Lions FC 6 (Harch 15′ pen, 77′; Morton 28′; Stanley 34′; Di Savia 65′; Horsey 86′)
Mudgeeraba 1 (Harrison 6′)
Three goals either side of the break gave a changed-up Lions side a comfortable win that saw a starting debut handed to Under 17s Emily Ibell and also her team mate Abigail Evetts who came on as a second half substitute.
The scoreline perhaps flattered the hosts, especially in the first half and falling behind to a calamitous opener when a ball played high into the box was misjudged by Lions keeper Ellen Hepburn. The ball looping over her as she tumbled under it with Mudgeeraba striker Krystell Harrison on hand to tap the ball over the goal line.
The hosts lacked their usual flair and dominance and only got back into the contest on the quarter hour when Mudgeeraba’s Megan Rae, under no pressure, handled the ball in the box to gift Lions a spot kick. Lana Harch stepping up to convert the penalty for her first of the evening.
Lions were thwarted by Mudgeeraba keeper Melissa Horwood soon after, twice denying Tanesha Stanley from taking the lead for the hosts. First was a strike Horwood tipped over the bar and then another effort which the Mudgeeraba stopper superbly tipped into the bar before gathering the rebound.
Horwood was unable to prevent the hosts from eventually taking the lead when Kate Morton won the ball in the box and struck a low drive across Horwood into the bottom far corner despite the Mudgeeraba keeper getting a hand to the ball.
A couple more chances came and went for the hosts before the good work Horwood had done in keeping Lions at bay was undone when her poorly played ball out from her area, gifted the ball to Stanley who calmly finished to make it 3-1 going into the break.
Despite the scoreline, a level of complacency was apparent during the opening period but that was addressed at half time and almost immediately from the restart, Lions should have extended their lead.
A neat ball from Harch put Morton through on goal, prodding the ball past an advancing Horwood, only for the ball hit the post with Pippa Schiavo unable to get a foot to it as she followed the ball in.
It took until just past the hour mark for the hosts to put the result beyond doubt and it came from another mistake from the visitors.
A stray pass back to Horwood as the Mudgeeraba keeper advanced, wrong footed her and allowed Mikaela Di Savia to race on to the loose ball and guide it into an empty net from 6 yards out.
Substitute Amy Gunston could only find the side netting when she almost capitalised on Horwood misjudging a deep cross into the box before the goal of the game came with less than a quarter of an hour remaining.
Harch receiving the ball just outside the box and with her less favoured left foot, effortlessly gliding her shot over Horwood and into the top corner for her second of the game.
Morton went close to getting her second goal of the contest when her goal bound shot took a touch off a defender’s toe to go narrowly wide.
With the clock running down, Lions found another goal to help with their goal difference and it came from an unlikely source in centre back Rebekah Horsey. Mudgeeraba failing to clear their lines following a corner with Horsey perched on the edge of the box and powerfully striking the loose ball high into the back of the net to round out the scoring and secure another three points that keeps the pressure on The Gap at the top of the NPLW table.
Next week the Lionesses face Brisbane Roar NTC at Lions Stadium as they look to continue their race to the NPLW title.
“Not the performance we expect but the positives are we got the result and got the three points that we need. Other positives are that we had a couple of the Under 17s come in as we have a few players out through injury and they did well.”
“So there’s a few positives but the negatives are we had a lot of possession in the second half, in particular at Mudgeeraba’s end of the field and we didn’t convert which is something we need to work on if we’re going to be there in the finals.”
“The complacency was definitely there in the first half and that’s out of character because we give our opponents the respect they deserve so it was very much out of character. The good thing is it didn’t damage us further. Hopefully we can learn from that and moving forward we’ll remember and ensure we switch on from the beginning and don’t take anything for granted.”
Hepburn (gk), Chapman, Stephens, Morton, Riley, Ibell, Schiavo, Stanley, Harch, Disavia,
Subs: Dale (rgk), Gunston, Hogg, Myers, Evetts.
Horwood (gk), Prince, Rennie, Thompson, Rae, Charleson, White, Lowe, Harrison, Heggie, Lockley.
Subs: Davis, Stokes.