Gold Coast Utd 1 (Corbett 82′)
Lions FC 4 (Gunston 21′, 90+1′; OG (Weston) 52′; Connors 90′)
Lions ladies continued their unbeaten run following a scare in midweek at Easts which saw them grab a point in injury time, with a comfortable 4-1 success over third placed side Gold Coast United at Lions Stadium on Saturday night.
The fixture, reversed from United’s venue with consideration for making it a Gold Coast United double header at Lions, saw the Lionesses walk out to a guard of honour from the Lions FC Men’s NPL side, in their away kit.
Rob Askew’s side was a little altered in that he had no regular defenders in the line up with Cannon Clough, Holly McQueen and Dani Ward all out. Instead rejigging Melbourne City bound Meisha Westland, Georgia Rink and Teagan Thompson into the back line. Youngsters Zara Kruger and Dominique Arendse made starts also whilst top scorer Shea Connors started on the bench.
In a fairly even opening, it took the hosts until midway through the first half to open the scoring.
Amy Gunston finding Megan Price in space who’s shot from outside the box beat Cassandra Zaffina in the Gold Coast goal but not the bar. The ball rebounding nicely for Gunston to follow up and guide it past a stranded Zaffina.
Gold Coast went close levelling late in the half. The Lions defence caught off guard with a ball in behind them that had Isabella Habuda in on goal. Her effort was well saved by Coco Majstorovic who then picked herself up quickly to block the follow up effort.
Lions extended their lead shortly into the second half. Defender Eloise Weston, under pressure from Tegan Riding, poking her back pass to an advancing Zaffina beyond the United keeper and into her own goal.
Gunston went close on the hour mark when neatly played in by Mariel Hecher and she looked set to score when Zaffina slipped but the United stopper recovered superbly to deny her.
Gold Coast did pull one back on 82 minutes to make the Lions faithful sweat a little. Majstorovic advancing from her box to play a ball to Westland but it lacked the correct weight and Zoe Corbett took full advantage of the error to pick up the loose ball and play into an empty net.
As United went in search of an equaliser it would be Lions that would put the contest to bed once for all right at the death with two quick fire goals.
On 90 minutes, Hecher evaded two opponents before finding Connors with a superb through ball. The NPLW golden boot making no mistake from 20 yards out, curling the ball around Zaffina who’d advanced to narrow the angle.
A minute later and it was 4-1. Thompson picking up a loose pass and advancing towards the middle of the park before slipping the ball through for Gunston who lifted the ball brilliantly over Zaffina from just outside the box.
The win leaving the Lionesses with just one further fixture remaining, against second placed Capalaba, to go through the season undefeated. That game coming next Saturday at Lions Stadium where the Lionesses will also be presented with the NPLW Championship trophy.
Majstorovic (gk), Hecher, Thompson, Kruger, Riding, O’Keeffe, Gunston, Price, Westland, Rink, Arendse.
Subs: Shuttleworth (rgk), Teakle, Cooley, Connors, Docherty, Skeers.
Gold Coast United:
Zaffina (gk), Weston, Hayashi, Gibson, Norrie, Kendis, Rasschaert, Corbett, Habuda, Langworthy, Danckert.
Subs: Taylor, Sessarago, Giggins, Adamson, White.
Referee: Misuk Park