League Leaders Survive Scare
Lions FC 3 (Stanley 3′; Hecher 28′; Disavia 81′)
Brisbane Roar NTC 1 (Palmer 64′)
It wasn’t a vintage performance from the Lionesses on Saturday evening but first half goals from Tanesha Stanley and Mariel Hecher proved the difference in a 3-1 success over Brisbane Roar’s NTC girls.
It appeared to be business as usual when Stanley netted after just three minutes when played into the box and rounding Roar’s W-League reserve keeper Kirsten Veeren to slip the ball home into an empty net.
Roar though, almost levelled minutes later when Lions turned the ball over cheaply and the lively Indiah-Paige Riley fired just wide.
Lions though, extended their lead just before the half hour mark when Stanley made a powerful run into the box. Her eventual shot was parried away by Veeren but Hecher was well placed to follow up on the rebound and prod the ball in from close range.
Five minutes later Lions keeper Ellen Hepburn was called into action to tip over Imogen Noon’s effort following a neat ball in from Riley.
Chances though were otherwise few in a game that lacked real punch. Roar content to play their customary out from the back style which slowed the game down and disrupted the home side’s more attacking style.
The second half saw fewer opportunities but Roar, for long periods looked the more threatening side and midway through the half they pulled a goal back.
Riley played in down the right and heading for goal where Hepburn denied her but the ball fell nicely for Hollie Palmer and with Hepburn unable to scramble back to goal, Palmer had an empty net to aim at which she duly did.
Roar continued to press for an equaliser and with just over ten minutes remaining, Hepburn was called upon again to keep her side ahead when saving well from Jorja Thomson’s shot.
With time running out and Roar committing forward, Lions were able to capitalise and coach Joe Disavia’s nerves were allowed to settle when substitute Mikaela Disavia struck from close range following a move that saw Tegan Riding press forward and slide the ball back to Kate Morton on the edge of the box who’s shot could only be blocked by Veeren. Disavia best placed to follow up on the rebound and fire home to put the game out of reach of the visitors and seal all three points and keep the side’s 100% record going.
One disappointment from the night was Hecher being withdrawn late on with a suspected calf injury that hopefully doesn’t sideline her for next weekend’s top of the table clash away to The Gap, which could prove pivotal in the tile race.
“I’m off to see my cardiologist after that one.”
Hepburn (gk), Franke, Morton, Horsey, Riley, Hecher, Riding, Stanley, Harch, Kenman, Hogg.
Subs: Dale (rgk), Schiavo, Maggio, Disavia.
Brisbane Roar NTC:
Veeren (gk), Rankin, Westland, Freier, McQueen, Palmer, Heatley, Margraf, Riley, Farmer, Noon.
Subs: Davidson, Carn, Thomson.