Womens National League 2008-2009 Season Round 10




written by Thomas Esamie



Played (27/12/08) Parramatta Stadium
Referee : Kate Jacewicz, Crowd : 800
Central Coast Mariners
Emma-Kate Dewhurst (Lisa Hartley 75), Caitlin Cooper, Lyndsay Glohe, Rachael Doyle, Jodie Bain (Gill Foster 67), Karina Roweth, Teresa Polias, Renee Rollason, Kyah Simon, Trudy Camilleri (Elizabeth O'Reilly 46), Jenna Kingsley
Goals : Kingsley 88, O'Reilly 90
Coach : Stephen Roche
2 - 0 Melbourne Victory
Melissa Barbieri, Meghan Archer, Marlies Oostdam, Tal Karp (Stephanie Tanti 72), Laura Alleway, Maika Ruyter-Hooley, Sarah Groenewald (Enza Barilla 77), Rebecca Tegg, Sophie Hogben, Selin Kuralay, Daniela Digiammarco (Deanna Niceski 82)
Coach : Matt Shepherd


report by Chris Dunkerley


The very young Mariners took the game to the visiting Melbourne side, and grew in confidence as the game progressed, being rewarded with two late goals but did not win by enough to bring the mathematics of any later game results into play for a finals spot.


Victory went into the match in fourth position with the knowledge that a win would guarantee their finals status but fell at this hurdle, with the second game of the evening at Parramatta going the wrong way for them (Sydney a close fought 3-2 over Adelaide).


Melbourne started to more confident and pressured the Mariners across the park from the whistle, indeed stealing the ball from kick-off.


In the 7th minute however winger Jenna Kingsley knocked in a cross to Renee Rollason who was unable to turn the defender inside the area to get a shot in, but it was an encouraging sign for the youngsters in yellow. Rollason hit a long range speculator a few minutes later, whilst the Victory were finding it hard to bring striker Rebecca Tegg into the play.


At the 15 minute mark Mariners midfielder Karina Roweth down the left received an early Lyndsay Glohe pass from deep to meet her run but curled her shot wide on the right.


Melbourne's Selin Kurulay made space for herself near the right corner flag and her pin-point cross deserved better attention, but one minute later Sophie Hogben hit a dipping shot from 25m that was palmed away by Mariner's 'keeper Emma-Kate Dewhurst for a corner.


By the 30th minute the Mariners had overcome their early nerves and were growing in confidence. Matilda Melissa Barbieri, in the Melbourne goal, had to come out fast and with authority to close down a chance to Kyah Simon, and then covered a Simon opportunity after Rollasson sent the ball back into the area.


Barbieri again out to take among a sea of bodies after a swirling free-kick from the left, as the wind whipped in from a southerly change.


In driving rain the second half got underway with Melbourne's Sarah Groenewald getting a swirling cross in from the right, to Silver Fern Rebecca Tegg whose header looped toward goal but was cleared by a defender.


In the 52nd minute Kyah Simon almost bundled the ball in after a failed clearance but it was Tegg three minutes later who had the next chance, going in one on one with the 'keeper chasing what started as a hopeful ball.


The Mariners picked up the tempo and after left fullback Glohe had got foward to hit a speculator over, Kingsley beat the well-marshalled Melbourne off-side trap at last but sent her 64th minute shot into the side netting.


Renee Rollason then hit the roof of the net with a looping long-range effort, and Simon was just over also.


Mariners 'keeper Dewhurst was subbed in the 75th with suspected concussion after an earlier collision with Tegg.


Melbourne pushed forward, holding a tight off-side trap, and went long in the slippery conditions - substitute Tanti sent one over, to be followed by a full-on attack that only ended in the side netting and an off-side call.


As the game entered it's last 10 minutes the Mariners tried to push up, and to slip past the off-side trap - with Kingsley getting wide on the right and sending in a telling cross, that a Melbourne defender almost steered into her own net.


The Melbourne hopes were dashed when Kingsley timed her run to receive the ball knocked through from the back by Gill Foster, and she this time kept cool, slipping it past the advancing Barbieri. 1-0


Into stoppage time, and Rollason chased a ball to the corner flag, but rather than kill time she knocked it back down the left side-line to Glohe, whose first-time curling cross found a lurking substitute Elisabeth O'Rielly, whose simple half-volley beat Barbieri at her left upright, 2-0 and Melbourne to sweat on the result of the next game in the double header.

