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Match reports 4 June 2023: A glorious day out

Updated: Jun 19, 2023


ANUWFC 1 - West Canberra Wanderers 1

The rained out round four encounter between the ANU WFC and the West Canberra Wanderers, played on Thursday night at the Gungahlin Enclosed Oval, ended with a 1-1 draw that left everyone frustrated.

Respectively sixth and seventh on the table before kick-off the two teams remained that way after Thursday’s stalemate, in which both protagonists started the game on the front foot. Unfortunately for the visitors, the University team was the first to strike, just before the ten-minute mark.

Three minutes after having a goal disallowed, Isabella Tobiano sweeping home a loose ball only for the Assistant Referee to rule that there was an illegal challenge by ANU WFC forward Roxie Swart on Wanderers goalkeeper Samantha Briggs, Swart exacted revenge as she was served on a platter by Edith Fordyce-Croker.

The ANU’s most prolific forward did not hesitate and placed a right footed effort in the bottom right corner, out of reach of a still-recovering Briggs.

A goal down, the team coached by Rey Castro turned up the intensity, settling in the University Club’s half for the next twenty minutes. Despite some well-built phases, Sarah Whitfield and her teammates up front struggled to find the solution in the last third, mainly due to some solid defensive work from centre-backs Ailish McDonagh and Aoibheann MacLochlainn.

ANU WFC were patient in their approach, the players coached by Rob Illingworth choosing to operate in counter attacks to try and surprise their opponents, but the lone goal scored by Swart remained the difference at half time.

Back from the locker room, the Wanderers finally got their lucky break nine minutes in. Following a corner kick taken by Nikita Perry, a clumsy, if not slight, shove from Isabella Hopkins on Alyse Jensen forced referee Karla Martin to point for the spot kick.

For the first time this season, West Canberra would score a Women’s National Premier League goal before the last ten minutes, with Lauren Hall taking the opportunity to wrong foot Claire Joseph, casually stroking home the penalty for her first goal in Wanderers colours.

From there, both teams pushed to get the winner, unsuccessfully. Illingworth and Castro did make a few changes to try and force a result. At times, the intensity and the nerves transpired through a few rough duels, but in the end, both teams would regret the missed chances and the draw stood.

ANU WFC let yet another lead slip away, four days after conceding a late equaliser to the Canberra United Academy. They remain four points behind CUA (who still have a game in hand) on the table after this third consecutive draw.

The Wanderers can see the positive in this result, getting points for the second game in a row after a long draught, and are now a point clear of last place Tuggeranong United.

State League 1

ANUWFC 1 - University of Canberra 7

State League 2

ANUWFC 0 - Canberra White Eagles 1

State League 3

ANUWFC 0 - Majura FC 1

State League 4 Runaways

ANUWFC 5 - South Canberra 0

State League 4 Strollers

ANUWFC 7 - Belnorth 1

HARRY’S BACK! What a treat it was to see the triumphant return of Sarah’s alter ego, Harry Hattrick!

Harry started the game strong, with a goal in the first minute. This is a pleasant change for the Strollers, who usually like to spend the first 20 of a game warming up and looking slightly confused.

Lauren D came next with her textbook understated style, making her goal look as easy as a stroll(er) in the park.

Belnorth’s danger player got into gear to bring them to 2-1 and make a game of it, but she was rewarded with being marked out of the rest of the game.

Harry scored again in the 16th minute (yes, that’s 4 goals in the first 16 minutes of the match!), before both teams settled a bit.

Just before half time, Clare slotted in a left footer, bending it in a way that would make Beckham proud.

It was Triangles of Success™️ out of the kids and up the wings for most of the game, with glorious one twos that cut out the Belnorth players and moved the ball beautifully up the field.

The defence were steady as ever, with Meaghan “Impenetrable Wall” Gidley stopping four clearances in a row at one point.

Holly opened the scoring for the second half, with an absolute beauty of a shot. The Belnorth keeper had nothing and the Strollers’ had absolutely everything.

An own goal off a corner diminished Belnorth’s confidence further, as tension built in their team. Belnorth pressed hard, momentarily forcing CC to stretch to save a goal, but with the Strollers’ backline their usual staunch selves, it wasn’t enough.

Brutally taken out in a questionable slide tackle just outside the box, Harry gave us a textbook free kick, placing the ball top right in the nets and placing herself squarely in the hearts of many of the spectators present.

The scoreline didn’t reflect what a tough game it was and what a contest Belnorth gave our humble Strollers, but it did reflect the strength of the backline, the commitment of the midfield, and the aggression of the strikers.


Score: ANUWFC 7 - Belnorth 1

Sideline spectators: a lot more than usual

Fines allocated during the match: a lot less than is now usual

State League 5 Braids

ANUWFC 0 - O'Connor Knights 3

State League 5 Scooters

Matchday 7: 1-0 Loss to Lanyon

What do the Scooters and goldfish have in common? If you guessed they’re both orange, you’d be right. I think they also both have short-term memories, all we remember from that game was we lost a narrow game, against a physical team and maybe on another day things might have turned out the opposite. The result might not have gone our way, but the Scooters displayed plenty of toughness and effort throughout the game and deserved at least a point. But we pick each other up, we learn and we carry on.

