A battle between the top of the table saw Shellharbour edge out Woonona with a 3-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Myimbarr Park.
The home side secured their position at the top of the table with two exceptional finishes from a dominant Katelyn Leadbeatter and an outstanding long-shot from substitute Emma Stretton.
The afternoon fixture would commence and it was an even start between the two sides.
A chance that looked to be dangerous came from Shellharbour’s Christina Videla taking space on the left side of the pitch before sending a straight ball down the line and into Katelyn Leadbeatter who’s cross was just short off the head of Ariana Fleming.
Woonona had a half chance just minutes later when Jordan Wheatley played a diagonal ball into Nikita Woods whose centred shot flew way over the cross bar.
In the 23rd minute, Woods found herself at the corner post before powering a cross into the feet of Ainsley Hawes who was unable to make a finish in front of goal.
Minutes later, Leadbeatter broke in behind the centre channel, but her long shot was later denied by the Rosey Tobin-Coldwell.
SH v WOO The last chance came in the 43rd minute when Woonona were rewarded a penalty.
Captain Jordan Wheatley stepped up to the penalty shot, but her low strike was effortlessly saved by the hands of Alana Smith. The ball would later re-bound back into Wheatley but her second strike was sent wide and out for a corner.
The away sides final chance at securing a lead before half-time was quickly denied, leaving the two teams with a 0-0 draw as they headed into the sheds.
Shellharbour were the first to look threatening in the second half with a precise through ball from defender Mikayla De Jong into Fleming whose outstanding effort skimmed the cross bar in the 51st minute.
The Sharks Sophie Heath sent a corner ball into the centre of the box, but the head of Sinead Bailey watched her effort head over the cross bar.
It wasn’t until the 68th minute when the first goal of the match was scored by the home side.
Leadbeatter latched onto the ball in the centre of the park, flying through her defenders with pace before sending her strike bottom corner for the opening goal.
Less than 10 minutes later, Leadbeatter found herself in a similar situation out wide before neatly placing her angled shot past Tobin-Coldwell once more, for a 2-0 lead for Shellharbour.
Woonona continued to push up the field with Woods and Kyah Humphrey both coming close-range but were again denied each time.
With just 7 minutes left of the match, Shellharbour had one last chance at goal and made it count.
Super substitute Emma Stretton picked up the ball on the right side of the 18-yard box and turned her defender inside out before firing her shot over the head of Tobin-Coldwell, securing the home team a 3-0 lead at the full-time whistle.
A 3-0 victory over Woonona secured Shellharbour their first place position on the ladder going into round 11 next week.
Shellharbour will take on Thirroul next week, whilst Woonona will head to Terry Reserve for a battle against Albion Park White Eagles.
Date: Sunday 2nd July, 2023
Venue: Myimbarr Park
Referee: Martin Rowney
Report by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_
Photos courtesy of Graham Brown (@gragrapix)