Unbeaten run ends for Nambucca Strikers

Nambucca Strikers forward Wulaaren Walker.

THE Nambucca Strikers Womens side’s impressive unbeaten streak came to a halt last Saturday, suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat against the Orara Valley Dingoes.

Coach Rhys Jones faced the challenge of reshuffling the team due to the unavailability of half of the first-team players ahead of their trip to Upper Orara.

Despite the setback, Coach Jones approached the match with a strategic mindset, aiming to adapt the team’s composition to overcome the obstacles posed by the limited player availability.

“Nambucca travelled to Orara Valley for the top of the table clash last Saturday and with five players out of the starting line up, there was no illusion how hard the game would be,” he said.

“Orara play a hard running and physical game and the first half turned out to be a struggle for the Strikers girls.

“Ball movement in midfield from the Dingoes put constant pressure on the Strikers’ defence.

“A freak of a goal and a lot of good luck led to Orara opening the score midway through the first half.”

An inspired halftime team talk and tactical changes changed the fortunes of the Strikers in the second half.

“Increased work rate, running into space and extra commitment on the ball soon paid off when Jayde Melville slotted away a well placed free kick from 35 metres to make the score 1-1.

“Injuries again hit the team when two players had to leave the field, which required further shuffling of players and positions on the run.

“However, the team stuck to their task and competed right up to the end, when a highly controversial goal was scored in the final minute of the game to give the Dingoes a 2-1 victory.”

Coach Jones reflected on individual performances and the tactical changes required.

“Nambucca were rattled in the first half, however changing some positions proved the right choice.

“The team played the second half with vigour and courage.

“Having five players out of the team really hurt us, but to give Orara their credit they stuck to their guns and played well, led by Helen Moseley.

“Lily Woodward battled and played hard all game and the backs, led by Hope Leslie, were always in the game.

“Special mention to Ashleigh White who stepped up and played the second half in goal for the sake of the team,” Jones said.

Nambucca play Corindi on Saturday, and with an ever growing injury list will need to lift to keep top position on the table.

Despite their recent defeat, the Nambucca Strikers maintain their position at the top of the table, with 18 points.

They currently hold a two-point lead over Woolgoolga, who have a game in hand.


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