Nambucca Strikers Women go top of the league

Nambucca defender Taylor Whalley. Photo: courtesy of Amansa Gill Williams.

A LARGE crowd gathered at Coronation Park to cheer on the Nambucca Strikers women as they secured a 2-1 victory over Sawtell last Saturday.

This crucial win extended their lead at the top of Women’s Division Two to five points over second-placed Orara, who have played one game less.

Coach Rhys Jones shared his match insights from the coach’s dugout, highlighting the dynamics of the game.

“The game was a tale of two halves with Nambucca taking an early lead through a great individual effort by Jayde Melville, who was making her first appearance since returning to the Strikers,” he said.

Nambucca built on that early goal by employing an attractive attacking style of play, featuring short passing and pace upfront.

This approach created opportunities, with Wulaaren Walker coming close on two occasions.

The second goal was the result of a slick passing movement off the ball, which allowed Annika Presser King to find space in the penalty box.

A quick turn led to an outstretched Sawtell leg bringing her down, leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty.

Hope Leslie calmly converted it with minimum fuss.

Despite dominating the first half, the Strikers faced a different challenge in the final 45 minutes, requiring resolute defending.

Coach Jones acknowledged this shift, stating, “Sawtell Coach Simon Portus made some tactical changes which soon paid off.

“Nambucca began to struggle against the extra support Sawtell striker Anna Champion was receiving.

“Persistent pressure and ball movement allowed Champion to exploit spaces and place a well-guided shot into the Strikers’ net, resulting in a 2-1 scoreline that the Strikers managed to hold until the very end.”

Sawtell coach Simon Portus expressed his satisfaction with his team’s performance against the league leaders, saying, “Great effort today from our girls against the team at the top of the ladder.

“We have something to build on for the rest of the season.”

For Rhys Jones, the match served as a fitting end to Female Football Week, during which he had spent the entire day helping organise events at the club.

Reflecting on the game, he commented, “It was a great game of football and a fine conclusion to Female Football Week.

“Nambucca retains their position at the top with 15 points, but maintaining that position will be tough in such a competitive league this season.

“Next week, the Strikers will travel to Coffs to face the Coffs Tigers.”


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