Womens National League 2008-2009 Season Round 05




written by Thomas Esamie



Played (22/11/08) McKellar Park
Referee : Casey Reibelt, Crowd : 804
Canberra United
Lydia Williams, Rhian Davies (Rebecca Kiting 60), Amy Chapman, Bronwyn Studman, Sasha McDonnell, Ellie Brush, Grace Gill, Cian Maciejewski, Kara Mowbray (Jennifer Bisset 90), Thea Slatyer (sent off 8), Ashleigh Sykes (Nicole Sykes 90)
Coach : Robbie Hooker
0 - 0 Adelaide United
Emma Wirkus, Sarah Amorim, Dianne Alagich, Kristyn Swaffer, Stephanie Tokich, Sharon Black (Leanne Slater 87), Tanya Harrison (Angela Fimmano 75), Leah Robinson, Donna Cockayne (Racheal Quigley 68), Lauren Chilvers, April Mann
Coach : Mike Barnett


report by Nick Guoth


Adelaide United struggled to take advantage of an extra player for 81 minutes when they contested a scoreless draw with hosts Canberra United at McKellar Stadium. To the neutral observer, it may have appeared Canberra were a player up, such was the fact that Adelaide were camped in their own half for most of the game.


While both coaches stated that they were happy to have gained a point, one may question Canberra's coach Robbie Hooker for not pushing an extra player forward, such was their dominance. It was a risk he decided not to take.


After a tight start with the two teams feeling each other out, a silly studs up challenge from Canberra defender Thea Slatyer on Adelaide striker Stephanie Tokich, was dealt with accordingly by referee Casey Reibelt leaving the locals with one player less for the next 81 minutes. Canberra re-organised their team, with Hooker hoping to make it to the break without conceding.


Adelaide did have a few chances, but except for Donna Cockayne hitting the post with an open goal, they rarely threatened. Even that shot should not have counted as it followed a poor refereeing decision when Canberra keeper Lydia Williams was clattered into, leaving her on the ground as the ball fell invitingly to Cockayne.


The best opportunities for the locals came about through the pace of striker Ashleigh Sykes, but where she excelled in speed, her ability to finish let her down. Kristyn Swaffer was on hand to put in a last ditch tackle on Sykes to snuff out one attack and when free on goal, Sykes lacked confidence shooting straight at the Adelaide keeper, Emma Wirkus.


Adelaide had few opportunlties in the second period, the first needing a superb low save by Williams to rob Matilda Sharon Black from breaking the deadline. It was not until the end of the period that they were to threaten the Canberra goal again.


Meanwhile, the larger portion of the half was spent with Canberra chasing a winner. Sykes was the main threat, even beating the keeper with a neat shot when she may have crossed, but having to suffer the upright successfully defending the goal instead.


Last week's scorer in Melbourne, Sasha McDonnell, also tried her luck, but none tested Wirkus. Yet with all their effort, the lack of a second striker was to be the main hindrance for Canberra.


Adelaide could not take advantage of their opponent's deficit, yet had a few attempts to break the deadlock late in the game. Black was the main threat but she could not find the target .


In the final minutes a Canberra corner from Amy Chapman found her captain, Ellie Brush, ghosting in at the far post, but she could not keep her header down and along with the shot, so went any chance for a score in the match.

Played (22/11/08) Spencer Park
Referee : Lee Corey, Crowd :
Queensland Roar
Casey Dumont, Kate McShea, Karla Reuter, Claire Polkinghorne, Brooke Spence, Kim Carroll, Elise Kellond-Knight, Lana Harch (Tashina Roma 87), Tameka Butt (Veronica Williams 78), Lauren Colthorpe, Courtney Beutel
Goals : Beutel 33, Butt 57
Coach : Jeff Hopkins
2 - 0 Melbourne Victory
Melissa Barbieri, Marlies Oostdam, Tal Karp, Maika Ruyter-Hooley, Sarah Groenewald, Louisa Bisby (Meghan Archer 20 (Ursula Hughson 70)), Rebecca Tegg, Brittany Timko, Sophie Hogben, Daniela Digiammarco (Enza Barilla 75), Alisha Foote
Coach : Matt Shepherd

