A five minute burst in the opening half of tonight’s clash at Campbelltown Stadium has given Sydney FC first bragging rights over rivals, the Central Coast Mariners in the Westfield W-League.
A five minute burst in the opening half of tonight-s clash at Campbelltown Stadium has given Sydney FC first bragging rights over rivals, the Central Coast Mariners in the Westfield W-League.
The heated contest on the pitch contrasted with the unseasonably icy weather, but solid set-piece finishes from Leena Khamis and stand-in captain, Lisa Gilbert were enough to seal the Sky Blues- 2-nil win.
Despite the Mariners looking the more dangerous of the two teams in the first half-hour, Khamis capitalised on a well-placed Kylie Ledbrook corner to give Sydney the lead after 33 minutes.
Gilbert-s effort was cleared off the line by Trudy Camilleri, but fell conveniently to the feet of the competition-s leading scorer who calmly added another to her tally.
Sydney-s skipper didn-t have to wait long to add her name to the scoreboard though, putting a soaring header past Central Coast custodian, Lisa Hartley 5 minutes later to claim her first goal of the season.
The Mariners women lifted their attacking intensity in an effort to get back in the game but Sydney-s defence stayed strong.
Their last attempt in the first half came from an intelligent read by Kyah Simon who followed through on an FC mistake but was denied by the fingertips of keeper, Nikola Dieter.
The second half matched the intensity of the first with the Mariners having early chances to narrow the deficit and Sydney itching to extend its lead.
The Sky Blues welcomed back injured captain Heather Garriock for the last ten minutes of the match, but it was fellow substitute Maggie Elhusseini who almost created Sydney-s third.
Her ball into the box appeared to hit the arm of a Mariners defender but the appeal for penalty was denied in the dying minutes of the game.
The instigator of both Sydney-s goals, Ledbrook said she was impressed with her side-s efforts in testing conditions.
“Once we get on the park it-s all about football and we did well to finish our chances this week.”
FC coach Alen Stajcic was happy with the way Sydney stayed focused throughout the tough local derby encounter.
“I think the girls played really well in a difficult game with difficult conditions which can tend to make things a little scrappy at times,” he said. “Both teams played well but it was those crucial bits there that we showed a little bit more experience.”
Like Sydney-s Hyundai A-League side, the Westfield W-League women will continue their campaign against the Queensland Roar next week, with the away clash to be played at Ballymore Oval next Saturday.
Sydney FC 2 (Khamis 33′, Gilbert 38′ )
Central Coast Mariners 0
Sydney FC: 2. Samantha SPACKMAN (15. Jessica SEAMAN 58-) 3. Danielle BROGAN, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 5. Lisa GILBERT (c), 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 16. Linda O-NEILL (7. Heather GARRIOCK 82-) 17. Danielle SMALL 19. Leena KHAMIS (14. Maggie ELHUSSEINI 85-), 20. Nikola DIETER (gk), 21. Jordan MARSH.
Substitute not used: 1. Rachel COOPER (gk).
Yellow Cards: Marsh 24-, Brogan 39-, Spackman 53-.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Khamis 33′, Gilbert 38′.
Central Coast Mariners: 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Lyndsay GLOHE (15. Elizabeth O-REILLY 78-), 4. Rachael DOYLE, 5. Jodie BAIN, 6. Karina ROWETH (9. Ellyse PERRY 82-), 7. Teresa POLIAS, 8. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kyah SIMON, 12. Gill FOSTER (11. Stephanie HAIM 46-) 13. Trudy CAMILLERI 20. Lisa HARTLEY (gk).
Substitute not used: 1. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk).
Yellow Cards: Roweth 35-, Cooper 67-.
Red Cards: nil.
Referee: Prue Donohoe.
Crowd: 652 at Campbelltown Stadium.