Woonona Sharks put in a terrific and dominant performance as they defeated Albion Park White Eagles at Terry Reserve on Sunday. Goals either side of half time by Nikita Woods secured a 2-0 win that sees the Sharks move back into second spot.
Woonona started the game the better of the two sides with controlled possession and passing. The Sharks were looking to Dharmini Chauhan as their go to player whilst Albion Park interestingly opted to use Brittany Ring in central defence to try and blunt the Sharks offence.
The Sharks were initially forced to go wide early and on eight minutes Chauhan found space down the line off a long throw and she whipped a ball across goal only to see Aleisha Chessell who was standing in for the ill Megan Blanch get down low and smother what appeared to be a dangerous ball.
Just a minute later, Sienna Humphrey tried her luck from range however the shot whistled past the left post as Chessell looked on helplessly.
Albion Park’s first real opportunity fell to Dajana Popovic whose free kick from 25 yards out looked heading goal bound however a strong header from Morgan Potter saw the effort deflected wide.
Woonona were back on the attack and to be fair dominating possession. Midway through the first half, some neat combination play saw Humphries with some space from the edge of the box however her shot went straight to Chessell.
The Sharks’ first half dominance was finally rewarded on 38 minutes when a long ball into the area from Lindsay McLeod was well brought down by Nikita Woods and with her second touch, she neatly lobbed the ball over Chessell. It was a well taken goal and one the Sharks took in with them into the break.
There were more Shark attacks than a Jaws movie as the game wore on as Woonona were looking to kill off the game.
On 53 minutes, Chauhan pierced the defence with her pace and laid off for Ainsley Hawes who couldn’t quite curl her shot into the far post.
Ten minutes later, Jordan Wheatley lined herself up for a shot from range however the windy conditions appeared to push it wide off the mark.
On 65 minutes, the Sharks pulled off one of the best plays off the match. Woods dancing past several defenders before laying off to Sophie Heath who blasted into the roof of the net from 15 yards. It was a spectacular goal that was unfortunately for the Sharks ruled off side.
Just three minutes later, the pressure finally told. Hayley Walkinshaw pumping the ball into box where she found Wood who once again, controlled the ball well before volleying towards goal. Ring was on hand to block the first effort however the ball fell back to Woods whose second effort was partially saved by Chessell who couldn’t quite deny Woods as the ball trickled helplessly into the goal. It was the breathing space the Sharks were looking for and probably on the balance of play, deserved.
Ring was pushed forward as a last ditch effort to get something from the game and with just ten minutes left she nearly gave her team a lifeline as she ran across the penalty area and struck a bullet that was well handled by Ivana Peric.
With almost the last phase of the game, Popovic was through on goal however Peric thrust a leg out to deny the Eagles thus keeping a clean sheet.
The Sharks keeping their slim hopes alive of a League Championship whilst the Eagles will now focus on securing a finals position.
Sunday 9 July
Terry Reserve – 3.00 KO
Referee: Sam Hall
Assistants: Jamie Sereno and Micah Leimbach
Report – Bobby Mazevski