Played (22/11/08) Campbelltown Stadium
Referee : Prue Donohoe, Crowd : 652
Sydney FC
Nikki Dieter, Samantha Spackman (Jessica Seaman 58), Danielle Brogan, Alesha Clifford, Lisa Gilbert, Servet Uzunlar, Kylie Ledbrook, Linda O'Neill (Heather Garriock 82), Danielle Small, Leena Khamis (Maggie Elhusseini 85), Jordan Marsh
Goals : Khamis 23, Gilbert 38
Coach : Alen Stajcic
2 - 0 Central Coast Mariners
Lisa Hartley, Caitlin Cooper, Lyndsay Glohe (Elizabeth O'Reilly 78), Rachael Doyle, Jodie Bain, Karina Roweth (Ellyse Perry 82), Teresa Polias, Renee Rollason, Kyah Simon, Gill Foster (Stephanie Haim 45), Trudy Camilleri
Coach : Stephen Roche


report by Thomas Esamie


There was a passing shower before the game which, by the time of kick-off, had been replaced by some late afternoon sun. Meanwhile the little athletics event being held in the adjoining complex was winding down which meant there were a few curious on-lookers during the match that didn't get counted in the total but got to see Sydney huff and puff their way to a 2-0 win.


During the warmups it was clear that Heather Garriock wouldn't be starting but unlike last week she was wearing the gear and was probably going to come off the bench.


In the early exchanges it seemed Sydney were still missing someone who can control the play from midfield the way Garriock can. There is an overreliance on pushing the ball to the front, invariably over the top of the defence, and having Leena Khamis chase it. In some respects the tactic is paying off, Khamis sits solidly on top of the goalscorers charts, but it's very rough on Leena who chases down balls that shouldn't have been played and has little support.


In this game Servet Uzunlar was playing more of the partner role to Khamis and it worked relatively well but that left even more of a gap in the centre of the park where Sydney were getting outplayed. The absence of Jo Burgess with the Hamstring injury she received a week earlier certainly did little for that togetherness factor that develops in a team with a stable lineup.


All this is no slight on the Mariners side who, without having a single standout player on the day, put together a good performace by keeping better posession and trying to keep the ball on the park. They were rewarded when a move down the right wing was crossed in and met on the volley for a shot that was destined for goal were it not for a torso of a defender in the way. The double-whack sound of the shot off the boot and the ricochet off the body hurt to listen to, I don't envy whoever felt it.


Uzunlar responded soon after with Sydney's first shot in anger and while it ballooned safely over the crossbar you got the feeling either side could win if they could just manage to tighten up their first touch so that it didn't immediately result in a turnover.


Alesha Clifford and Karina Roweth, 2 of the players recently returned from Asian Cup qualifying for the Young Matildas, showed that there's nothing like match fitness to give you that kind of control as both semmed immune from poor first touches for their respective sides.


Interesting too how the difference between tall players such as Sydney captain Lisa Gilbert and The Mariners Lyndsay Glohe and the more compact types like, say, Samantha Spackman doesn't seem to make the difference you expect when it comes to speed, heading prowess or the ability to make and withstand tackles. It is difficult to decide whether this is a result of excellent coaching or poor coaching, one could make an argument for either.


Given that open play wasn't generating much in the way of goal opportunities, and that which did present itself was probably in favour of the Mariners you got the feeling that set pieces might come to the fore. Danielle Brogan got her head to a corner (see what I mean about size?) which only just cleared the crossbar and then shortly afterwards Sydney took the lead from another corner.


