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Queens Park edge NTC

Report by Edward Nixon

Queens Park ended NTC Women’s unbeaten start to the Women’s Premier League season with a hard-fought 2-1 win in their top-of-the-table clash at Celebration Park on Sunday.

With the result, Queens Park leapfrog NTC to go top of the standings.

“We knew NTC were top and they’re coming off some really good form from the Night Series, so we knew it was going to be tough,” Queens Park coach Ben Anderton said.

“To get the win puts us in good standing for the rest of the season.”

In a morning game which pitted first against second, it was NTC who started the brighter with captain Lexie Morend heavily involved in the early going.

Having scored an impressive 25 goals in the opening three rounds, it was never going to take Queens Park long to get into the contest.

Forward Katrina Jukic had the first real opportunity for Queens Park when she rounded NTC goalkeeper Miranda Templeman before her shot was superbly cleared off the line by defender Georgia Cawley.

Last year’s champions weren’t going to be kept scoreless for long, however, as Shannon May’s smart first-time finish found the back of the net just before the half-hour mark.

The goal sparked a crazy five-minute period as May almost grabbed her brace moments later but for some desperate NTC defending.

Queens Park were made to rue their missed opportunity as NTC striker Annabelle Leek won possession in a dangerous area before slotting past keeper Danielle Cornish.

NTC’s joy was short-lived, though, as they were level for just three minutes. This time May turned provider as she found an unmarked Jukic to finish with a crisp first-time strike past Templeman.

The game became more of a midfield battle after the break as both sides were mainly limited to shots from distance, Georgie Ireland going closest for NTC.

Despite leading 2-1, it was Queens Park who looked the more likely to double their advantage as Jukic and substitute Jamie-Lee Gale kept Templeman the busier of the two keepers.

NTC battled to preserve their unbeaten start to the season but failed to crack Queens Park’s defence again, with Morend smashing an indirect free-kick against the wall for the last chance of the game.

“I’m super proud of the girls. ce were in that game, we had many chances, we just didn’t convert,” NTC coach Jessine Bonzas said.

NTC now turns their attention to Stirling Panthers in Round Five, while Queens Park host Balcatta FC.

NTC Women 1 (Leek 29min)
Queens Park 2 (May 27, Jukic 32)
Celebration Park
Sunday, April 29
Kick-off: 10.30am
Referee: Paul Mills

 NTC Women: 2. Ashline DEVITT (19. Emma McMurdo), 4. Ashleigh SANTICH, 5. Rosei LEHANE, 6. Georgie IRELAND (22. Cameron Barreird 81’), 8. Abbey MEAKINS, 9. Annabelle LEEK (20. Taneesha Baker 64’), 10. Lexie MOREND (c), 15. Zoee SPADANO, 18. Eden-Lee SCHAFFER,  21. Georgia CAWLEY, 49. Miranda TEMPLEMAN (GK)
Substitutes not used: 7. Liana COOK, 12. Leticia MCKENNA
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Queens Park: 1. Danielle CORNISH (GK), 2. Angelique STANNETT (c), 5. Shannon MAY, 8. Sadie LAWRENCE, 9. Tia STONEHILL, 10. Niki CAMPBELL, 13. Bec BENNETT, 16. Jenna ONIONS, 20. Jamie DUNCANSON (6. Jamie-Lee GALE), 22. Jaymee GIBBONS, 23. Katarina JUKIC
Substitues not used: 7. Brittany WOODFIN, 11 Grace SMITH, 21, Bec DI CARLO, 31. Stacye LEARMONT
Yellow cards: Stonehill 90
Red cards: Nil