North Sydney United emerged victorious from their top of the table clash with Northbridge FC at Cammeray Park on Sunday afternoon, with two first half goals laying the foundation for a 2-1 win.
Both sides had made strong starts to the Women’s All-Age Division 1 this year, winning their opening three matches to leave them in a three-way tie at the top of the table alongside Lane Cove FC.
The visiting Northbridge side took the initiative in the early minutes, with striker Linda Carroll sending a low drive just wide of the bottom corner.
North Sydney were not fazed by the early chance, and found good space down the left flank thanks to the runs of Katherine Arconati. Jamie Ware made the first attempt on goal for the home side, cutting inside onto her right foot to shoot but failing to find the target.
The frenetic early stages of the match allowed plenty of space on the break, and Northbridge found themselves in a good position thanks to a strong run from Brittany Austin. However, as the winger shaped up for a shot, a fine covering tackle from Jasmine Hitchen cleared the danger.
North Sydney would make the breakthrough after 14 minutes. Following another strong play down the left, the ball was laid back to Elizabeth Farsi just inside the box, and her sweetly struck left footed shot curled past goalkeeper Isobel Sanby and into the net.
Northbridge looked for an immediate response as Austin played a deft one-two with Carroll to get through one-on-one with Holly Walker, but the North Sydney goalkeeper produced an impressive save to keep her side in the lead.
Just after the half-hour mark the home side had their second of the match. A corner whipped in by Leonore Carr evaded the grasp of the goalkeeper, and Julia Moriarty poked the ball home through the crowded penalty area just minutes after coming onto the field.
Northbridge were unable to reduce the deficit before half-time, but emerged from the break with intent, as Holly Burgmann put Linda Carroll through on goal. Once again though, Holly Walker came off her line well to force the shot wide of the mark.
As the visitors pushed further forward in search of a goal, space opened up in defence for North Sydney to exploit. However, despite several breaks created by the likes of Sonia Faragher, Bridget Walker and Hayley Burn a third goal was not forthcoming.
A grandstand finish was created in the 75th minute as Northbridge found the back of the net. A corner swung in from the right created mayhem in the box, but Ruth Bartos was able to send the ball over the goal-line before it was cleared by a North Sydney defender.
Both sides continued to attack until the final whistle, but Northbridge were unable to find an equaliser, losing their first match in over two seasons as North Sydney moved clear at the top of the table.
North Sydney United 2 (Elizabeth Farsi 14′, Julia Moriarty 32′)
Northbridge FC 1 (Ruth Bartos 75′)