Wallsend just missed the win against second-placed Warners Bay at John Street Oval on Sunday, with Tara Pender grabbing an equaliser for the Panthers just minutes ahead of the final whistle.
The Red Devils were first off the mark in the Round 16 meeting, dominating play against the Panthers. Despite opening strongly, however, it was an own goal from Wallsend that pushed Warners Bay into the lead in front of their home fans.
The score equalised moments later as Warners Bay had the same unfortunate luck. The Panthers lotted one into their own nets for the Red Devils, before Libby Copus-Brown put the travelling team into the lead ahead of the half-time whistle.
“The girls controlled the match in the first half,” Wallsend coach Brad Jones said. “They played brilliantly, we had good control and extra chances at goal to put us in front.”
The second half was a different story for the Red Devils, as Warners Bay clawed back to gain possession. Tara Pending slotted one into the back of the net to equalise the score for the Panthers, bringing the game to a close with a 2-all draw.
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“The second half became scrappy for us,” said Jones.
“We knew with the players they had they would come running at us and to their credit they did. I do think the score today is a testament of what we have been saying- that we are in this race and we can match these teams.”
Panthers coach Craig Atkins agreed his team was “flat” off the mark on Sunday, and is keen to bounce back in their upcoming mid-week game against Adamstown.
“We need to move forward now from that one, the first half we were extremely flat and struggled to get out of the box but our second half was a lot better,” Atkins said.
“We had a chat after the game and the girls know they can do better, but we have to take the positives from the second half and hopefully make amends on Tuesday night.”
Also on Sunday, New Lambton scored a major win against Football Mid North Coast, defeating the side 13-nil at Alder Park. Newcastle Jets star Tara Andrews was the key lynchping in the haul, netting eight of the thirteen.
Both other Round 16 matches – Merewether vs Thornton, and South Wallsend vs Adamstown – were delayed due to pitch conditions.
TABLE: New Lambton (43), Warners Bay, South Wallsend (31), Merewether (27), Wallsend (23), Adamstown (7), Thornton, Mid North Coast (6).