NPL Women’s NNSW Round Two Review: The Golden Eagles fly high against Panthers and Azzurri start their campaign with a bang

Match of the Round 
Warners Bay FC 2-6 New Lambton FC

Warners Bay was unable to keep the momentum of their dream start rolling after going down 2-6 to New Lambton on Sunday afternoon. 

The first half was an even contest between the two sides before the Golden Eagles flew away with the match and all three points.

Finely Woodforth opened the scoring for New Lambton, hitting a spectacular strike from outside the penalty area in the 10th minute. Woodforth was able to take a touch and shift the ball onto her left foot before hitting the ball just over the reach of Warners Bay goalkeeper Mia Wallace and into the top of the goal. 

Warners Bay struck back 15 minutes later through Emily Diaz. The striker set up her own goal, sending the ball out wide from halfway to teammate Jada-Lee McBride, who broke down the line and sent the ball across the goal. New Lambton’s shot-stopper Ally Boertje came off her line to claim the ball but cleared it into the path of Diaz who made no mistake in hitting the back of the net.

New Lambton was able to edge back in front on the stroke of half-time, with a tap-in from Tara Andrews after a smart one-two with Nyah Bradley. 

Momentum continued to shift in New Lambton’s favour in the second half with Jessica Terry putting her name on the scoresheet in the 58th minute. Andrews looped the ball over the Panther’s defensive line for Terry, who ran onto the ball and chipped it over Wallace. 

The Golden Eagles further extended their lead in the 84th minute with a tap-in from Bradley. 

The Panthers clawed one back in the 86th minute as Diaz netted her second of the afternoon with a spectacular strike from outside the penalty area.

In the 93rd minute, Hannah Bourke secured all three points up for New Lambton, nodding the ball into the back of the net off a corner kick. 

Warners Bay’s coach Ryan Swinkels had mixed emotions about his side’s performance but saw lots of positives to build on. 

“Mistakes cost us the goals, they (New Lambton) punished our mistakes,” Swinkels said. 

“The first half was a tight contest and we had good patches but two early goals in the second half made it difficult to come back. We tried to push forward, we scored but then left ourselves open.

“We still controlled the ball during periods of the game and created chances. There were parts in the first and second half that we were better with the ball but New Lambton made less mistakes than us.

“We need to limit our own mistakes and be better without the ball, we will continue to work on this to be a better full squad.” 

New Lambton’s coach Aaron Stedman was impressed with how his side grew into the match to secure their first three points of the season.

“I’m overall really pleased with our efforts,” Stedman said. 

“In the first half, we were a little bit scrappy at times and put ourselves under pressure. But in the second half, some of the football we played was brilliant. 

“We were happy to be passing and had better composure on the ball. Last week we were handing the ball over too easily.

“Everyone played really well which was great.

“Everyone is happy. At the beginning of the season you want to get some points on the board and we were very unlucky to miss out on a point last weekend. 

Stedman is hoping his side can take the confidence from their first win into the rest of the season. 

“We are hoping to continue on what we have been doing and keep moving forward,” Stedman said. 

“We have had two games now that we have been in it to win it.

New Lambton will look to continue their winning form going when they return home to Alder Park to face Newcastle Olympic and Warners Bay will look to bounce back when they host Maitland FC on Sunday.  

Charlestown Azzurri FC 4-1 Adamstown Rosebud JFC

Charlestown Azzurri kicked off their season with three points after defeating Adamstown Rosebud JFC 4-1 on Saturday afternoon. 

After suffering a tough defeat in round one, Adamstown came firing out of the gates and created opportunities from the first whistle. But Azzurri was stronger and was able to capitalise on their chances more than the young Rosebud side. 

Jessie Gentle opened the scoring for the Blues in the fourth minute of the match, after a goalkeeping error from Olivia Sneddon. 

Alyssa Togo hit a perfectly placed ball over Adamstown’s defensive line and into the path of Gentle. Sneddon came charging off her line to clear the ball but mistimed her kick, allowing Gentle to tap the ball past her and into the back of the net. 

Rosebud conceded again due to a defensive mistake in the 26th minute after Sophie Cook was unable to control the ball allowing Azzurri’s striker Sienna Fraser-Kelly to win possession and chip the ball over Sneddon and into the goal. 

