The Football was hot, hot, hot

By Chris Dunkerley

Westfield Women’s National Football League – Round 6
3pm, Sunday 22 December 2013 – Penrith (Centrebet) Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3
(Linda O’Neill 44′, Catherine Cannuli 71’, 76′)
Newcastle Jets FC 0

Western Sydney Wanderers triumphed by 3 goals over the visiting Jets on a baking hot (40C) Campbelltown Stadium surface on Sunday afternoon.

The margin flattered the home side as the youthful Newcastle side had the ball in the net, a penalty call, and a couple of reasonable free kicks calls at the edge of the area, all waved away. They were always threatening their more experienced opponents, especially for most of the second half.

Indeed it was Newcastle that had the first promising move, when Stacey Day sent a long ball through on the left in the 2nd minute. From a resultant throw Rahli Dobson strode free and hit a speculator over the bar.

Considering the heat, even with 2 drink breaks a half, the two teams attempted to play flowing football, albeit the Jets playing long on the counter with close attention to their opponents in midfield.

In the 4th minute Wanderers Linda O’Neill sent in a cross from the left that was dangerous but the Jets defence was alert.
Nine minutes in impressive custodian Eliza Campbell was out fast to smother a chance, and three minutes later she scrambled to grab a glancing header from US import Camille Levin.

The Jets netted through Gema Simon in the 19th minute, after a breakaway, but the goal was disallowed as another attacker and a defender collided with the ‘keeper Dimi Poulos.

At the other end Hannah Brewer got back to block an attempt by former team-mate Emily van Egmond.

In the 23rd minute Hannah Beard, who had been copping a battering, but was away on a run was clearly brought down just outside the area, however referee Mitchelson was unmoved.

As the lift of the 2nd water break wore off, the game slowed noticeably and quite understandably.

In the 35th minute however Linda O’Neill showed her threat, with a shot that grazed the post and ruffeled the side-netting, though Campbell may have had it covered anyway.

Campbell came out to a flighted ball in the 39th minute and just misjudged. She somehow lept to her feet fast and dived to tip away the ball from the path of a Wanderers attacker.

Alas for the visitors Linda O’Neill was on the end of a long clearance from Heather Garriock after a Jets raid broke down. She beat Day and Brewer to the ball and side-stepping Campbell’s charge, she steered to ball into the net from the left. 1-0

After the break it was the home team that seemed to not cope with the conditions, and in the 50th minute Beard was again flattened but play waived on. The Jets were launching raid after raid, using the pace of Dobson to good effect.

An experienced side like the Wanderers will not take that lying down, so it was no surprise when in the 54th minute Campbell had to come to the edge of her area to take the ball off the feet of O’Neill, and then to see Garriock hit a free-kick just over the cross-bar.

In the 68th minute 15 year old debutante substitute Clare Wheeler was played through by a ball from Tara Andrews, but Poulos was able to smother the ball.

In the 65th minute Levin bundled over Dobson inside the area as she made for goal, but again the call by the Jets was waved away.

With so much pressure by the Newcastle side to pull one back, something had to give. It was their own defence, who left Campbell exposed. O’Neill rounded her and slipped the ball to an onrushing Catherin Cannuli who tapped it in at 71 minutes. 2-0

Cassidy Davis had a chance in the 76th minute but Poulos had it covered at her left post.

Two minutes later Wanderers sub Helen Petinos sent a cross from the left and Cannuli was on the end to net. 3-0

Jets lively substitute Adriana Jones brought a save out of Poulos after connecting with a cross from the right in the 85th minute.

The game ended with all – players, officials, attendants, and fans alike heading for the shade and a cool drink. A good win for the Wanderers in their quest to rise up the table, and although the Newcastle side went home pointless they were always not only competitive but dangerous up front.

Match details
Crowd: tba

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: Dimi POULOS (gk), Caitlin COOPER, Shawna GORDON, Camille LEVIN, Emily VAN EGMOND, Heather GARRIOCK (Helen PETINOS +58’), Jenna KINGSLEY (Jessica SEAMAN +85’), Catherine CANNULI, Teigen ALLEN, Alanna KENNEDY, Linda O’NEILL (Michelle CARNEY +81’)
Substitutes not used: Mackenzie ARNOLD (rgk)

Yellow Cards: Emily Van Egmond 60’

Coach: Stephen Roche

Newcastle Jets FC: Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), Hannah BREWER, Stacey DAY (Siahn BOZANIC +46’), Ashley SPINA, Gema SIMON, Tara ANDREWS, Rhali DOBSON, Hannah BEARD, Jasmin COURTENEY (Clare WHEELER +58’), Cassidy DAVIS (Adriana JONES +78’), Lauren BROWN
Substitutes not used: Claire COELHO (rgk)

Yellow Cards: Hannah Beard 90’

Coach: Peter McGuiness

Ratings and points
Referee: Rachel Mitchelson 5/10; Assistants: Ho, Carey; 4th: Jones

Ground: 9/10
Game: 7/10

Players to note:

Wanderers: Linda O’Neill, Caitlin Cooper, Jenna Kingsley, Catherine Cannuli; Newcastle: Eliza Campbell, Hannah Brewer, Rahli Dobson, Hanna Beard (+ cameos from youngsters Wheeler and Jones).

By Chris Dunkerley