Played (27/12/08) Parramatta Stadium
Referee : Casey Reibelt, Crowd : 800
Sydney FC
Nikola Deiter, Danielle Brogan, Alesha Clifford, Servet Uzunlar (Nicola Bolger 90), Jo Burgess (Maggie Elhusseini 72), Kylie Ledbrook, Jessica Seaman, Danielle Small, Leena Khamis, Kelly Golebiowski (Sarah Walsh 75), Leah Blayney
Goals : Khamis 4, Ledbrook 6, Burgess 28
Coach : Alen Stajcic
3 - 2 Adelaide United
Emma Wirkus, Sarah Amorim, Dianne Alagich, Angela Finmano (Renee Harrison 60 (sent off 86)), Kristyn Swaffer, Sandra Scalzi, Victoria Balomenos (April Mann 73), Tanya Harrison, Donna Cockayne (Stephanie Tokich 66), Lauren Chilvers, Leanne Slater
Goals : Balomenos 52, Swaffer 59
Coach : Mike Barnett


report by Paul Green


Sydney FC almost threw it away in their final Westfield W League game at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday evening, winning 3-2 after leading 3-0 after only half an hour.


Any thoughts of a rout, however, were dispelled by a composed, yet fighting, showing by the visitors who unfortunately had a player sent off near the end after a second bookable offence.


A storm and some heavy rain threatened the day's football, but this second match was played in cooler conditions which certainly suited the needs of the players.


While umbrellas were up on the sidelines nothing dampened the spirits of the Adelaide side after their early setback.


Emma Wirklus, back in the Reds' line-up instead of Sian McLaren, must have been concerned that she was to be in for a torrid time again having conceded six in Adelaide against Central Coast a few weeks earlier.


After those early goals went in, though, Wirklus was seen at her best to keep her team in the game as Sydney began to relax and tried to catch Adelaide on the break.


Sydney FC, needing only a win, made the greatest possible start when, in only the fourth minute, a nice pass from Leah Blayney enabled Leena Khamis to slam the ball into the roof of the Adelaide net.


Two minutes later the home side was on even better terms with itself after a free kick, from skipper Kylie Ledbrook, hoisted high towards goal proved impossible for United keeper, Wirklus, to keep out and she could only help the shot from 20 yards into the roof of her own net.


Adelaide fought hard after this to stay in the contest and Wirklus saved well from Blayney in the 18th after Golebiowski had done the early spade work.


The Reds went close in the 22nd when Donna Cockayne's effort from ten yards flew just wide.


But Adelaide were rocked again in the 28th when Golebiowski once again tore the defence to shreds before setting up Joanne Burgess to execute a crisp finish just inside the six yard box.


Jessica Seaman, a last minute inclusion in the Sydney side, rocked the crossbar on the stroke of half time and there appeared no way back for the South Australians as the teams trooped off for some shelter and some rest.


Two early second half Adelaide attacks yielded contrasting fortunes.


In the 50th a corner led to a header from April Mann being cleared off the Sydney line and four minutes later a free kick, from Victoria Balomenos, went in off the underside of the Sydney crossbar clearly crossing the line though it was a shame that referee, Casey Reibelt, had to use her own judgement since the assistant was in no position to rule on the validity of the goal.


Then, six minutes later, it was 'game on' as a looping header by Kristyn Swaffer, from a corner on the right by Tanya Harrison, also proved unstoppable for Sydney keeper, Nikola Dieter.


Sydney raised their game after these two goals went in at the other end and forced Wirkus into a series of heart stopping saves, one effort tipped over the bar, while Adelaide had more chances too as they sought an equaliser with great enthusiasm.


If Wirkus had her team mates relieved at two saves in fast succession Sydney had to thank Dieter again as a clever lob from Mann sent in from the right of the area needed to be tipped over the bar to preserve the home side's slender advantage in the 78th.


Sydney could have made it four in the 83rd but Danielle Brogan was just off target from close range.


It was a good contest and showed that Adelaide are one of a number of teams in the competition that deserved more points from the season than showed up on the table, where they finished last with seven points.


In a short season their two wins showed their capabilities and it was only a late season surge from Central Coast and the recent loss to the Mariners that stood between them and a potential sixth place finish.


Sydney moved into fourth following Melbourne's loss to Central Coast in the early game, but they now have to travel to Queensland for their semi-final, which will be a tough one against the runaway Premiers.


Newcastle will play Canberra United in the other semi final and the venue of that clash will be determined after Newcastle's match against Perth Glory has been concluded. The Jets beat Glory easily in the team's first encounter and needed only a point to take the home venue against the Greens.

Played (27/12/08) McKellar Park
Referee : Jacqui Melksham, Crowd : 712
Canberra United
Lydia Williams, Amy Chapman, Bronwyn Studman (Jennifer Bisset 61), Sasha McDonnell (Kara Mowbray 46), Caitlin Munoz, Ellie Brush, Rebecca Kiting, Hayley Crawford, Thea Slatyer (Christine Walters 69), Ashleigh Sykes, Nicole Sykes
Goal : Munoz 66
Coach : Robbie Hooker
1 - 1 Queensland Roar
Casey Dumont, Kate McShea, Karla Reuter, Clare Polkinghorne, Brooke Spence (Ruth Blackburn 77), Elise Kellond-Knight, Alicia Ferguson, Lana Harch (Stephanie Latham 90), Tameka Butt (Vedrana Popovic 85), Courtney Beutel, Ellen Beaumont
Goal : Popovic 87
Coach : Jeff Hopkins


report by Nick Guoth


Canberra United and Queensland Roar, both having already qualified for the Finals of the inaugural A-League, played out an exciting one-all draw at McKellar Park in Canberra.


