Northern Redbacks were crowned 2013 Premier Division Night Series champions at Coker Park last night in what manager Neil Bennett described as a good advert for women’s football in Western Australia.
Report by Kelechi Osunwa
The Redbacks dominated a very spirited Queens Park side who left nothing in the tank but failed to produce any goals in a first half where both defences made important tackles.
“It was very close the first half,” Bennett said.
“We had to work really, really hard - Queens Park defended really well and made us work for every single ball.
“We realised that was always going to be the case and we instructed the girls to keep the ball moving and to make them work as hard as we possibly could.”
Despite the growing influence of Leigh Kelly and Sadie Murphy, the Redbacks couldn’t find a way past the immense pairing of Brittany Woodfin and Monique Gordon in defence for Queens Park.
After Bennett spoke to his team at half time about being more composed and patient with ball, the Redbacks pressure finally paid off.
From a half-cleared corner, the ball fell to the feet of Carla Bennett.
The Tracey Wheeler Medal winner volleyed past a crowd of bodies into the bottom corner to give the Redbacks the lead.
Queens Park coach Steve Woodfin felt the pressure from the Redbacks took its toll on his side that had been competitive for the entire game.
“We conceded one too many corners,” Woodfin said.
“We’ve got a few things to learn but we’ll get there.
“I’m very happy with the way we’ve gone and we’re still improving, that’s what I want.
“I thought we did (match them), but we lacked that little bit of composure in the middle of the field, but other than that I think we’ll get there.”
The Redbacks victory was finally sealed when Amy Knight broke away from the Queens Park defence, before unleashing a shot from outside the box that any player would have been proud of.
At the end of the game Neil Bennett was full of praise both sides.
“They’re a quality side Queens Park so it’s a great win over a very good team, but our back four today was magnificent.
“Our midfield worked their socks off and it was just a great team performance all round.”
Queens Park 0
Northern Redbacks 2 (Carla Bennett 62’, Amy Knight 80’)
Sunday 7th April 2013
Venue – Coker Park
Kick off – 7:30pm
Attendance – 500 (Approx)
Referee – J. Wood
Assistant Referees – J. Washington – Wing, G. Laval
Northern Redbacks: 1. Kathleen Waycott, 5. Amy KNIGHTS, 7. Lauren RILEY, 8. Leigh KELLY, 12. Sadie MURPHY, 3. Aleisha DYER, 9. Jackie NELLANY, 14. Larissa WALSH, 10. Rebecca DAVIES, 6. Carla BENNETT, 13. Charlotte FARROLL, 11. Emily DUNN, 16. Rita MANKOWSKA, 4. Nicola, WILLIAMS, 2. Ashlee BAGER, 15. Clare DUNN
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Queens Park: 1. Maya DIEDERICHSEN, 3. Temira ROWATT, 2. Helene BORDAS, 5. Michelle KENT, 6. Monique GORDON, 7. Brittany WOODFIN, 8. Stacy LEARMONT, 10. Nikki CAMPBELL, 17. Lesley ZMURCHUK, 14. Jess BYRNE, 15. Jessica DARMAGO, 11. Ashley KANE, 16. Emily DEAN, 20. Leanne WEBB, 21. Penelope CLAYON, 12. Jessica BACKSHALL
Yellow Cards: Byrne 54’
Red Cards: Nil