Woolgoogla Wildcats vs Coffs City United Lionesses – match report
Woolgoolga Wildcats commenced their season with a hard fought 6-4 win over a tough Coffs City United Lionesses in heavy conditions at Maclean Street on Saturday. Constant rain made the pitch a huge factor in the match, with puddles at certain places on the pitch preventing the ball from rolling. However, the wet conditions were only bad enough to create a humorous mood rather than a bad match and both teams appreciated the officials proceeding with the game under the circumstances.
The result was nearly settled in the opening six minutes with Woolgoolga scoring three times. Goals to Janice Lacy in the first minute, then Jenny Taffs and Jessie Gentle swung the momentum of the match entirely in the visitors’ favour and they were never headed, although the Lionesses fought back in the second half to give the Wildcats a few nervous moments.
At half time it was 4-0 to Woolgoolga prompting coach Al Courtenay to introduce some of the younger girls who had made their 2nd division debut just before this match. These girls have come straight out of last year’s junior competition & to face the Lionesses at the Den in their first match was a daunting prospect, but they all proved up to the task and one, Maddy Weis, even scored a goal to seal a memorable debut. Her twin sister Tia, virtually impossible to tell apart for players and spectators, also played a large role on the right side of midfield in the second half. Tash Stevens had a busy day with a top performance in 2nd division and a number quality runs in 1st division before earning a rest. Well done girls. If this is any indication of what’s to come, all three are set for long, successful careers at Woopi.
Recognition should also be given to Holly Stapleton who made her debut with the Wildcats in both seconds & firsts. Playing at right fullback was no easy task with the Lionesses’ Ashley Mackie running at her in both matches. Again Holly was terrific and a welcome addition to the roster consider the first grade team has lost Marie Houbert from last year; a player difficult to replace.
The man of the match was Jessie Gentle who earnt the three points and scored a goal for each one of them. No one needs reminding of Jessie’s obvious talent and to see her now finishing off several moves, many of which she created herself, put a smile on face of the coaching staff.
Georgia Allen picked up some new gloves in the off season. The new gloves have spines in the fingers to give some added protection & Georgia needed all of them. Despite the lopsided score line at half time, the ‘keeper worked hard and made several fantastic saves. Georgia earnt two points for the match and did it after having a long run up front in reserve grade.
Fiona Tobin was solid at the back and earnt one point for her performance. The defensive line was put under pressure in the second half, with the Lionesses out-scoring Woopi 4-2. Thankfully, that’s as close as the score got and the Wildcats came away with the three points, which is what you’re aiming for going into the match. Getting all three at Maclean St is not easy and the Wildcats were rightfully pleased with their efforts.
The second division squad had a thorough workout against the grand finalists from 2012. The Wildcats had the better of play for large portions of the match, but could not prevent the Lionesses from scoring in the last few minutes of the match. A great first up performance from many of the young girls who are blending nicely with the old gals. We’ll get ‘em at High St later in the year!