Hmmm random question, I wonder what color shirts Lanyon wears again? Just having a little trouble remembering in case we need to play them again.

Matchday 8: ANUWFC 3 - Belsouth 1

The Scooters had a full complement of players at Hawker Fields ready to go up against an inconsistent, yet still tricky opponent in Belsouth. From the first whistle, the Scooters dominated the opposition throughout the first half, controlling possession and creating chances through intelligent through balls and good forward interplay. While Belsouth’s main threat throughout the game lay predominantly in trying to play through balls in behind the Scooters high defensive line, the composure of our backline saw our centre backs Emily T, Tash, Kirsten, Caity, Liv and Manny (yes we rotate this much) effortlessly and calmly deal with any threat. Kirsten and Emily T in particular this game, seemed unbothered by the opposition pressure and would seamlessly take a touch to take the ball wide and play it forward, often finding a teammate ready to carry the ball forward and out. Our wingbacks started the game a bit more conservatively, but quickly started to push forward and join the attack once we realised that Belsouth were sitting deep. Charlotte, Claire, Kirsten and Gini pushed high throughout the game, helping to recycle possession when balls were cleared away and were quick to hustle back in defence and not leave our centre backs exposed. Indeed, our backline were imperious and any balls that might have squeaked through, were swiftly dealt with by Elise in goals, who was quick off her line to deal with any danger.

Whilst the Scooters had the lion’s share of possession throughout the first half and largely kept the ball in the Belsouth half, we found things difficult once we reached their penalty box. Inside the first 15 minutes, Sophie ran rings around the Belsouth right back and found herself in a good one-on-one shooting position but unfortunately couldn't bring it on to her right foot in time before being closed down. Rose found similar joy in attacking the Belsouth right back and in one amazing run down the left flank, she bodychecked a Belsouth player, sitting her down, before facing 2 opposition Belsouth players in the box, and delivered a pass to one of their faces. Our midfield were industrious throughout the first half with Saf making endless recovery runs to help provide cover, Sarah pushing forward and often driving with ill-intent for the opposition, and Liv often being the glue connecting defence and attack. We came close to finding our forwards with through balls on more than one occasion, as Connor’s excellent hold up play and subsequent vision and distribution found our forwards in space often but it was starting to look like it might be one of those days where our possession might lack sufficient penetration. However in the 36th minute, Tash found herself with time and space outside the opposition box and lined up a shot that settled nicely into the bottom corner, scoring her first goal of the season and giving the Scooters a well-deserved lead. Belsouth woke up immediately, pushing forward and started to probe our defences more. Our defence stood tall, possibly buoyed by Charlotte’s indomitable optimism and cheering, as we saw out the rest of the half.

Holding onto a 1-0 lead at halftime, the message for the Scooters was to keep pushing and avoid any complacency. The Scooters took the message quickly in the second half. In the 49th minute, released from the shackles of right back, Gini burst through on the right wing and laid a cross for Emily B, who interestingly looked like she tried to use every body part except her foot to walk the ball into the goal from less than a meter out. Unfortunately, Belsouth started to lose players to injuries and wisely started to play more on the counter at this point in the game. The problem for them was, the Scooters kept possession well and whenever we lost the ball when attempting a riskier forward pass, often deep within the Belsouth box, Belsouth could not clear their lines as our press was superb. Saf, Manny and Sarah from midfield were often able to press quickly during a turnover, with Liv helping provide cover from a deeper position, ready to pounce on the opposition if they broke through the first press. Still Belsouth were able to venture into Scooters territory, which in the 59th minute was a mistake… for them. The defence was able to clear out a cross and we immediately turned defence into attack and in no time at all we went from our box to their, this time with some wonderful symmetry in play as it was Emily B’s turn to lay on an assist for Gini to score a third for the Scooters.

With a full bench available, the Scooters were rotated throughout in order to prevent injuries and keep our fitness up. Especially important after seeing a couple Belsouth players forced off the field. Taking a chance to rotate the players, Claire had a cameo at right wing, featuring a run that saw her take on at least 2 players and lay on a few enticing crosses. Rose was placed as a second striker looking to play off Con, and did not look out of place as she almost played Sophie through on goal with a nice disguised through ball. It’s often a fine line between madness and genius, some say. Chess, not checkers. Despite an earlier warning from a huge Belsouth corner that saw a goaline scramble get cleared away by the Scooters, Belsouth were able to claw one back with literally the last play of the game, denying Elise and the Scooters a much deserved clean sheet. However, the Scooters really impressed on the day, the defence and our goalkeeper looked assured and confident throughout the game. The midfield were absolutely industrious as always and have started to impose themselves more in this game. Our forwards were making smart runs and securing the ball well. The team is looking more composed on the ball with every game played and hopefully we can keep progressing.

Key number: 8. Goals: Tash, Emily B, Gini

State League 6 Kartapillars

ANUWFC 1 - Belnorth Quokkas 1

State League 6 Sharkies

ANUWFC 3 - Majura Mullets FC 1

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