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Redbacks coronation on hold
Report by Edward Nixon
Mikayla Lyons scored an 86th minute winner as Fremantle City kept the Women’s Premier Division title race alive with a 1-0 victory over Northern Redbacks at Wauhop Park on Sunday.
Needing a win to prevent Redbacks claiming the league title, Lyons dispossessed Redbacks captain Shawn Billam before tucking her shot past an outstretched Morgan Aquino to hand Fremantle a deserved win.
Entering play with an eight-point buffer at the top of the table, the Redbacks knew they just needed a point to be crowned league champions but got off to slow start as Fremantle’s Issy Bridger went close with a headed effort after 13 minutes.
Desperate not to allow Redbacks to win on their home turf, hosts Fremantle continued to pile on the pressure in the opening stages as Lyons almost scored after being set up by Ashleigh Santich.
Lyons again went close just before the half-hour mark as her right-footed shot was well saved by Aquino.
Against the run of play, Redbacks forward Renee Leota thought she had put her side ahead with a cool header five minutes before the break but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Redbacks continued to press before the break and almost found the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time but leading goal scorer Sarah Carroll was denied by City goalkeeper Kaylin Geelhoed.
Fremantle went up a gear after the restart as Gemma Craine’s shot hit the side netting after a driving run into the box.
With time running out and with Fremantle needing a goal, Lyons stepped up as she tackled Redbacks defender Billam in a dangerous position before slotting home to claim a vital three points for Fremantle.
Redbacks’ next opportunity to seal the title will come this Thursday when they travel to Queens Park while second place Fremantle host Balcatta.
Star player: Mikayla Lyons (Fremantle City)
Fremantle City 1 (Lyons 86min)
Northern Redbacks 0
Sunday, 8 September 2019
Referee: Peter Wagner
Assistant referee: Julian Ku, supplied
Fremantle City: 5. Issy BRIDGER, 7. Laura WALTMAN, 8. Mikayla LYONS, 9. Evie MARCHETTI, 10. Steffi NADILO, 17. Corrine DENTON (2. Emma CARBON 62), 18. Ash SANTICH (32. Matilda BOYLE 83’), 19. Annabelle LEEK, 23. Coral BUXEY (6. Georgie IRELAND 51), 31. Gemma CRAINE (24. Sammi CARBON 89), 72. Kaylin GEELHOED
Substitutes not used: 20. Jayme-Lee SMITH
Yellow cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Northern Redbacks: 1. Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3. Larissa WALSH, 5. Sarah Carroll, 6. Carla BENNETT, 7. Kim CARROLL, 8. Shawn BILLAM, 10. Katie MOTH (16. Sophia NEAL 66), 12. Grace MONTEIRO, 13. Melanie DOEGLAS, 14. Renee LEOTA, 15. Tiana BOTHA (2. Ali BENNETT 83)
Substitutes not used: 4. Aster MULU, 9. Emily ROACH
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil