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Leota double puts Queens Park title hopes on hold

Report by Bobby Stamatoski

Northern Redbacks denied Queens Park the Bankwest Women’s State League title celebrations in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Coker Park in a round 18 top of the table clash.

The result means Queens Park need to earn at least a point when they take on Bassendean Caledonian next weekend in order to win the league.

Queens Park coach Ben Anderten was happy with how his team controlled the game.

“I thought we controlled the game quite well throughout,” he said.

“We arrived a lot of times in the good moments to finish, but couldn’t get on the end of them.

“To concede two from three shots was a little bit disappointing, but I’m proud never the less of the way the girls played.

“It would’ve been nice to seal it against a quality outfit, but we waited this long, we can wait another week.”

The Redbacks got off to a dream start with Renee Leota scoring a fine goal after connecting with Demi Vance’s cross from the left.

Vance did well to beat two and find Leota all alone to volley home and put the visitors ahead.

It didn’t take long for the hosts to equalize. Just four minutes later, Queens Park were level thanks to a screamer from Jaymee Gibbons just outside the box.

Queens Park almost went ahead a short time later as Ange Stannette’s effort was cleared off the line.

The hosts kept piling on the pressure and once again came close to taking the lead as Tia Stonehill managed to hit the cross-bar after a lovely one-two.

The home team finally went ahead 10 minutes before half time thanks to a goal from Katarina Jukic, who found herself unmarked to slot home from close range.

The Redbacks responded well through Larissa Walsh, who was unlucky not to be on the scoresheet, as her effort cannoned off the cross-bar.

The visitors came out strong in the second half and Leota was at the double on 59 minutes after latching onto a hopeful cross to volley over the goalkeeper.

The Redbacks had the chance to take the lead through Vance, who saw her effort go agonizingly over the cross-bar from close range, after a great team build up.

The last few minutes witnessed end to end action, but neither team managed to come out on top.

Redbacks coach Tim Hodgson was happy to make the home side work for the title.

“We were great today,” he said.

“We had the motivation of not letting them win the title.

“We were really good for long periods and we knocked the ball around really well. We just couldn’t capitalize on some of that possession.

“All and all, it was a totally even game. We are the top two teams in the league, and I thought that was shown today.”

Queens Park could seal the title in the following round leaving the Northern Redbacks to finish runners up for the season.

Queens Park 2 (Gibbons 5min, Jukic 35min)

Northern Redbacks 2 (Leota 1min, 59min) 

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Coker Park

Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: J. Westmerland

Queens Park: 1. Maya DIEOGNICUSEN, 2. Ange STANNETTE, 3. Rebecca DI CARLO, 4. Natasha RIGBY, 5. Courtney OWEN, 6. Jamie-Lee GALE, 7. Brittany WOODAN, 8. Sadie LAWRENCE, 9. Tia STONEHILL, 10. Nicole CAMPBELL, 11. Rebecca BENNETT, 14. Shannon MAY, 20. Jaimee DUNCANSON, 21. Katie SCHUBERT, 22. Jaymee GIBBONS, 23. Katarina JUKIC

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Northern Redbacks: 1. Lauren BLIZZARD, 6. Carla BENNET, 5. Eleanor BLACKMORE, 14. Renee LEOTA, 3. Larissa WALSH, 17. Amelia ANDREW, 8. Demi VANCE, 9. Megan MILLER, 12. Shawn BILLAM, 2. Jessica WHEATMAN, 11. Emily DUNN, 7. Kim CARROLL, 10. Katie MOTH, 15. Piper BOOBYER, 16. Chloe ALAGA

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil