Lions FC 13 (Riding 7′, 35′, 58′; Morton 17′; Knight 32′, 44′; Hecher 47′, 71′, 80′; Persson 52′, 57′, 86′ pen; Stanley 84′)
SWQ Thunder 0
Lions FC ran rampant over SWQ Thunder on Saturday evening at Lions Stadium with Tegan Riding, Mariel Hecher and Sofie Persson all firing in hat tricks in a 13-0 romp that also saw the Lionesses notch up 100 goals for the season.
Riding opened the scoring in the 7th minute, picking up a pass from Whitney Knight before sliding the ball under Thunder keeper Liz Hollitt.
The lead was doubled ten minutes later when Thunder attempted to play the ball out from the back and Caitlyn Stocker dispossessed by Kate Morton who went on to round Hollitt before side footing the ball into the open goal.
The Lionesses put the game to bed shortly after the half hour mark with two goals inside three minutes.
Knight capitalising on Thunder’s inability to again play out by intercepting a pass, playing a neat one-two with Riding and firing through Hollitt’s legs.
A couple of minutes later and Riding struck her second of the night. Tanesha Stanley with room in front of her to drive towards the penalty area before squaring the ball to the Lions number ten who set herself up and drilled a low shot beyond Hollitt into the bottom corner.
Just before the half drew to a close, Lions made it 5-0. Knight getting her second following a pass from Jess Hogg. The Lions striker cutting in on her left side and firing in from just inside the box with a powerful drive.
The hosts made three changes at the break with Hecher, Persson and Meisha Westland emerging for the second term and it took just 2 minutes for Hecher to find the back of the net with virtually her first touch of the game after combining with fellow sub Persson and slotting the ball into the bottom corner beyond Hollitt’s reach.
The scoreboard clicked over to 7-0 moments later when Persson smashed the ball home from 10 yards out after Hecher had caused havoc in the Thunder penalty area. The loose ball just evading Riding before the Swede latched onto it.
Seven became eight and then nine in the space of two minutes before the hour was up.
Persson first to strike with a sublime shot from the edge of the box that whistled past Hollitt for her second of the game and Lions 100th goal of the 2019 campaign. A minute later, Riding got her hat trick with the ball breaking for her inside the box. With the Thunder defence in disarray, it became an easy tap in.
Lions made it double figures on 70 minutes following a nice move from the hosts. The ball eventually finding Hecher, who from 12 yards out, finessed the ball into the top right corner of the goal.
Hecher was next up to secure a hat trick with 10 minutes remaining. Drilling the ball low into the bottom far corner of the goal from 10 yards out.
The 12th and 13th came in quick succession as the game neared it’s conclusion.
Stanley, who had previously cut a forlorn figure despite the scoreline, having squandered a number of chances, finally found the back of the net. Kate Morton’s advance into the final third of the field saw her pick out Stanley who’s out stretched lob drifted over Hollitt.
The final goal of the night came from the penalty spot. Initially it looked as though Hecher should have been awarded a spot kick when felled but if the referee decided otherwise, he had little option seconds later with Hecher still on the floor followed by Riding who was sandwiched by two Thunder defenders just inside the box.
Persson stepping up to slot her spot kick home and become the third player to get a hat trick on the night.
Tiarna Karambasis, making a start for Lions, almost added her name to score sheet in added time but, with undoubtedly the save of the game, Hollitt denied her long range strike, diving at full stretch to tip the ball on to the bar and out for a corner.
In truth the scoreline could have been more. Stanley guilty of missing three guilt edged opportunities earlier in the game. Rebekah Horsey twice going agonisingly close and Riding also with an effort that curled just past the post in the first half as the hosts dominated the contest.
It was almost unnoticed that Noran Abaza finally made her debut in goal for Lions having sat much of the season out due to visa issues. However, the Lions keeper had nothing to do for 90 minutes with Thunder failing to register a shot on goal.
The result sees the Lionesses with one hand firmly on the NPLW Premiership trophy. Should Moreton Bay fail to beat The Gap on Sunday, the title will head to Richlands.
“Although it was an easy game for us I want the players to prepare for some big games coming up and I think they did that.”
“Its fair to say that we haven’t really played well against the teams that are lower down the table this year. Although we defeated them 8-1 last time out, there was a long period in the game we struggled. We had Western Pride away and only win 2-1. It was good though tonight to see they them have that killer instinct and that was the most pleasing thing for me.”
Abaza (gk), Heatley, Morton, Hogg, Riley, Knight, Riding, O’Neill, Stanley, Karambasis, Horsey.
Subs: Persson, Hecher, Westland.
Hollitt (gk), Styler, M. Franke, Harris, Doro, J. Franke, Rolfe, Davis, Lloyd, Stocker.
Subs: Favero, Evans Peek.