Fraser-Kelly doubled her score tally for the afternoon just minutes later, chipping the ball again over Sneddon from inside the penalty area off a free kick.

Azzurri’s high press in the second half paid off, with Gentle netting her second of the match in the 65th minute. Gentle's initial strike on target was denied with a strong save from Sneddon but made no mistake in her second attempt, smashing the ball into the net.

Adamstown continued to create chances but was unable to reap the rewards until the 87th minute. Tori Johnston turned on two Azzurri defenders on the penalty spot and hit the ball on target. Her first strike was saved by goalkeeper Taylah Gray but Johnston was able to collect the scarps and guide the ball into the bottom corner of the net to claw one back for her side. 

Adamstown’s coach Martin Slade was pleased with what he saw from his side despite the result.

“I thought we had a really good first half, we were really dominant,” Slade said. 

“We were the better team in the first half and were good off the ball. But Azzurri came out and made things difficult for us in the second half. 

“Our performances have been better each game which shows that the processes are obviously working.

“I’ve said it all along, we want results, but performance is a high priority as well as consistency of performance.” 

Rosebud will look to regroup and hunt for their first points of the season when they host Mid Coast next Saturday. 

Azzurri will face Maitland this Tuesday when they play their postponed round one fixture before they take on in-form Broadmeadow Magic on Friday night.  

Broadmeadow Magic FC 2-1 Maitland FC 

Broadmeadow Magic have started their season with back-to-back wins after defeating Maitland FC 2-1 on Friday night. 

Magic was quick off the blocks to open the scoring, with Adrianna Konjarski hitting the back of the net in the 2nd minute of the match. 

Broadmeadow’s high press from the first whistle allowed Chelsea Lucas to steal the ball off Maitland’s Madeline Howard and charge towards goal before taking a strike at goal outside of the penalty area that was strongly saved by the Magpies’ goalkeeper Annabella Thornton. But the ball was pushed away into the path of Konjarski, who made no mistake in slicing the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal. 

Howard was able to make up for her error just before half-time, equalising for the Magpies in the 45th minute. 

Bronte Peel sent the ball through Magic’s defensive line for Georgia Amess to run onto before crossing the ball into Howard who was waiting inside the penalty area to tap the ball into the back of the net.

Magic was able to capalitise on their chances and secure all three points in the 65th minute. Keziah White received the ball just outside the penalty area before turning her defenders inside out to run towards the goal and place the ball narrowly into the back of the net. 

Broadmeadow will look to continue their winning streak when they face Charlestown Azzurri next Friday night.

Maitland will be eager to bounce back when they take on Charlestown Azzurri in their postponed round one fixture on Tuesday night before travelling to John Street Oval to face Warners Bay on Sunday. 

Newcastle Olympic FC 12-0 Mid Coast FC

Newcastle Olympic showcased their dominance once again, thrashing Mid Coast FC 12-0 at Darling Street Oval on Sunday afternoon. 

It was goals galore for Olympic, with Elodie Dagg and Marion Dunbabin each scoring hat-tricks and no answers from Middies. 

Craig Atkins' side opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Sophie McDonald with a looping strike, curling from the right edge of the penalty area and into the top left corner of the goal. 

Things went from bad to worse for Mid Coast after Olympic scored three goals in four minutes. Dunbabin opened her account in the 12th minute before Jemma House and Dagg netted their first of the afternoon to extend Olympic’s lead to 4-0. 

Just three minutes later the goals continued to trickle in for Olympic, as Sophie Walmsley put her name on the scoresheet. Dunbabin and House added to the goal tally once more before Walmsley secured her second goal to bring the scoreline to 8-0 at half-time. 

The second half was more of the same for Olympic, with Mid Coast unable to respond. 

Dagg scored back-to-back goals to claim her first hat-trick of the season before substitute Alannah Russell extended her side’s lead to 11-0. 

Dunbabin then secured her hat-trick scoring Olympic’s 12th and final goal of the evening in the 81st minute. 

Olympic will look to continue their hot streak when they face New Lambton on Sunday afternoon while Mid Coast will be desperate to regroup ahead of their match-up against Adamstown on Saturday afternoon.