Khamis had initially found herself in a crowded box and was trying to dribble her way cler for a shot when the mariners conceded the corner, the Ledbrook cross was met solidly by Gilbert's head but straight to Camillieri defending on the line and while Hartley was quick to pounce on the loose ball she managed to fumble the ball and both Clifford and Khamis were on hand to bundle the ball over the line with Khamis getting the final touch to elevate her goal tally for the season to 6, better than one per game.


Before there had been time to digest Sydney's surprising lead a second corner, from the other side, was taken and while the Mariners defence concentrated on Khamis the Ledbrook-Gilbert double act proceeded unimpeded and made a mockery of my earlier observations about how taller players didn't seem to enjoy more of the heading opportunities.


To their credit the Mariners, having had 5 put past them in last weeks encounter with Queensland, didn't succumb to Sydney and instead pushed on and in one movement forced a fingertip save from Deiter after an airswing from a Sydney defender allowed a Mariners forward (I think it was Simon) to run onto the ball and hit a stinging shot across the face and heading for the top corner but for the keepers flying intervention.


Stepehn Roche on the Mariners bench is obviously a bad poker player as the edgier he got the more he started chatting to his players on the field, the referee and the 4th official (who looked like he could given up his afternoon studying for the HSC to be there).


Neither side could claim to have control of the game at halftime but one certainly got the impression that were a goal to come it would be the Mariners who would get it. One might even entertain that impression for more than a millisecond had it not been for the 45minutes that had just been played out.


Early in the second half the Marienrs got a few successive corners of their own but failed to take the same advantage Sydney had, though with each attempt it was getting ever closer to going in.


While the match wasn't exactly spiteful save for one moment where Khamis and someone (Khamis is easy to pick from a crowd, her protagonist not so much) had a bit of a shoving match as the Mariners lined up for a free kick near the Sydney penalty box. Referee Donohue, who was probably the tallest person on the pitch, settled them down and didn't issue any cards in that instance but found at least 5 other occasions to do so.


Indeed there was a spate of free kicks in interesting positions around the Sydney goal none of which bore any fruit for the Mariners.


Earlier in the match Samantha Spackman had suffered an ankle injury halting play for a while and had seemingly been unable to shake it off entirely and she then made way for Jessica Seaman. Jessica moved up the pointy end of the pitch alongside Khamis to try adding some further support to Sydney's chase for a 3rd goal.


Caitlin Cooper then conceded a free kick near her own area when essentially shoulder charging Uzunlar to the ground and dead-ball specialist Ledbrook might have been trying to pick Seaman out at the far post but in the end it was too close to goal to be considered a cross and too far from the goal to be considered a shot.


Seaman then got involved in a move that gave Khamis an opportunity to shoot at goal with her attempt evading the keepers outstretched left hand but, sadly for Sydney, also just wide of the post also.


Then as the clock wound down to less than 15minutes remaining the match, the lights having taken over from the sun and the cold wind starting to bite both coaches cleared what remained of their subs benches with O'Reily replacing Glohe, Garriock on for O'Neill, Perry replacing Roweth and Elhusseini giving Khamis a well deserved early-mark.


The subs certainly enlived a match that looked in danger of petering out with Garriock and Elhusseini putting themselves about and creating a series of half-chances for themselves and Seaman and Ellyse Perry showing some remarkable skills and vision for a player so young managed to run into space, stay onside, control the ball without having the chase it after her first touch and put in an interesting cross or two all in the space of the less than 10 minutes she was on the field.


The most audacious bit of play was also one of the last. Deiter was well off her line when a turnover found Kyah Simon just inside the Sydney half who then sent a shot looping over the head of the stranded keeper and rattling the crossbar. The rebound went straight up and down and into the grateful arms of the keeper who managed to spare her blushes.


The crowd was announced at 652 which included at least one man who travelled from Orange to see the match as I found out while in line to buy the most wretched excuse for a HotDog I've known. It made my misgivings about travelling from the city to the game seem awfully petty. If only there were more like him.