Roar substitute Vedrana Popovic headed home with five minutes left in the match to cancel out Caitlin Munoz's earlier strike.


Two major rainstorms had gone through Canberra, one only two hours prior to the game, but the field had drained well. Canberra coach Robert Hooker thought the pitch conditions were not good, but his counterpart, Jeff Hopkins believed it 'made for a better game as the grass was a bit long and without the rain the ball would have held up a bit more.'


The match commenced with both teams secure of their positions in the Finals, but Canberra still with a slight opportunity to obtain a home final and Queensland wanting to gain revenge for their only defeat of the season.


Canberra commenced the game with fervour. Roar, and Young Matildas keeper Casey Dumont needed two attempts to hold onto a shot from Bronwyn Studman.


Canberra's custodian Lydia Williams also had her work cut out ten minutes in gobbling up a free-kick from Elise Kellond-Knight that bounced in front of her, with attackers homing in for any rebound.


Canberra tended to have most of the play, yet their forwards were unable to test Dumont. A significant problem was the poor service the forwards were receiving during the game.


It was more that Queensland were kept out by Williams that left the score tied at the break.


A Kate McShea shot half-way through the period was well held and five minutes later a Tameka Butt attempt deflected off Rebecca Kiting seeing the ball looping over Williams' head. Fortunately for the keeper, the little wind there was was enough to push the ball onto the crossbar and over for a corner.


The second period commenced as the first with Canberra again in attack. This time Munoz watched as Dumont acrobatically turned a shot just around the post.


The Queensland defence was called to action on more than one occasion during the first 25 minutes of the second half. Ellen Beaumont took the ball off Amy Chapman's foot before the midfielder could pull the trigger and a last man challenge by Clare Polkinhorne stopped Ashleigh Sykes from running through unimpeded towards goal.


Then with just over 20 minutes played in this half, Munoz played a one-two with Kara Mowbray to unlock the defence and her shot was true giving Dumont no chance.


Canberra should have doubled their lead fifteen minutes from the end. Following a Haley Crawford shot that rebounded back down off the crossbar, Ashleigh Sykes had her way impeded by Dumont and referee Jacqui Melksham pointed to the spot.


In a decision that will no doubt see the young Queensland referee not play any further part in the W-league. Controversially, Melksham decided not to take any action against the Roar keeper, when other officials would have either produced a yellow or red card, the latter being the favourite.


Following the match, Hopkins was not convinced it was a penalty, but Canberra coach Hooker stated that he was 'disappointed that their goalkeeper should have still been on the field', believing that the reserve keeper was not as good.


Canberra captain Ellie Brush took the penalty and sent the ball to her left, but that was the way Dumont went and with the ball at waist height, it was an easy catch.


The game was now petering out towards the inevitable Canberra win, but Hopkins had other desires. He sent on Popovic and told her 'to take her chances and get into the box', and when an inviting cross from the right was delivered by Alicia Ferguson, Popovic was there at the edge of the six yard box to head strongly past Williams.


Queensland even had a chance to steal the game at the end, when Lana Harch's cross fell to Courtney Beutel, but Rebecca Kiting came to the home team's rescue with a telling block.


Hopkins later summarised what he expected of the game. 'We came here knowing we were going to have a really tough game, but going into the Finals, this was the challenge we needed.'


In regard to the equaliser, he was all praise for his side. 'What we have proved all year is that when we have been challenged, we have gone up another gear. It is credit to the girls as they never know when they are beaten.'


Hooker was also happy, except for the penalty outcome. 'Two nil and we probably would have gone on and won that game,' he stated. 'Yet, it was another good all-round performance and it was a good hit-out in terms of we were not at full strength.'


In two weeks time Queensland will host Sydney FC in one semi-final while Canberra will travel to Newcastle Jets for the other. The two teams are still likely to meet a third time, in the Grand Final.

Played (28/12/08) Members Equity Stadium
Referee : Lee Corey, Crowd :
Perth Glory
Luisa Marzotto, Stacey Learmont, Carys Hawkins, Sam Kerr, Shannon May (Marianna Tabain 63), Tanya Oxtoby, Ella Mastrantonio (sent off 90), Lisa De Vanna, Dani Calautti, Elisa D'Ovidio, Collette McCallum
Coach : Nicola Williams
0 - 0 Newcastle Jets
Alison Logue, Samantha Wood (Hannah Brewer 54), Amber Neilson (Taleah Doyle 90), Gema Simon, Joanne Peters (Nicole Jones 90), Stacey Day, Katie Gill, Emily Van Egmond, Kirstyn Pearce, Rebecca Smith, Sanna Frostevall
Coach : Gary Phillips






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