, Makunja buried her second of the afternoon with an almost identical play from Andrews and Allan lobbing the ball into the path of Makunja.  

Allan assisted her third goal of the afternoon, this time striking the ball onto the head of Cass Davis who nodded the ball into the net.  

Serena Carter extended New Lambton’s advantage in the 57th minute, heading the ball into the goal off a corner kick.  

Allan finally got her own name on the scoreboard running onto a through ball from Davis and slicing it into the bottom corner.  

Mid Coast were able to stop New Lambton from increasing their advantage, with the score settling at 6-0 at full-time.  

Co-captain Davis is disappointed to see her season at New Lambton come to an end but was pleased to finish with three points and a dominant win. 

“I think it's sad that the season’s finished. It goes too quickly,” Davis said.  

“The last game is always hard when there is nothing to play for.” 

“We always play to be in finals so that part is disappointing but it’s a big improvement for the club.”  

“Good to finish on a positive note. It wasn’t our best game but we got the three points.” 

“Once we are on a roll we can score goals. That’s the attacking team that we have. It’s always good to put goals on the scoreboard.” 

Davis says that this season has been challenging for her personally, coming from the major and minor premiership-winning side at Warners Bay in the 2022 season but says the club are looking to next year and want to continue building.  

“This season has been good. I was excited for the change, the opportunity and the challenge,” Davis said. 

“We always look forward to next season.  

“It’s always been a tough challenge where we had a winning team and it’s a big change for us but it’s part of football that hopefully we can build on.”  

Middies coach Peter Masterantonio was impressed with the improvement his squad showed in the opening minutes of the match but says they were disappointed with how they let New Lambton score four goals in before half-time.  

“I think we were really happy with our start, which was something that we had spoken about. I think the opening 15 minutes was a big improvement from last weekend but from that point, there was the next period of 20 minutes where New Lambton countered quickly and they punished us,” Masterantonio said.  

“We came off at half-time really disappointed. The girls were disappointed in the way we let them in.” 

But the way in which the Middies bounced back in the second half was something that their gaffer was proud of as well as the resilience they have shown throughout the season. Masterantonio hopes the club can help support his players in building in the 2024 season. 

“The second half was about the right mental attitude. Go out and be brave and try and slow New Lambton down and reduce their attack and we did succeed in that area and finish the game improving from the first 45 minutes,” Masterantonio said.  

“I think girls will now embrace the off-season and regroup and reset their goals. There are a lot of young girls within our squad who will set their own goals in what they want to achieve for next year and how the club can support that.  

“What this small squad has had to endure over this season is nothing that any other club in this competition would face. Low numbers, travelling every week from our regional location, injuries within the side, and a change in coach. All of these things could have seen the team fall apart but they stayed together and you couldn’t ask more than that from a team. 

“I think coaches are always proud of their players but in this particular situation his small squad has gone above and beyond.”  

Charlestown Azzurri FC 0-5 Newcastle Olympic FC  

Charlestown continues to struggle in their final regulation game of the season, going down 0-5 to Newcastle Olympic. 

Azzuri have not had a win in their recent three games and were hoping to hit some winning form ahead of finals.  

Olympic continue to keep their winning ways going, securing not only three points but also second spot on the table after another strong team performance.  

It was a tight battle between both sides before Olympic were awarded two penalties to give their side the 2-0 advantage.  

In the 25th minute, Jorja Brown brought down Olympic’s star striker Jemma House in the penalty area, which Elodie Dagg was able to calmly convert.  

Olympic were gifted their second penalty due to a handball inside the penalty area, which gave captain Laura Hall the opportunity to get herself on the scoresheet.  

House was forced from the field with a leg injury in the 39th minute, with Brooke Summers coming on as a replacement.  

Georgia Amess was able to extend Olympic’s lead, running onto a long ball and slotting it past Azzurri’s goalkeeper Malli Blanch.  

Summers then put the icing on the cake scoring a double in two minutes to take the final score to 0-5 

 House was already expected to miss this weekend’s finals match against Magic as she is travelling to the United States to be inducted into the Laramie Country Community College 2023 Hall of Fame Class.  

 Azzurri will need to turn things around quickly before they travel to Cooks Square Park to go head-to-head with Maitland in a do-or-die elimination final.  

Olympic will be eager to continue their form when they travel to Magic Park to take on premiers Broadmeadow Magic in the qualifying final this weekend.  

Adamstown Rosebud JFC 1-3 Maitland    

Adamstown were unable to finish their season with three points after going down to Maitland 1-3 at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Saturday afternoon.  

Rosebud put up a good fight against the Magpies but were unable to hold them out in the end.   

Maitland opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a strong team goal, working the ball from the back line and all the way through to Lana Kearney who struck the ball strongly into the back of the net.   

But Rosebud were able to equalise soon after due to a poor touch from goalkeeper Annabella Thornton gifted the ball to Eva Donelly who made no mistake in scoring into the open goal.   

The score remained locked at 1-1 up until Milla Doherty fouled Chelsea Greguric in front of the goal, resulting in a penalty being awarded to Maitland. Captain Sophie Stapleford stepped up and calmly converted from the spot, slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.  

The tides continued to sway in the Magpies’ favour with Lucy Kell hitting a long-range strike that soared into the top of the goal securing the three points in the 85th minute.  

Rosebud finishes their season sitting sixth on the table on 21 points and will move their focus to building for next year.  

But Maitland have a more immediate focus, switching their attention to this weekend’s must-win elimination final against Charlestown Azzurri at Cooks Square Park.  

Warners Bay FC 0-10 Broadmeadow Magic FC 

Warners Bay were defeated 0-10 by Broadmeadow Magic at John Street Oval on Saturday afternoon.  

The premiers proved too strong for the Panthers, dominating in all areas of the park for all 90 minutes.  

Magic got the scoring started in the 21st minute when Madison Dean fired the ball into back of the net.  

Adriana Konjarski scored just a minute later after Chelsea Lucas ran the ball down the line and crossed it into Konjarski who made no mistake with hitting the target.  

Dean got her second of the afternoon three minutes later after a cleared ball from a corner fell into her path for her to smash from outside the penalty area into the goal.  

Konjarski then also got to add to her tally in the 28th minute, taking the score to 4-0.  

Magic came out of the sheds in the second half no different to the first, scoring in the first minute of resumed play when Keziah White headed the ball into the back of the net off a corner.  

Another corner allowed Jannali Hunter to put her name on the scoresheet in the 49th minute.  

Lucas extended Magic’s advantage to seven after Kiarra Lewis perfectly crossed the ball into the penalty box and onto the head of Lucas who nodded the ball into the goal.  

Lewis assisted again in the 68th minute, whipping the ball into Konjarski who secured her hat-trick.  

Things went from bad to worse for Warners Bay when they conceded an own goal in the 80th minute.  

Kirstyn Pearce closed out the scoring for Magic in the 88th minute, slicing the ball past goalkeeper Georgia Cooksey and into the bottom corner of the goal.  

Warners Bay ends their disappointing season without a point and have conceded 218 goals in the 21 rounds. They will be hoping that they can rebuild for the 2024 season.  

Magic will now look forward to their qualifying final this weekend when they host Newcastle Olympic.