Lions FC 9 (O’Neill 6′; Christmas 32′; Hecher 47′, 51′, 74′, 76′; Gunston 69′; Davidson 82′, 86′)
Moreton Bay United 0
It was a simple equation for this rescheduled encounter against basement dwellers Moreton Bay United on Wednesday evening – goals, and lots of them, to boost the Lionesses goal difference on the NPLW ladder.
The feat was achieved, be it from a second-half performance that saw 7 goals scored for this vital home game that had previously been forested by Jets a few weeks ago when they were unable to field a team.
Lionesses captain Mariel Hecher netted 4 goals as she led the way but in truth, the home side was not at their fluid best with a stack of passes going astray and a narrow first-half lead that would have had title challengers Gold Coast United chomping at the bit.
The scoring was opened by a rare Catherine O’Neill goal following a corner on 6 minutes. A near-post flick on seeing the center-back head home from close range.
Tegan Riding and Chelsea Blissett saw a couple of chances well saved by Jets keeper Rosalie Petersen and the assistant’s flag denied Hecher midway through the half when she was rightly adjudged offside before bundling the ball in from her own deft flick-on from Cannon Clough’s cross.
The hosts did finally extend their lead just after the half-hour mark when Blissett’s surging run to the edge of the six-yard box was met with a solid challenge before she was able to play the ball from the ground to Hecher who in turn found Samara Christmas in front of goal. The Lions striker firing high into the net to make it 2-0.
Late in the half Lions almost made it three to the good when a corner wasn’t dealt with by the Jets. The resulting scramble in the box saw Clough hit the post and soon after from the rebound, Hecher’s shot charged down as Jets managed to defend for their lives and go into the break still in the game.
Once again, it proved to be the second half that would see the reigning champions totally control the game and pile misery on the bottom-placed side that has failed to register a point in its previous 14 games.
Hecher struck with a quickfire double on 47 and 51 minutes. Her first being somewhat fortuitous when her attempted cross was sliced off her boot and flew past Petersen at her near post.
The Brazilian’s second was vastly different and outlined the sheer quality she possesses when calmly rounding a defender and keeper Petersen near the penalty spot before firing high into the back of the net to make it 4-0.
The hosts grabbed their fifth on 69 minutes. Blissett with a good run down the left and shot that Petersen could only parry away to Amy Gunston who made no mistake from inside the box.
Hecher then got her hat trick and fourth in the space of two minutes. Her hat trick coming through a sublime run to the edge of the box before firing a fierce shot past Petersen and shortly after capitalising on more good fortune when the Jets keeper spilled Gunston’s cross from the left. The ball falling to the feet of the Lions captain who simply tapped the ball in from the edge of the 6-yard box.
Substitute Leah Davidson then got herself on the scoresheet late on with a double of her own.
Her first coming when the Jets were unable to clear a Lions corner with the loose ball landing nicely for Davidson who smashed it home from 6 yards out.
Davidson’s second and her side’s 9th arrived when Gunston made a great run to the goal line before cutting the ball back to the unmarked substitute who in turn emphatically finished off the move.
At the end of the day, it was a case of ‘Job Done’. Now it appears to all rest on the end of October’s home clash against league leaders Gold Coast Utd. Before that, the Lionesses must see off Easts at Lions Stadium this coming Saturday.
Shuttleworth (gk), Clough, Christmas, Price, O’Neill, Hecher, Riding, Blissett, Westland, O’Keeffe, Evetts.
Subs: Abaza (rgk), Heatley, Korkup, Gunston, Davidson.
Moreton Bay Utd:
Petersen (gk), Evans, Bozinov, Nocon, Turner, Anderson, Sen, Williamson, Singh, Bielby, Woodford.
Subs: Wilson, Hayman-Fuller, Ryan (rgk).
Referee: Josh Eastwood