Lions FC 4 (Connors 18′, 53′; Riding 52′; Thompson 72′)
Eastern Suburbs 1 (Amos 53′)
Another double for American striker Shea Connors, her 7th in four games, helped the Lionesses to a third successive NPLW victory at Lions Stadium on Saturday evening.
Connors opener came shortly after the quarter-hour mark when Teagan Thompson’s strong run saw her cross from the left for Connors to side foot home from close range.
The Lions top scorer grabbed her second in a two minute second-half spell that saw three goals.
Tegan Riding doubled her side’s lead on 52 minutes when she capitalised on a defender’s ricochet to run through on goal with just Easts keeper Susie Stewart to beat. Despite the Assistant Referee’s flag being raised, Riding finished from 10 yards out with Referee Hamish Cannon awarding the goal having spotted the Easts defenders intervention on the way through.
A minute later and Connors made it 3-0 to the hosts with Riding turning provider, sliding a through ball on for Connors who calmly slotted the ball past Stewart.
In a bizarre spell of play, Easts pulled one back within 60 seconds. Georgina Amos smashing a superb strike high across Lions keeper Isabella Shuttleworth and into the top far corner.
The goal of the game though belonged to Thompson who’s strike from some 20 yards out flashed past Stewart after she’d latched onto a loose ball following a scramble in the box.
Connors could have had a hat trick late on but her effort was taken well by Stewart who dived to her left to deny the American the match ball.
The game was played at a solid pace throughout and Easts matched their opponents for much of the contest, albeit lacking that incisive edge in the final third.
In truth though Lions controlled the game and had greater opportunities to score. Connors could have opened the scoring in as early as the third minute whilst the hosts did have a goal ruled out for offside just before the hour mark when Riding was through on goal and beating Stewart, only to be pulled up for being a fraction off.
Rebecca Kirkup, who worked tirelessly throughout, perhaps deserved a bit more luck when her effort skimmed the bar in the latter stages of the game.
Despite at times Lions not at their fluent best, this latest success sees them with a 100% record from four starts with this third straight success in the NPLW backed up with their Kappa Women’s Super Cup win.
The Lionesses next outing will be after Easter as they travel to the Sunshine Coast Wanderers. The Lionesses were due to play in Round 4 of the Kappa Women’s Super Cup on the 1st of April but Toowoomba side USQFC have forfeited the tie so the ladies progress to Round 5.
Shuttleworth (gk), Macintyre, Clough, Ward, Thompson, Kirkup, Riding, Connors, Price, Gunston, Westland.
Subs: Majstorovic (rgk), Arendse, Teakle, O’Keeffe.
Stewart (gk), Clarke, Askin, Tokunaga, Muscat, Bruckner, Lambi, Hanada, Stewart, Andujar, Amos, Oshima.
Subs: Van Der Zee (rgk), Prieditis, Maugeri, Minton, Mazzoni.
Referee: Hamish Cannon