NTC Women have produced their second emphatic win in two weeks, defeating East Fremantle SC 5-1 on Sunday afternoon.
NTC carried a 2-0 lead into half time and were able to capitalise on the few mistakes their opponents made during the last half an hour of play, to three goals to their tally.
NTC coach Jessine Bonzas praised her team’s ability to come out firing in the first half while setting up tough attacking structures that kept them on the front foot.
“Going into the half at two-nil is a dangerous score, they get one, and get themselves back into the game,” she said.
“Our girls are preparing for the national championship. We’re really pleased with how they’re going, and to come our and show that maturity today was a really good thing.”
NTC found themselves a goal ahead within minutes of kick-off, as a perfectly weighted through-ball allowed Liana Cook enough space to dribble ahead and casually slot the ball past the keeper in the fifth minute.
The home team were able to double their lead less than fifteen minutes later. A corner kick that spilled out of the box was attacked by Leticia McKenna, who lobbed the ball over the keeper into the back left corner.
After comfortably controlling the first half, NTC struggled to keep momentum in the second.
East Fremantle applied the attacking pressure early, and a parried keeper save allowed Sarah Kenny to roll the ball into goal.
Now only down by one, Fremantle continued to press forward and gave themselves a number of chances to level the score.
A shot across the face of goal by Zoe Yao was centimetres wide of the post, and a headed effort by Issabelle Bridges skimmed over the crossbar.
NTC were able to wrestle back control of the match and secure the win after a goal in the 73rd minute by substitute Georgia Cawley was followed by a second goal just two minutes later from Abbey Meakins, who was also brought into the game late.
Bonzas praised her team’s resilience in halting the attacking pressure and picking their moments to get forward after a lot of defending.
“It’s a massive credit to them for holding out, and to hit back,” she said.
“We made two subs, and I asked them to make an impact, and they scored two goals in five minutes.”
The home team continued to press forward late in the game as the rain began to fall, and Cook took advantage, easing the ball past the keeper in the 87th minute.
East Fremantle official Gary was proud of his team’s fighting spirit, but conceded it was a tough loss to take and that rallying for next week’s game against fifth placed Northern Redbacks next week was now a priority.
“We put pressure on them, we told the girls it was only two goals, and we managed to put pressure on [NTC],” he said.
“We had a few mistakes, and it cost us dearly. We had our chances on goal, and I think that was the difference, really.
“We’ve got a few disappointed girls here, who were a bit emotional – they really wanted to do well in this game. But next week’s another game.
“It’s not going to get any easier, so we’ll train hard this week, and go from there.”
The win keeps NTC in clear second place behind Queens Park, the only team they’ve lost to so far this season.
Meanwhile, East Fremantle drop from third to fourth on goal difference, and widen the gap on second place to six points.
FW NTC Women 5 (Cook 5min, 87, McKenna 18, Cawley 73, Meakins 75)
East Fremantle SC 1 (Kenny 49min)
Sunday, May 5, 2017
Referee: Alex Best
FW NTC Women – 1. Morgan AQUINO, 2. Alyssa VAN HEURCK, 3. Cheyenne WISE-JARVIS, 4. Sofie OSBORNE, 5. Rosie LEHANE, 6. Georgia IRELAND, 7. Liana COOK, 8. Abbey MEAKINS, 9. Biana WEBB, 10. Lexie MORENO, 11. Izzy FOLETTA, 12. Leticia MCKENNA, 13. Tessa DE LEO, 14. Georgia CAWLEY, 15. Ashling DEVITT, 17. Jenna ONIONS
Yellow cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
East Fremantle SC – 3. Issabelle BRIDGES, 4. Jaqueline MCLERNON, 5. Shannen PINK CRUSTANCHO, 6. Laura WALTMAN, 8. McKayla LYONS, 9. Evie MARCHETTI, 11. Taylor MAGUIRE, 14. Rachael OLIVER, 15. Zoe ANDRIJICH, 16. Kate THAYER, 17. Leniana MASIBAKA, 18. Lea VOLKMER, 19. Sarah KENNY, 20. Zoe YAO, 26. Kaylin GEELHOED
Yellow cards: Oliver 84min, Yao 85
Red cards: Nil