Northbridge FC have blown the Women’s All-Age Division 1 title race wide open after securing an emphatic 4-0 win over ladder leaders North Sydney United at Cammeray on Sunday afternoon.
The win sees Northbridge draw themselves within three points of top spot with a game in hand, potentially setting up a final round title showdown with North Sydney on August 18th.
It was a cagey start to the match as both sides looked to secure an early advantage through set pieces. Jade Morley fired one just over the bar for Northbridge from the edge of the box, while only some determined defending saw Jamie Ware denied from a North Sydney United corner.
Midfield turnovers from Northbridge were creating chances for the home side, but Sonia Faragher and Bridget Walker could not find a way past goalkeeper Dorothy Poon.
The visitors were looking dangerous down the flanks, with Rochelle Sharpe and Brittany Austin supplying plenty of crosses into the box, but some desperate challenges from the North Sydney defence kept the scores level.
Ash Hudson came off the bench for North Sydney and added extra energy to the frontline, but it was Northbridge who broke the deadlock just minutes before half time. Austin latched onto a well-weighted pass through the defence, evaded the challenge of Kelsey Worth and slotted the ball past Holly Walker.
North Sydney looked determined to restore parity in the opening stages of the second half, but Northbridge struck again in the 54th minute. Bartos showed great strength to roll past her marker before firing a shot over the onrushing Walker to double her side’s lead.
Just minutes later the visitors had their third, as Austin broke down the right flank and spotted Walker well of her goal line. The winger produced a pinpoint lob over the keeper to score her second of the match.
An eleven-minute scoring spree was finished off by Bartos’ second of the match, pouncing on a loose ball in the box and putting away the second attempt after a goal-line clearance.
Despite having a four-goal mountain to climb, North Sydney continued to press forward and should have pulled one back in the 73rd minute. Jamie Ware played through Hayley Burn with a well-weighted pass, but the ensuing shot flew straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.
Chances of a miracle fightback gradually slipped away as Northbridge showed good composure to close out the match, handing North Sydney just their second defeat of the season.
North Sydney United – 0
Northbridge FC – 4 (Austin 41’, 61’, Bartos 54’, 65’)
North Sydney United: Holly Walker; Toni Evitts, Kelsey Worth, Katherine Arconati; Elizabeth Farsi, Kellie Brown; Julia Moriarty, Jamie Ware, Hayley Burn; Sonia Faragher, Bridget Walker.
Northbridge FC: Dorothy Poon; Jade Morley, Holly Burgmann, Karta Kielich, Lucie Dupond; Samantha Bannister, Caitlan Skillicorn; Brittany Austin, Linda Carroll, Rochelle Sharpe; Ruth Bartos.