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Hecher Hat Trick Leads Lions To Victory

Lions FC 6 (Hecher 4′, 39′, 82′; Riding 7′, 27′; Harch 72′)
Logan Lightning 2 (Hein 15′; Howlett 43′)
HT 4-2

A Mariel Hecher hat trick helped the Lionesses to their 12th win of the season over Logan Lightning on Saturday evening.

Lions were quickly out of the blocks with the Brazilian playmaker racing into the box inside five minutes and slipping the ball past Keeley Richards to open the scoring.

Tegan Riding doubled Lions lead three minutes later following a defence splitting ball from Hecher to set the Lions striker on her way to making it 2-0.

Moments later Riding was again through on goal after skipping past an advancing Richards but after being forced wide she could only guide her shot onto the woodwork with an empty net beckoning.

Lightning replied on the quarter hour mark with a brilliant curling effort from the edge of the box by Gabi Hein to suggest Lightning were not there to make up the numbers.

Lions continued to control proceedings and shortly before the half hour they restored their two goal lead when leading scorer Riding was put in on goal and slid the ball beyond Richards for her second of the night.

The Lion striker should have secured her hat trick minutes later when Elizabeth Schiavo did well to win the ball on the edge of the box with the ball breaking nicely for Riding, but her hurried shot with Richards racing out drifted just wide of the post.

Hecher capitalised on 40 minutes with Lightning failing to clear their lines from a corner. Latching onto the ball on the edge of the box and drilling her shot beyond Richards with a the aid of a slight deflection.

The visitors gave themselves some hope of a comeback just before the interval when Zoe Howlett tapped in from close range following Natalia Pinkney effort that could only be parried out by Lions keeper Ellen Hepburn.

The second term saw the hosts denominate with Coach Joe Disavia switching things around. Jessica Hogg coming on for Schiavo after the break to put pressure on the Lightning defence.

Tanesha Stanley fired over from close range when she latched onto Hecher’s dangerous cross whilst a rare Lightning foray at the other end saw Pinkney force a good save from Hepburn to block her effort from just inside the box.

With 20 minutes remaining, the ever composed Lana Harch picked up the ball some 25 yards out and audaciously lobbed the ball over Richards to put any kind of Logan comeback well and truly to bed.

Harch turned provider late on to finally give Hecher her hat trick with a superbly weighted cross to the edge of the six yard box which Hecher met on the volley to leave Richards stranded.

Although not the most polished of performances, it was however a dominant one and another three points in the bag to keep the pressure on Souths United at the top of the table.

A trip to Gold Coast United awaits the Lionesses in Round 16 next week.

Joe’s Comment:
“The result does count in the end but at this time of the season we want to be fine tuning our play so that when we come across the heavyweights we don’t slip up. We let Logan in with a couple of cheap goals tonight which shouldn’t happen which was a little disappointing.”

“Generally, three points was the aim and we scored well and it could have been a few more as well. Full credit to their keeper Keeley Richards who did well as did their centre back who did a good job of holding us out. We found the woodwork a few times which seems to be the story of our season of late but there were plenty of positives but given the amount of possession we had in the second half, the girls will probably reflect that could have done a bit more on the scoreboard.”

Team line-ups:

Lions FC:
Hepburn (gk), Chapman, Morton, Horsey, Riley, Hecher, Riding, Schiavo, Stanley, Harch, Kenman.
Subs: Dale (rgk), Franke, Stephens, Hogg, Disavia.

Logan Lightning:
Richards (gk), Black, Hein, Howlett, Taylor, Pinkney, Kubicki Garcia, Krautz, Matamua, Gleeson.
Subs: Dunn, White, Giggins, Bond, Dunne.

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