Played (23/11/08) Wanderers Oval
Referee : Kate Jacewicz, Crowd : 400
Newcastle Jets
Alison Logue, Amber Neilson, Gema Simon, Joanne Peters, Stacey Day, Katie Gill, Nicole Jones, Emily van Egmond (Samantha Wood 45 (Rhali Dobson 78)), Kirstyn Pearce (Elizabeth Sharpe 80), Rebecca Smith, Sanna Frostevall
Goals : Pearce 17, Gill 24, Jones 27, Neilson 76pk
Coach : Gary Phillips
4 - 1 Perth Glory
Maya Diederichsen, Stacey Learmont, Carys Hawkins, Sam Kerr, Shannon May (Elisa D'Ovidio 61), Tanya Oxtoby, Ella Mastrantonio, Lisa De Vanna (Ciara Conway 34), Collette Mccallum, Marianna Tabain, Emily Dunn (Dani Calautti 29)
Goal : Tabain 6
Coach : Nicola Williams


report by Paul Green


Heavy clouds and strong winds greeted supporters at Newcastle Jets' Westfield Women's League headquarters, Magic Park, Broadmeadow, on Sunday afternoon when Perth Glory were the visitors.


But the clouds lifted for the home fans not long after the Jets had come back from going a goal down in the sixth minute to lead 2-1 by the 27th.


The ground was bathed in bright sunshine only half an hour after the game had begun, lifting the spirits of the locals who had turned up in far fewer numbers than they had on the opening day of the season.


On that occasion Newcastle beat Canberra 2-1.


Here they defeated a plucky Perth Glory, 4-1, after imposing themselves on the game with their superior height and strength, attributes that were to prove a deciding factor on the day.


Glory began brightly but they lost star Lisa De Vanna to injury, after only 28 minutes.


The attacking player had hobbled off after only a few minutes, coming back on after receiving treatment, but being unable to 'run it off' despite a brave attempt and her absence may have tilted the balance of the game.


The Glory side began well and hit the lead in the sixth minute.


The impressive Samantha Kerr waltzed through the Newcastle defence and delivered a perfect square pass for Marianna Tabain to finish nicely with a low shot from six yards.


The Jets showed their intentions with some high crosses and shots that soon proved the undoing of the visitors.


A ball laid off by Emily van Egmond presented Katie Gill with a ninth minute chance but the top scorer fired narrowly wide.


Ten minutes later a cross-cum-shot from the right by Kirstyn Pearce deceived Perth keeper, Maya Diederichsen, her high ball finding its way into the top left corner of the net.


A volley from Shannon May was well claimed by Jets' keeper, Alison Logue, a minute later once again following another good piece of work by the impressive Kerr.


Two saves in the Perth goalmouth, first by Emily Dunn and then by the keeper spared Glory momentarily but those twin 22nd minute let-offs were soon to prove futile.


Katie Gill headed the home team into the lead in the 23rd.


Four minutes later another header from Nicole Jones showed that, in the air at least, the Glory girls had no answers.


Three high balls in had yielded three goals and it was cruel to see the visitors unable to cope. Player-for-player Perth were inches shorter than their opponents and it made life hard for the girls from the West.


It could have been 4-1 at the break had a good ball in from Joanne Peters been stuck away by van Egmond but the striker lifted her effort over the bar.


Perth could have pulled one back in the 57th, having already seen a 47th minute free kick sail over the bar, but Collette McCallum's well-driven free kick was expertly pushed around the post by Logue.


Then, in the 77th, Stacey Learmont brought down Newcastle's Sanna Frostevall in the penalty area and referee Kate Jacewicz had no option but to award a spot kick, which was put away by Amber Neilson.


Frostevall put an effort over the bar for Newcastle in the 79th and then a late corner won by Perth was not enough to bring the score any closer.


But the Glory side had done well enough in the second period to show their true capabilities and just how good a footballing side they could be, despite being anchored at the foot of the Westfield Women's League table after five rounds, albeit with at least one victory to their name.






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