Kieran Yap provides his weekly round-up of all the action from the Victoria NPL Women’s competition. As usual, there is a detailed report of one game and a wrap of all the other games along with photos (19/4/22).
Above: Celebrations for Box Hill United after Candela Ferreyra Bas‘ late leveller against Bayside United. Photo: Joaotam.
MAIN REPORT OF THE WEEK:
FC Bulleen Lions 1-1 Calder United
This week we were all waiting for Easter Monday. Two recent powerhouses of Victoria’s NPLW faced off with first placed Bulleen hosting the resurgent and undefeated Calder United.
FC Bulleen Lions were without A-League pair Tiffany Eliadis and Lia Privitelli but went into the game after two encouraging wins. Calder United arrived at the Veneto Club confident after a 4-0 defeat of FV Emerging in round two.
The match was frenetic from the kick-off, and the home side had the first opportunity with Alyssa Dall`Oste being forced into a good early save in the Calder goals.
Bulleen were more patient in the build-up and in possession early. Rebekah Stott had been dominant in the Melbourne City midfield this season but returned to her traditional centre-back role for Bulleen. She was composed and helped them build from the back.
Calder gradually grew into the match as the half developed. Emma Rober’s chased down a long ball and her first-time cross almost landed inside the far post. Emily Shields looked unbothered in the Bulleen goal and watched it sail wide for a goal kick.
Robers had the next good chance for Calder United. Ava Groba was dangerous and energetic upfront for the visitors and played in the midfielder with only Shields to beat. Her shot was well hit but fizzed wide of the post in another warning for Bulleen’s defence.
Both teams looked to attack, although Calder were quicker to move the ball forward than the hosts. A dangerous Stacey Papadopoulos flicked on Rober’s shot but it again missed the target.
The final chance of the half fell to Bulleen. Claudia Fruscalzo’s header looked destined for the net but bounced off the woodwork and the teams went in to the break on level terms.
The second half was as frenetic as the first. Emma Shields has been officially credited as conceding an own goal in the 59th minute. However, Natasha’s Dakic’s header looked on target and she might feel aggrieved not to be listed as the scorer.
In any case, Adriana Taranto’s free-kick was perfectly hit and caused chaos in the Bulleen defence. There was no room for error when dealing with it and Calder United had a somewhat surprising but not undeserved lead.
It would not last long. Paige Zois pulled one back for the Lions just four minutes later. There was little that Dall`Oste could do to stop her from point-blank range, but the tricky midfielder stayed composed to tap the ball home.
Neither team was satisfied with a draw. But clear-cut chances were hard to come by. The ever-creative Adriana Taranto came closest in the late stages. Her long-range effort was on target but Shields saved well as she did for most of the night.
The 1-1 draw was not the worst result for either team. Bulleen maintain their spot in first place, one point clear of Heidelberg United. Calder jumped up to third on the ladder although Alamein might have a game in hand at the time of writing.
Squads: FC BULLEEN LIONS: Shields, Natoli (Govic 65′), Friuscalzo, Zois (Lettieri 87′), Burn, Little, Stott, Johnson, Vlajnic (Sernio 87′), Rodger (Dolzan 65′), Zarkos.
Scorer: Zois 63′.
CALDER UNITED: Dall`Oste, Cain (Cerne 56′), Groba, Robers, Eike, Dakic, A.Taranto, Papadopoulos (Stella 86′), Sardo, Talevski, M.Taranto
Scorer: Sheilds (OG) 59′.
Referee: Caitlin Williams
NPLW Vic Wrap:
Elsewhere in the league, there were only two other games played. Heidelberg United continued their strong start to the season with a 1-0 win over the improving FV Emerging. Emily Roach scored in the 15th minute to secure Heidelberg’s second win of the season.
Box Hill United FC and Bayside United Seniors played out a 2-2 draw across town. Amanda Stevenson took only three minutes to open the scoring for Bayside before Sofia Sakalis pulled one back for Box Hill on 34 minutes. It was the Perth Glory and former South Melbourne attacker’s first goal for her new club after returning from Young Matildas duty.
Sienna Fogarty put Bayside ahead again in the 51st minute, but with only minutes remaining, Candela Ferreyra Bas rescued a point for Box Hill.
The draw left both sides without a win so far this season, but the return of Sakalis to the squad and the scoresheet signal for better days ahead for Box Hill.