Ben Gilby provides his weekly round-up of all the action from the Western Australia NPL Women’s competition. As usual, there is a detailed report on one game and a wrap of all the other matches along with photos (18/4/22).
Above: An aerial challenge at Dorrien Gardens where Perth SC (blue) hosted Curtin University. Photo: Rob Lizzi.
MAIN REPORT OF THE WEEK:
Perth RedStar 3-2 Fremantle City
Perth RedStar ran out winners against a Fremantle City side who battled for over an hour with only 10 players.
This was the battle of the only teams in the competition that had won their opening two games. Freo produced an excellent backs to the wall performance in the face of a second-half RedStar onslaught which saw goalkeeper Dayle Schroeder make a number of superb saves, and her teammates reduced the deficit back to just a single goal with five minutes remaining.
The second yellow card for Fremantle’s Siobhan Longmore after 27 minutes was a big setback for the visitors who were gradually growing into the game after RedStar, fielding A-League Women and former Matildas star Kim Carroll for the first time this season, started strong.
The initial momentum for Perth RedStar saw them take the lead with seven minutes played. Longmore lost possession to Olivia Wood who got away before the visitors initially looked to have snuffed out the danger, only to lose the ball again which allowed Larissa Walsh to hit a rising shot into the net off the underside of the bar. It was a superb way for Walsh to mark her 230th game for the club.
It took until the 15-minute mark for Freo to settle, and build a possession-based game around triangular passing moves, but they were still finding it challenging to get out of their own half.
A microcosm of the game in this spell came when the visitors passed the ball around inside their own half before losing possession which allowed Jacinta Coleman to feed Andreia Teixeira. She in turn fed Wood who broke clean through, but was denied by the legs of Schroeder in the Freo goal. Teixeira was involved once more shortly afterwards as Ruby Cohen profited from loose Fremantle play on the right to play the ball across, but the finish was too high.
With 25 minutes played Freo were level. Longmore was wide on the left well inside her own half and beat two RedStars before playing a superb long ball across for Jessica Darmago who turned and beat Sarah Carroll before looping a shot into the far corner of the net. A goal that may well have deflected off of the Perth Glory A-League Women defender, but Darmago’s skill after superb play from Longmore in the build-up was worthy of a reward.
However, just two minutes later, Fremantle joy turned to misery as Longmore was shown a second yellow card for what could be described as a “tasty” challenge on Wood.
Perth RedStar looked to focus their attacks immediately along Freo’s left where Longmore had been prominent. Coleman created a chance, pulling back to Walsh, but Perth Glory A-League Women captain Tash Rigby got back well to block.
To their credit, the visitors rallied in adversity with Laura Waltman looking calm and cultured on the ball. Before the break, she fed Mikayla Lyons who was denied by RedStar keeper Shivani Battaglia.
The home team came out for the second half on the front foot and dominated. Within six minutes of the restart, Kim Carroll’s free-kick on the far right-hand side was lifted high towards Coleman at the back post where her shot was blocked by Schroeder. The rebound fell to substitute Renee Leota, but the shot was wide of the right-hand post.
Four minutes later, Schroeder was called into action once more and made a superb save to deny Leota at the left-hand post. The pressure continued to rise on the visitors. As Leota broke clean through, Schroeder repelled the shot brilliantly with Walsh putting the follow-up over the bar.
Walsh had another opportunity shortly afterwards, as she broke through, but Rigby chased back and forced the RedStar sharpshooter to rush a shot wide.
However, with 67 minutes on the clock, Walsh had better luck. Shawn Bilham’s long ball for Leota saw the former Football Ferns star feed Wood in space. Walsh got away from Rigby to score her fifth goal of the season.
Four minutes later, it was 3-1 as a poor clearance from Schroeder went straight to Leota. The sub was able to feed Coleman who advanced and fired into the bottom corner.
Perth RedStar continued to press but were unable to add to their tally. With five minutes remaining, Freo gained some reward for their hugely creditable efforts. Former W-League player Jamie-Lee Gale’s corner was played inside for Dormago and back for Rigby on the right to lift a high ball in. Kate Nolan leapt highest of all at the back post to head in and reduce the arrears to a single goal.
Perth RedStar undoubtedly deserved their third win from three games this season to move clear at the top of the table, scoring a total of 14 goals in the process. For Fremantle City, there will be thoughts of what might have been had Longmore stayed on the field. They face a tough run of fixtures in the coming weeks when they will take on both Perth SC and Murdoch University Melville.
Squads: PERTH REDSTAR: Battaglia, S.Carroll, Walsh, K.Carroll, Walsh, Bilham, Wood, Dunn, Cohen, Teixeira, Monteiro, Coleman. Substitutes: Larsen, De Leo, Doan, Leota, Mogridge, Inch, Diederichsen.
Scorers: Walsh 7′, 67′. Coleman 71′.
FREMANTLE CITY: Schroeder, Boyle, Waltman, Lyons, Longmore, McCulloch, Leek, Darmago, Rigby, Gale, Poad. Substitutes: Buxey, Lush, Nolan, Casilli.
Scorers: Darmago 25′, Nolan 85′.
Referee: Peter Kaiser.
ROUND THREE WRAP:
Round Three opened on Good Friday as Hyundai NTC hosted defending champions Murdoch University Melville (MUM) at E&D Litis Stadium.
MUM were strong on the offensive from the start, forcing three corners in the opening 16 minutes along with five shots on target. Yet it was the NTC who took the lead with half an hour on the clock from the penalty spot.
The youngsters held their lead until the 74th minute when Clara Hoarau gained possession and played a 1-2 with Elysse Shore who crossed in from the left. NTC had two opportunities to clear, but Murdoch earned the ball back allowing Nikita Strickling to turn and side foot the ball home from around 15 yards.
Perth SC moved up to third place with a 2-0 win over a winless Curtin University side at Dorrien Gardens.
The home side went ahead five minutes before the break when an attempt to play out from the back by captain Stephanie Waycott went straight to a sky blue shirt on the left and a ball in found Abbey Meakins who laid off a perfect pass to Ella Lincoln to sweep home.
It took Perth SC until the 80th minute to double their lead. A ball out to the left found Jaime Duncanson who squared for Meakins to smash home a superb shot from an acute angle. It was a deserved goal for a player who had been impressive during the game.
The match between Subiaco and Balcatta Etna was postponed, and will now be played on 24th July at Rosalie Park.
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Round Four Fixtures: Curtin University v Murdoch University Melville, Hyundai NTC v Balcatta Etna, Fremantle City v Perth SC, Perth RedStar v Subiaco.