Southern and Ettalong loses top spot on women's ladder
Southern and Ettalong United's women's soccer club has lost top spot on Central Coast Football's Women's Premier League ladder to Kanwal.
Southern and Ettalong United had been leading the competition for the first six rounds, but when it recorded a one-all draw against Terrigal in Round 7, Kanwal was able to edge ahead of them by a single point, a feat the northern club repeated in Round 8.
Southern and Ettalong United went into their Round 8 fixture against Gosford City hungry to reclaim their spot as the ladder leaders.
Billed as the match of the round by Central Coast Football, Southern and Ettalong United didn't disappoint.
"Southern started the match with serious intent, threatening on a number of occasions throughout the opening 10 minutes without finding the net, however, their lead was established in the 15th minute," said Central Coast Football's digital content coordinator Mr Lachlan Herd.
"From a direct free-kick, WPL top scorer Tahlor Thackray squared the ball to an unmarked Natalie Waddell who found the back of the net from the best part of 20-25 metres out.
"After conceding early, Gosford managed to get a foothold back in the game as they created a number of scoring opportunities themselves as the first half wore on.
"However, the Lions defensive set-up coupled with a number of quality saves from keeper Bec Arnfield meant the score remained 1-0 at the break.
"Gosford City knew they had to come out in the second half in search of a goal that would see them back into the contest, but in doing so they would leave themselves open to the counterattack.
"Although looking threatening in the early stages of the second half, the Dragons continued to struggle to find a way past the Southern defensive set up, and after 65 minutes they conceded a second, with Thackray getting on the scoresheet for her 10th goal of the season," Mr Herd said.
"After being played through on goal, Thackray showed great awareness to chip an advancing Gosford City goalkeeper to all but seal the three points for her side.
"Some 10 minutes later she would have the opportunity to put the match to bed after Emma Woodger was judged to have been fouled in the penalty area, with Thackray stepping up and converting the penalty for her second and Ettalong's third to secure the win," Mr Herd said.
Despite the result, a win to Kanwal over the Kincumber Roos sees Southern and Ettalong United still a point behind moving into Round 9.
Umina United tied one all in their Round 8 fixture against Toukley.
"Third placed Umina welcomed eighth placed Toukley to Umina Oval as they looked to close the gap to the top two sides on the WPL ladder," Mr Herd said.
"After a tough 4-1 defeat to Kanwal in Round 7, Umina were desperate to return to winning ways.
"Toukley, on the other hand, headed into this match on the back of a 7-0 victory over Kariong United, their first victory of the season.
"They didn't start this match like a side that had only won one game this season, as they continuously applied pressure to the Umina defensive unit, denied a goal by both the woodwork and some brilliant saves from Umina keeper Sam Fulwood.
"Despite a substantial number of opportunities, Toukley were unable to find the lead as the teams were locked at 0-0 heading into half time.
"As the sides emerged for the second half it was apparent that Umina were more up for the match than they had been in the first half.
"However, a defensive mix up saw them gift Toukley the opening goal after 50 minutes, with Lily Williams finding the net for the Gunners.
"Umina did manage a rather quick reply, as Hayley Fulwood grabbed a goal back to restore parity, setting the match up for an exciting finish.
"Both sides pushed for a winner and the Eagles probably would have found one were it not for a great save from Toukley keeper Chloe Payne with only five minutes to play.
"The save proved crucial as Toukley held on for a hard-earned point in what was their fifth draw of the season," Mr Herd said.
The result sees Umina maintain their grip on third moving into Round 9.
Media release, 5 Jun 2019
Lachlan Herd, Central Coast Football