Northern Redbacks are clinging to slim hopes of claiming the Bankwest Women’s State Premier League title after a 2-0 victory over Melville City at Winthrop Park on Sunday.
Report by Rachel Collier
Despite a two-point lead at the top of the table, Redbacks have played all their matches and must hope for the National Training Centre team to beat second-placed Queens Park in a catch-up game at Coker Park on Thursday night to secure the title. If Queens Park win against the NTC they will also claim the league title. The game kicks off at 7pm.
Goals from Ellis Glanfield and Lauren Riley secured three points for Redbacks against Melville to apply some pressure on Queens Park, who also won 2-0 against UWA on Sunday.
Redbacks coach Tim Hodgson felt inconsistency and lack of conviction in front of goal had been costly.
“We’ve dropped points against teams that we shouldn’t have and that has cost us,” he said. “It kills you to drop points to anyone other than the top two contenders in this league. Unfortunately that’s what we’ve done this season and we’ve been punished for that.”
The coach rued his team’s lack of clinical finishing this term.
“We dominated today’s game but we just couldn’t put our early chances away,” he said. “The same thing happened last week at Beckenham, we had four or five chances in the second half to win the game and we didn’t take them. That lack of conviction in front of goal comes back to bite you.”
Redbacks dominated play and looked threatening throughout the opening period. Glanfield was put through by Nicola Williams for a one-on-one with the Melville keeper. Glanfield fired her shot directly at Evie Gooch, who saved and cleared the danger in the 15th minute.
The pressure mounted on Melville, who had limited time and space on the ball. As the Redbacks continued their assault on goal, they appealed for a penalty on the half hour mark. Larissa Walsh looked to have been brought down in the box but referee David Johnson waved play on.
Melville were putting bodies on the line, blocking shots and winning the aerial battles, however, the Redbacks creativity was proving a menace to City.
A low cross from Rebecca Davies was met by Walsh in the box and her side footed effort was well saved by Gooch.
Melville’s first chance came in the 40th minute when Emma Ylias skipped past two defenders from the left wing. Her shot from distance was deflected on the way to goal, as keeper Kathleen Waycott adjusted well to make the save.
The deadlock was broken in the 50th minute when Glanfield calmly slotted home a penalty. Referee Johnson pointed to the spot after Glanfield was brought down in the box by Izzy Bridger, who was consequently booked.
Glanfield could have doubled her tally 15 minutes later. A good run by Davies down the right wing saw her whip in a driving cross, which Glanfield neatly controlled in the box. She then dragged her shot just wide of the post to keep the score at 1-0.
Melville were reduced to long range efforts thanks to the Redbacks strong defensive showing. Laura Waltman had the away side’s best chance of the half with a 25m shot that was well saved by Waycott in the 70th minute.
Lauren Riley’s 25m strike doubled the Redbacks lead in the 73rd minute after a poorly cleared corner. The captain’s powerful strike flew through a crowd of players to leave the Melville keeper unsighted. Her shot ended up in the bottom right corner.
Renee Leota could have made it 3-0 ten minutes later. Her spinning half volley looked destined for the top corner but a spectacular save by the Melville keeper kept the score at 2-0.
Melville City coach Tony Carvajal was delighted with his young side’s performance today.
“My girls are pretty gutsy as you could see today,” he said. “We didn’t create any chances today and we need to grin and bear that result but I was impressed over all.”
The coach is delighted with his team’s improvement this season.
“They’ve improved a lot over the season and I’m very proud of them,” he said. “Last year we would have rolled over and they would have beaten us seven or eight nil but that’s not happening anymore. We’ve vastly improved.
“We need to be more effective up front but in terms of their desire, their football and their bravery, they’ve been fantastic.”
Carvajal expects big things from his young squad.
“We’ve got youth on our side and we have so much potential going forward as a team into the future,” he said. “We had another 15 year old on the pitch today and our average team age is 17, so the future is definitely bright for us.”
Melville City 0
Northern Redbacks 2 (GLANFIELD PEN 50,’ RILEY 73′)
Date: Sunday, September, 21, 2014
Venue: Winthorp Park
Referee: David Johnson
Melville City: 1. Evie GOOCH, 2. Kelsey LYONS, 4. Sarah ELFORD, 6. Carolyn HOMES, 7. Korien STANBRIDGE, 9. Jenny HOMES, 10. Steph SIMMONDS, 13. Evie MARCHETTI, 14. Kathryn RILEY, 15. Laura WALTMAN, 20. Issy BRIDGER, 27. Siobhan LONGMORE, 28. Penelope CLAYTON, 32. Caroline BRADY, 36. Emma YLIAS, 38. Taylor MAGUIRE
Yellow cards: BRIDGER 50′
Red cards: nil
Northern Redbacks: 1. Kathleen WAYCOTT, 2. Emily DUNN, 3. Larissa WALSH, 4. Nicola WILLIAMS, 5. Amy KNIGHTS, 6. Rita MANKOWSKA, 7. Lauren RILEY, 8. Haylee RICHARDS, 9. Hope SHEPHERD, 10. Rebecca DAVIES, 11. Ellis GLANFIELD, 12. Melanie DOEGLAS, 14. Renee LEOTA, 15. Chloe ALAGA, 16. Georgia HARRIS, 17. Georgia BRITTAN
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil