Queens Park pip Redbacks for title
Queens Park has broken a six year drought after a hard fought 1-0 win over the Football West U19 National Training Centre at Coker Park on Thursday evening.
A goal from striker Brooke Johnston midway through the second half was all that separated the teams, but it was good enough for Queens Park to leap frog Northern Redbacks at the top of the table and win their first league title since 2008.
“There was a lot of pressure on us tonight, we really, really wanted it and it got to us a little bit but we got there in the end and it was a great team effort,” Johnston said.
The striker was really impressed with the NTC on the night and praised them for a hard fought game.
“The first time we played them this season it was an easy win, but they have really improved so much, so hats off to them, and they really gave us a run for our money tonight,” she said.
Skipper Nikki Campbell was outstanding in the middle of the park, and she was over the moon to win the title.
“NTC were great tonight and made it hard for us but were delighted to have got the win and the title,” Campbell said. “The girls were a little nervous but the NTC defence was great tonight, but we managed to get the all-important goal and win the game and the title, so job done.”
Coach Steve Woodfin has been away from the side for a number of weeks due to ill health but he returned to oversee the title win.
“It’s great for the girls to win the title. It’s been a great season and just sorry I missed seven or eight weeks of it. But Grant (Learmont) has done a great job in my absence and I’m really proud of the girls,” he said.
“I know tonight it would be a close game and I thought one goal would win it for both sides, luckily Brooke popped up to win it for us. She has a special knack of finding the net; she has scored over 30 goals this season, which is outstanding.”
At kick off Queens Park sat two points behind the Northern Redbacks, so they knew nothing more than three points would do and they opened brightly by coming close after only 10 minutes. Jaymee Gibbons’ corner was met by Campbell but her header was just wide of the target.
They went even closer on the quarter hour, Campbell’s free kick picked out Stacey Learmont, whose header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
The NTC began to get into the game and the lively Tia Stonehill found space down the right and found Shauni Reid, who’s shot on the run flashed wide of the target.
Queens Park looked nervy and the NTC began to get on top and Reid went close again moments later, Stonehill’s corner picked out the winger at the back post, her volley was saved by goalkeeper Maya Diederichsen.
As the half ended the home side began to get back on top and Learmont’s long-range shot whistled inches past the post before Mellissa Shepherd saved low from Jessica Darmago’s shot.
NTC opened the second half well and had Queens Park on the back foot with Roxanne Dodd a constant threat. She made space down the left only four minutes in and found Stonehill on the edge of the penalty area, but her shot was straight at Diederichsen.
Then on 50 minutes Dodd’s pace took her clear down the left and her cross picked out Stonehill again, but this time her header was only inches past the post.
The Queens Park supporters were getting nervous, with time running out, and the home side wasted another golden opportunity on the hour. Darmago raced down the right and crossed from the bye-line, it was dummied by Emily Dean, and the unmarked Johnston blazed over from 8m.
The NTC were outstanding at the back with Steffi Nadilo in great form, but there was little she could do on 72 minutes when Queens Park got the decisive goal to win the Bankwest Women’s State League title. Campbell’s free kick was flicked on by Learmont and Johnston made no mistake from 5m to send the home supporters into raptures.
Bankwest Women’s State Premier League
Queens Park 1 (Johnston 72’)
Girls NTC U19 0
Tuesday 25th September 2014
Venue: Coker Park, Cannington
Referee: Sam Muca
Queens Park: GK Maya DIEDERICHSEN, 2 Helene BORDAS, 6 Monique GORDON, 7 Brittany WOODFIN, 8 Stacey LEARMONT, 9 Brooke JOHNSTON, 10 Nikki CAMPBELL(c), 11 Emily DEAN, 12 Danielle CORNISH, 13 Georgina KENT, 14 Annie GEVERS, 15 Jessica DARMAGO, 22 Jaymee GIBBONS, 26 Krystle Spanos
NTC Under 19’s: GK Mellissa SHEPHERD, 2 Angelique STANNETT (c), 3 Steffi NADILO, 5 Danni GRIFFITHS, 6 Monique GODDING, 7 Shauni REID, 8 Mikayla LYONS, 9 Tia STONEHILL, 10 Brooke STEWART, 12 Caitlin DOUGLAS, 14 Cassandra HARVEY, 15 Roxanne DODD, 19 Sarah KENNY, 20 Nadia HARVEY