Northern Redbacks had to come from behind to beat Beckenham Angels 2-1 in the Bankwest Women’s State Premier League top of the table clash at Mills Park on Sunday.
Report by Peter Simcox
Jessica Lindquist had given the home side the lead early in the second half but goals to Lauren Riley and Renee Leota gave the Redbacks all three points to keep them top of the table.
“We were a little sloppy in the first half but we played well in the second, and the movement got better up front and we got our rewards,” Leota said.
“I got on the end of the ball and was happy to score the winner. It keeps us clear at the top of the table but there is still a long way to go.”
Coach Tim Hodgson, who expects the title race to go down to the wire, thought his side deserved the win.
“I thought we dominated possession for most of the game but when we didn’t retain possession they hurt us and fed off our mistakes,” he said.
“Once we got the lead we panicked a little, which isn’t like us. But it’s a good win for us. I think the title is going to go down to the wire and we’re still in with a chance.”
Only two points separated the sides at kick-off, and it was the visitors who opened the brighter, Ellis Glanfield testing Angels’ keeper Kristy Teschinsky after only three minutes.
Moments later Teschinsky was in the action again when Kim McCartney’s corner was headed goalwards by Glanfield and the Angels custodian saved.
Beckenham were hitting on the counter attack and their first chance came on the quarter hour. The lively Danielle Calautti raced clear down the right and her low shot was well saved by Kathleen Waycott.
Both sides had late chances in an entertaining first half. First on 40 minutes Eleanor Bates made space down the left and her first time shot was well saved by Waycott.
Then three minutes later, former Perth Glory Women coach Nicola Williams played in Charlotte Farrell but her shot flashed just wide of the target.
The home side were ahead two minutes into the second half. Calautti burst clear down the right and her deep cross picked out Lindquist at the back post, who headed home.
Redbacks looked to hit back immediately. Leota’s long-range shot flashed wide on the hour and skipper Riley could not find the target moments later.
But their pressure was rewarded on 69 minutes with the equaliser. Williams won possession in the middle of the park and sent Riley in on goal. She held off Kathryn Conroy and fired low past Teschinsky.
The home side lost striker Calautti, who had been a real handful for the Angels backline, to injury and the visitors began to take control of the game. They hit the front on 79 minutes.
A long free kick from Farrell picked out the unmarked Leota, whose first time shot went into the corner of the net.
The visitors then sat back and let the home side back into the game, Waycott saving well from Jamie-Lee Gale three minutes later.
Then deep into stoppage time the home had one last chance to equalise. Gale’s corner from the right was not dealt with by the Redbacks, the ball finding its way to Conroy, whose shot from 6m beat Waycott but Rebecca Davies cleared the ball off the line.
Bank West Women’s Premier League
Beckenham Angels 1 (Lindquist 47’)
Northern Redbacks 2 (Riley 69’, Leota 79’)
Mills Park, Beckenham
Referee: Steve Muldoon
Beckenham Angels: GK Kristy TESCHINSKY, 3 Kirby LARSEN, 4 Lindsey JOBLING, 5 Jessica FERGUSON, 6 Jessica LINDQUIST, 7 Annique KEISLER, 8 Jamie-Lee GALE, 9 Danielle CALAUTTI, 10 Kathryn CONROY, 11 Emma LEANING, 12 Eleanor BATES, 13 Lindsey KENYON (C), 14 Linda FERGUSON, 15 Andrea PREIATO.
Northern Redbacks: GK Kathleen WAYCOTT, 2 Emily DUNN, 3 Larissa WALSH, 4 Nicola WILLIAMS, 5 Hope SHEPHERD, 6 Rita MANKOWSKA, 7 Lauren RILEY (c), 8 Elisa D’OVIDIO, 9 Haylee RICHARDS, 10 Rebecca DAVIES, 11 Ellis GLANFIELD, 12 Kim MCCARTNEY, 13 Charlotte FARRELL, 14 Renee LEOTA, 15 Chloe ALAGA, 16 Georgia HARRIS.