Keira Bobbin moved onto to ten WNPL goals for the season showing no mercy to bottom club Wagga City Wanderers by grabbing five goals as Belconnen United cruised to a 9-0 victory over their visitors from interstate at McKellar Park on a picture perfect autumn afternoon.
Despite being on the field for the third time in seven days, the Blue Devils took no prisoners against the young team from the Riverina. The Wanderers were able to resist for 15 minutes. After that, they were unable to contain the waves of Blue Devils coming towards their danger area. Olivia Bomford started the party with a skilful control, a drag-back and a precise shot from short range in the top corner.
A minute later, Tatum Mazis cleaned the cobweb in the other top corner, from the edge of the box. Keira Bobbin scored two of her five goals in the last fifteen minutes of the first half. The first after a well-thought through pass by Mazis, the second to end a great sequence of passing football.
The striker’s header after a corner kick completed the hat-trick ten minutes after the break, following a timid reaction from Wagga City. Bomford’s powerful left strike seconds later made it 5-0 before the hour mark.
The Blue Devils waited until the 79th minute to strike again. Before outpacing the whole defence and winning her duel with Ebony Warner at the 84th minute, Mazis had twice served Bobbin on a platter, allowing the Belconnen’s most efficient weapon to end with a manita of goals.
2020 and 2021 Golden Boot winner Brittany Palombi has started her journey to catch Bobbin on Sunday afternoon, as Canberra Croatia beat the West Canberra Wanderers 6-1 to take the top spot on the table.
The team coached by Rey Castro surprised the reigning champions early with a long-range attempt from Ginger Oliver that hit the post before landing behind Zoe Barling, playing in goal with Nat Vasta and Angelica Pahina both injured.
Zoran Glavinic answered by launching Grace Gill on the field before the half hour mark, to help a team already camping near Samantha Briggs’ goal for most of the first half. A brace of penalties allowed the home side to level and take the lead before half time. Brittany Palombi was only too happy to take charge of both spot kicks, finding each time the bottom right corner.
Back from the locker room, it took Grace Gill only 30 seconds to score the third for the season. Like a real poacher, she was there to tap the ball in when Briggs could only slow down an attempt by Palombi. S
Sienna Birnie and Palombi added goals to the total as Croatia remained top of the table.
Late drama was on the cards at O’Connor Enclosed, where Gungahlin United, led by an inspired Michelle Heyman, visited Canberra Olympic, the game ending in ab entertaining 2-2 draw.
The home team, after seeing off Canberra Croatia in the Federation Cup semi-final midweek, started out with their usual high press and high intensity football. Despite several chances for Victoria Jameson’s teammates, the Gunners were the one striking first, thanks to the Liberty A-League all-time leading goal scorer’s pure talent.
Launched by Stella De Marco behind the defence, Heyman saw Sarah Johnston and Elke Aitolu trying to close her down, only to dribble and outpace both and finish from close range.
Olympic was quick to respond thanks to a star of their own, Michaela Thornton, whose left footed lob from just within the box surprised Rachel Corbett and tied the game at the half hour mark.
Both teams had chances to take the lead in the second half, but we would have to wait for the dying embers of the game to see more goal action. Johnston thought she had done enough by slotting the ball beautifully in the top right corner following a scramble in the Gunners’ box just as we were entering injury time.
Unfortunately for the home team, on the kick-off, Heyman’s long ball almost perfectly found Stella De Marco in their box, only for Vanessa Ryan to involuntarily brought down the midfielder. The referee did not hesitate and pointed at the spot kick. Heyman placed the ball 11 yards from Janet King and found the top corner to equalise, a kick that sees Croatia stand alone at the summit.
Saturday 14 May
Belconnen United 9 (Bomford 16’, 57’, Mazis 18’, 83’, Bobbin 31’, 44’, 55’, 79’, 82’) Wagga Wagga City Wanderers 0
Sunday 15 May
Canberra Croatia 6 (Palombi 27’ (p), 43’ (p), 79’, 90+2’, Gill 46’, Birnie 55’) West Canberra Wanderers 1 (Oliver 5’)
Canberra Olympic 2 (Thornton 30’, Johnston 90’) Gungahlin United 2 (Heyman 23’, 90+2’ (p))
Tuggeranong United v Canberra United Academy – Postponed
|4||West Canberra Wanderers||6||4||0||2||-3||12|
|5||Canberra United Academy||5||2||0||3||0||6|
|8||Wagga City Wanderers||6||0||0||6||-48||0|
Words: Jeremy Magan