A well-composed Shellharbour showed their steel after defeating Albion Park White Eagles 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at Myimbarr Park.
The home side who is now three from three and leads the competition took an early lead just six minutes in when Ariana Fleming stepped up for a free kick just outside the 18-yard box and perfectly placed her strike into the bottom corner.
White Eagles almost fired back immediately when captain Brittany Ring took space down the left side of the pitch before whipping a long range cross to the back post where Dajana Popovic’s shot would go straight into the hands of goalkeeper Alana Smith.
In the 13th minute, Shellharbour found their second for the match when the experienced Katelyn Leadbeatter snatched the ball in the middle of the pitch before taking off down the line and sending her strike into the top corner from an acute angle for a 2-0 lead.
Park’s Eliza Cowan looked dangerous when an intercept allowed her to send a powerful shot that just inches over the crossbar.
At the half hour mark, the visitors pulled a goal back when Ring sent Cowen through on goal. She remained composed as she effortlessly found the back of the net to reduce the deficit back to one.
Shortly after, Shellharbour’s Acacia Agento drove into the right side of the box but saw her effort from a narrow angle, saved by Chessell.
Just five minutes from the break, Park went inches from drawing level as Ring sped down the line with pace before cutting back and thrashing her her shot into the crossbar which was desperately cleared by the home side’s defense line.
In what was a competitive half from the two sides, but it was the home team who would head into the break with a 2-1 lead.
A one-two from Cowan and Ring, a dynamic duo, saw Ring’s long range shot stray off target in the 55th minute.
Albion Park’s task just got even harder as on 63 minutes, Eliza Cowan was shown a straight red card for an off the infringement reducing the Eagles to ten and without one of their biggest attacking threats.
The hosts looked to control the game from here and almost scored seven minutes later when Lara Golding played a neat ball to Leadbeatter who arrowed her shot towards the near post, but Chessell made a fine save to deny Shellharbour.
The two sides didn’t hold back as they both played attacking football however, it was Shellharbour who would grab a third and effectively seal the game.
A nice combination between Tayla Tolson and Bella Fogarty in the front third, saw the ball played into the center of the six-yard box where Argento would tap the ball into an open goal in the 81st minute.
It was a well-fought battle between two strong sides however Shellharbour leap to the top of the league whilst the Eagles will be looking to bounce back next week against Bulli.
Date: 14 May 2023
Venue: Myimbarr Park
Report by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_
Photos by Richie Wagner