THE NAMBUCCA Strikers Women's side hosted the Urunga Raiders on Saturday in the North Coast Football 2nd division competition. This match was part of a busy day of football at Coronation Park, with many junior teams playing before a triple-header of senior matches in the afternoon.
The season has seen many spirited performances by these two clubs, but, nevertheless, both sides were chasing their first win of the season. As expected, the tension was high leading into kick-off.
As always, Nambucca were blessed with a full squad of keen players. The women have improved significantly throughout the year and many players are hitting their strides, in key positions. Amie Redman and Sophie Freeman dominated possession in the centre of the park. Jess White and Charlotte Williams provided great attacking options on the wings, while Zara Pastega and Samantha Walsh ran tirelessly up front.
Midway through the first half, Amie Redman delivered a perfectly weighted through ball for Charlotte Williams, who ran through the defensive line and drove the ball into the back of the net with her powerful right boot. Ashleigh Greiner came onto the field and made an immediate impact. Her shot from the edge of the area took the keeper by surprise and looked like a certain goal off the boot, but somehow hit one of the uprights and deflected across the goal line. Zara Pastega also found the woodwork in the first half.
Urunga looked threatening towards the end of the first half, but were kept at bay by a well organised Strikers defensive line. The expert keeping of Carly Smith provided plenty of confidence for Nadine Chapman and Tammy Thorn to control defence throughout the match.
The deficit in substitutes began to take its toll in the second half, with a couple of Urunga players succumbing to injury. The Strikers maintained a high intensity and Zara Pastega scored a well deserved goal through persistence and skill.
With their first win looming, Nambucca found an extra gear and continued to pepper Urunga's goal. Urunga kept fighting for each other and managed to stem the flow of goals and keep the final score at 2-0.
Nambucca were ecstatic with their win and would like to thank the crowd for showing up in numbers to support the club. With three rounds left in the regular season, the women's team is looking forward to the opportunity to continue their impressive form and finish the season on a high.
Meanwhile, the men’s 2nds played a depleted Coffs United team. United played hard and fair despite their numerical disadvantage and can be commended for their spirit.
The Strikers dominated the match and it became somewhat of a training drill. The midfield of Mark Williams and Carlos Justo dictated play. Mark finishing with a hat-trick and Carlos one. John Fyfe bagged a brace while Clay Urquhart rounded out a 7-1 win that propels the Strikers back to the top of the ladder.
They now squeeze five games into two weeks including three against fellow title hopes Bellingen and Corindi.