Lions FC 5 (Harch 12′, 35′; Riding 45+1′; Hogg 67′; Hecher 77′)
Western Pride 0
A dominant display from the Lionesses saw them comfortably overcome local rivals Western Pride on Saturday evening at Lions Stadium.
Two goals for Lana Harch set Lions on their way in the first half with Tegan Riding capitalising on an error from Pride keeper Holly Van Der Zee in first half added time, to see the hosts take a 3-0 lead into the break before Jessica Hogg and Mariel Hecher rounded out the scoring in the second term.
Harch’s opener arrived just before the quarter hour mark when Tanesha Stanley played a through ball for Riding to race onto and cross deep into the box where Harch was lurking unmarked to drive the ball low past Van Der Zee.
A number of chances came and went for Lions with 16 year old Van Der Zee in superb form to deny Horsey, Riding and Hecher and even when fumbling a ball out to Kate Morton, the post came to her rescue with the Lions midfielder’s effort cannoning off the upright from 10 yards out.
Van Der Zee was eventually beaten after the half hour mark though, with a composed finish by Harch from the middle of the box when Morton did well to win the ball and lay it into Harch who measured and guided her shot into the bottom corner despite the Pride stopper getting a hand to the ball.
The visitors then gifted Lions their third following a free kick from Stanley’s offside run. Van Der Zee miscuing the ball to Riding who, from some 30 yards out, lobbed the ball back over the retreating Pride keeper into an empty net.
The second half saw Lions continue with their dominant form with first Stanley forcing Van Der Zee into another tip over the bar and then Riding’s cross come shot bouncing twice onto the crossbar and out.
Jessica Hogg replaced returning defender Georgia Chapman on the hour mark and took just seven minutes to find the back of the net with the deftest of touches following Hecher’s ball into the box from the right with Hogg’s first time effort trickling just past Van Der Zee’s outstretched hand.
The Pride keeper did well soon after to tip a long range Tegan Riding effort on to the post but a minute later she was left completely bamboozled when Hecher did well to turn on the edge of the box and flash a shot past the flat footed Van Der Zee to round out the scoring.
If not for Van Der Zee, the scoreline could well have been into double figures and the visitors worked tirelessly in their own half of the field, but lacking any major threat on the Lions goal with Ellen Hepburn a spectator for the majority of the game.
The win sees Lions retain their top two spot and capitalising on The Gap’s defeat to Moreton Bay Utd in Friday evening.
The Lionesses next outing sees them clash with leaders Souths United on the artificial surface at Waverley Park following a weekend off next weekend for catch-up games.
“Being a clean sheet is always a positive especially with a difficult game coming up at Souths United. We controlled the game in midfield which was the main objectives tonight and it allowed us to build in the attacking third, hence why we had so many chances on goal.”
“We were unfortunate to not have a greater scoreline in our favour but full credit to the Pride keeper who was exceptional and especially given her being just 16, she was exceptional. She was the difference between us and a far greater scoreline. All credit to Western Pride who I felt defended well overall.”
Hepburn (gk), Franke, Morton, Horsey, Riley, Hecher, Riding, Stanley, Harch, Kenman, Hogg, Chapman.
Subs: Dale (rgk), Schiavo, Disavia, Hogg, Stephens.
Van Der Zee (gk), Barnes, Amadio, Weatherby, Adnum, Lambi, Drieberg, Beaumont, Merrick, Ibell, Hartwig.
Subs: Muscat, McLennan, Hornsveld, Crawford, Commens.