Sydney ease to flattering win

By Stephen Webb

W-League Season 2013/2014 – Round 2
3 pm, 16 November, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Sydney FC 4
(Rollason 45, Kerr 68, Taylor 80, 89)
defeated

Newcastle Jets FC 0

Coaches often take consolation from the fact a team wins even though it played poorly. Alen Stajcic might have been thinking that after Sydney’s emphatic though deceptive victory over Newcastle.

Sydney — coming off a 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory — were patchy at best and the scoreline could have been more respectable for Newcastle had some luck gone their way. Or worse had Sydney delivered on their potential.

Rain had cleared before the game began but conditions remained cool and windy (a warning to Sydney fans travelling south for future matches).

The W-League side followed Sydney’s youth side, who had maintained their perfect start to the National Youth League season with a comfortable 5-2 win over Adelaide United.

The first five minutes of scrappy play was enacted mostly in Sydney’s half. Stacey Day for Newcastle was impressive with her control, passing and important interception.

In the eighth minute some great anticipation and a through ball from Teresa Polias put Jodie Taylor into the left side of the Newcastle penalty area. Taylor was on goal but hit the right post.

Two minutes later Taylor was into the right side of the box but Eliza Campbell came out to block her.

A threatening cross from Sam Kerr — the Football Media Association’s International Player of the Year and W-League Player of the Year and the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year — was blocked by Siahn Bozanic.

In the 20th minute, after another period of ineffectual passing by both sides, Polias hit a long shot over the Newcastle crossbar.

A glancing header by Leena Khamis from a corner on the right was blocked and a shot from Nicola Bolger — who should have done better — was deflected for another corner. From the corner Campbell punched away powerfully.

Taylor on goal again from a long ball could have shot but turned back and missed her opportunity.

At the other end Cassidy Davis shot to Casey Dumont.

Newcastle halted a scrambled Sydney effort in their goal box, clearing off the goal line.

The best aspect of Sydney’s play to this point was its defence, compelling Newcastle to attempt long shots, usually not troubling Dumont. One from Rhali Dobson went wide.

In the 30th minute, after good possession around the Newcastle penalty area, Sydney went wide with a shot from Leena Khamis. Bolger, played to the goal line on the left, shot across the face of goal.

For Newcastle, Hannah Beard shot long and not far wide.

Sydney had possession but got too clever with it. Too often flicks and touches — in the wrong areas — didn’t come off. Though a great sequence of first-time passes got Emma Kete on goal before Campbell pushed her shot wide.

After the corner Amy Harrison volleyed high.

Bozanic made a good run down the left and her cross almost found Adriana Jones. For Sydney, Kerr was nearly on the end of a long ball into the box.

As the first half come to a close, Bolger was fouled outside the box and Renee Rollason’s free kick curled inside the left post. Sydney went into the break with a one-nil lead.

Media topic of conversation Ellyse Perry replaced Alesha Clifford at half time.

The second half started with Dobson calling a diving save from Dumont, Harrison hitting a high shot at Campbell and Rollason being pulled down in the Newcastle penalty area — but referee Rebecca Durcau waved play on.

Kete crossed to Campbell and a good ball from Kete put Taylor into the box but Taylor, under pressure, could get only a toe to the ball.

Wonderful play by Dobson on the left set up a Newcastle shot, blocked by Rollason.

Khamis played Kete into the right of the Newcastle penalty area; Kete hit target but she was offside.

Jones got on the end of a cross from the right but tapped it harmlessly wide. Then Hannah Beard hit a ripper long shot onto the underside of the crossbar and back into play.

Sydney, meanwhile, continued with unforced errors, wasted crosses and getting in each other’s way.

Campbell came out bravely to prevent Taylor making the most of a through ball.

In the 63rd minute Taylor was twice blocked but won a corner. Kerr hit a soft shot to Campbell.

In the 66th minute Khamis set up Bolger for a cracker onto the underside of the Newcastle crossbar. Three minutes later a Rollason free kick from the top right corner of the Newcastle box seemed to be bouncing harmlessly beyond the left post until Kerr arrived from nowhere to drive the ball home. Sydney were winning two-nil.

Campbell came out to save at the feet of Kerr, Dobson hit the crossbar and Sydney nervously cleared at the other end.

Trudy Camilleri, on for Khamis, twice passed the ball out.

In the 79th minute Lauren Brown saved on the line from a Kerr volley, another Sydney shot was blocked and the ball was scrambled away for a corner.

In the 80th minute, for the second time Campbell came off her line and fell; this time she missed a Perry cross and Taylor was left with a simple header to make it three-nil.

A Rollason cross just dropped over the crossbar onto the roof of the net, and Camilleri, with a one-two, struck a shot that was deflected onto the left post.

But in the 89th minute that post yielded to Taylor, whose shot trickled over the line after smart work by Sydney in from the left.

But what was going on, Sydney? Even the usually impeccable Polias was getting caught on the ball. And how many attempts does it take before you realise you can’t kick over the heads of the opposition full backs?

Of course there were individual attacking flourishes. But the backs were most consistent. Plaudits to Elizabeth Ralston and Rollason and their backline colleagues for keeping Newcastle well away from goal until occasions in the second half when wide players — for instance Dobson — got in behind.

Match stats

Sydney FC:
1. Casey Dumont (gk), 2. Teresa Polias, 4. Alesha Clifford (16. Ellyse Perry 46’), 5. Liz Ralston, 7. Nicola Bolger, 8. Amy Harrison (8. Chloe Logarzo 82’), 10. Renee Rollason, 14. Jodie Taylor, 18. Emma Kete, 19. Leena Khamis (13. Trudy Camilleri 70’), 20. Sam Kerr
Subs not used: Sham Khamis (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets:
1. Eliza Campbell (gk), 3. Stacey Day, 4. Siahn Bozanic (14. Sophie Nenadovic 73’), 6. Ashley Spina, 7. Gema Simon, 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Rhali Dobson, 12. Hannah Beard, 13. Jasmin Courtenay (17. Lauren Brown 73’), 16. Cassidy Davis (15. Elizabeth Copus-Brown 80’), 19. Adriana Jones
Subs not used: 20. Claire Coelho (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil

Ratings:

Referee: Rebecca Durcau (8/10)
Sarah Ho, Lee Corey, Katie Patterson

BOTN player points:

3. Renee Rollason (Sydney FC)
2. Sam Kerr (Sydney FC)
1. Eliza Campbell (Newcastle Jets FC)

Pitch: 6/10

Game: 6/10

By Stephen Webb

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