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Redbacks run riot against Panthers

Report by Ryan Borrett

Northern Redbacks thrashed Stirling Panthers 7-0 in an outstanding performance in Round Eight of the Women’s Premier League on Sunday at Yuluma Reserve.

The Redbacks were 2-0 up within the first five minutes and continued to dominate the first half, scoring another three goals before the break.

Despite a better second half performance from Stirling, the Redbacks added another two goals late on to complete a massive victory that sees them remain in second place trailing leaders Queens Park by six points.

Redbacks coach Elisa D’Ovidio said she was delighted with the result and highlighted their defensive performance as well as their potent attack.

“I’m happy with that we got the win and a clean sheet and a few goals in the bag,” she said.

“I think our back four were really strong, everyone in defense did a really good job and they’ve been pretty consistent throughout the season so far.”

Emily Henderson opened the scoring for the Redbacks in the first minute of the match with a tidy finish to the bottom left in the midst of a scrambling Stirling defense.

Striker Renee Leota doubled the away side’s advantage three minutes later after rounding Stirling keeper Monique Todd, and scored her second in the ninth minute after Amy Knight’s free-kick was saved but Leota followed in to make it 3-0.

Another two goals from Sarah Carroll and Carla Bennett before half-time finished an excellent opening period from the Redbacks.

Stirling started the second half better than the first and created a few good chances but couldn’t find a breakthrough against a very solid Redbacks defense.

Leota completed her hat-trick in the 82nd minute as Carrissa Walsh cut back for Leota to net.

O’vidio said of Leota: “She did really well, she’s quite strong and she can hold the ball up, and she creates a lot of play up front.”

Redbacks midfielder Shawn Billam capped her excellent performance with a goal in the 83rdminute after a great solo run from midfield into the box ended with an easy finish around Todd.

The big win for the Redbacks was excellent preparation for a massive game next week against league leaders Queens Park.

Stirling face Fremantle City FC next week and will look to improve on their poor start to the season.

Stirling Panthers 0
Northern Redbacks 7 (Henderson 1min, Leota 4, 9, 82, Carroll 37, Bennett 41, Billam 83)
Sunday, June 3
Yuluma Reserve
Kick-off: 12pm
Referee: John Westmerland

Stirling Panthers: 1. Monique TODD, 2. Lara AMEDURI, 3. Emily HARRISON. 4. Lauren CONTINIBALI, 5. Teagan MCNEILL, 7. Monique NICOLAOU, 8. Alyssa CONTINIBALI (11. Caitlin VALLELONGA 27), 9. Brooke JOHNSTON, 10. Lauren BILALOSKI, 12. Eloise ARNOLD (13. Katherine MELANKO 74), 15. Danielle MONASTRA
Substitutes not used: 6. Jodie DAVENPORT, 14. Libby TATTERSALL
Yellow cards:  Nil
Red cards: Nil

Northern Redbacks: 1. Kathleen WALCOTT, 2. Sarah CARROLL (3. Carrissa WALSH 44), 4. Jessica WHEATMAN, 5. Amy KNIGHTS, 6. Carla BENNETT, 7. Kim CARROLL, 8. Shawn BILLAM, 10. Katie MAN, 11. Emily HENDERSON (9. Chloe ALAGA 61), 14. Renee LEOTA, 16. Lauren RILEY
Substitutes not used: 12. Casey WEBB
Yellow cards:  Nil
Red cards: Nil