The NSFA Women’s Select suffered their first defeat since 2019 in their annual fixture against Manly Warringah Football Association, going down 4-1 at Cromer Park on Thursday night.
MWFA started on the front foot with some heavy pressure, and forced a spectacular diving save from Julia O’Mara (Lindfield) in the opening minutes. Unfortunately the home side would open the scoring from the ensuing corner, playing short to Renae Jolly (Pittwater) and then finding the head of Jess Sekulich (Beacon Hill) at the far post.
Molly Woods (Lindfield, pictured below) provided the first chance on goal for the NSFA Select with a shot from distance that was gathered by the goalkeeper, while striker Imogen Bedwell (Lindfield) offered a threat in behind the defensive line.
In the 30th minute a strong high press yielded a turnover in the final third, but Sarah Gordon (Northbridge) was unable to get her shot on target.
However, MWFA were still dangerous going forward, releasing Georgia Thomson (Manly Allambie) in behind the defensive line with a smart through-pass. O’Mara was up to the challenge though, advancing quickly off her line to smother the shot.
Eilidh Mackay’s side would carve out a chance to equalise just before the break through Saoirse Cobbe (Turramurra United). The striker dropped into space to receive the ball from midfield before spraying a pass out to the right flank before timing her run into the box to make an attempt at the cross into the area, but was just unable to make a strong header goalwards.
Unfortunately it was the home side who would start brighter in the second half, with Manly Vale duo Georgia Goulding and Sam Spackman sending the scoreline out to 4-0 before the hour mark. Goulding scored first with a well-placed shot from outside the box before Spackman twice beat the offside trap to run through and score past Jacinta Martin (Turramurra United).
The NSFA Select regained their fluency and began to test the opposition defence through Woods and Annabelle Meadley (West Pymble). With ten minutes to go Sophie De Montemas (Turramurra United, pictured above) pulled one goal back with a well-hit free-kick from the right flank to open the chance of a comeback.
Woods was picked out twice in the box from crosses but unable to find the target under heavy opposition detention, while MWFA goalkeeper Lauren Scaramuzza (Manly Vale) made multiple saves from a succession of late corners to preserve her team’s three-goal lead until full-time.
Article photos thanks to Ron Paton.
NSFA Women’s Select Squad
Due to a late injury Jacinta Martin replaced Nicole Antoniou in the matchday squad.