Gators put bite on Olympic

IMG_1591Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)

The Gap have kept their perfect record intact while consigning Olympic to a second successive defeat after coming away 2-0 winners in their Women’s NPL match at Goodwin Park on Saturday night.

Goals inside the first ten minutes of the second half to Bec Price and Greta Bodey ultimately sealed the Gators’ fifth win to open their title defence.

Olympic were the more dominant in the opening twenty minutes as they tested their opponents. Allira Toby sent consecutive shots straight to Gap keeper Noran Abaza, while Nat Tathem also provided some early worries sending a cross from out wide up high that almost caught Abaza off-guard.

After that period, the reigning Premiers began to find their groove. Talitha Doro pounced on a defensive error from Olympic’s Kate Morton just outside the 18-yars box. Doro linking up with Jess Dillon who couldn’t steer wide of Kaytlyn Ronan in the home side’s goal.

Midway through the half, Bodey made a promising run down the right win but Cara Mowbray was able to win the battle clearing out for a corner. From that corner, Bodey attempted to meet the ball inside the box but was unable to get a forceful enough shot away.

Ronan came under further scrutiny minutes after. Charli McLennan got a shot on target that the keeper fumbled but neither Bodey nor Dillon who were in close proximity were able to pounce with Ronan clearing away with a frantic kick while still on the ground.

The arm-wrestle continued between the sides leading into the break with the scoreboard attendant untroubled.

However, the deadlock would be quickly broken after the restart. Dillon’s corner in the first minute was headed home at the far post by Bec Price rising above a crowded six-yard box.

Kirsten Jamieson found herself in good position for a reply soon after but the experienced Gap defence was able to break down her one-on-one opportunity with numbers getting back.

More nervous moments for the Gap defence when an Olympic corner was almost turned into her own net by Hayley Riccardi. Abaza saving the day by reacting quickly on her line.

The Gap’s second goal was a replay of the opening goal, just a different goalscorer. Another corner to the back post was met in the air by Bodey who exploited Olympic’s ball-watching to head past Ronan.

Eden Jones, who looked likely down the left wing in the first half, was almost rewarded soon after as the Olympic defence couldn’t contend with her speed. Her shot from outside the box unable to dip in time before landing on the top netting.

Ronan was coming under an ever-increasing threat after the hour mark hit. Taking a risk to come deep off her line to meet Bodey at the edge of the box, she was able to smother The Gap’s right-winger’s attempt with the save of the match.

It wasn’t without obstacles for The Gap in their quest for three points. A risky backpass inside the six-yard box from Riccardi gave her keeper palpitations, Abaza again forced into a last-ditch clearance.

Jamieson provided her side’s best opportunity of the night. A narrow miss over the bar from a shot outside the box with fifteen minutes remaining almost saw her side get back into the game.

Olympic weren’t done and dusted, putting in maximum effort right to the end. Toby providing some last minute issues for The Gap but ultimately, the Gators kept a clean sheet.

Olympic 0 v The Gap 2 (Bec Price 46’, Greta Bodey 54’)

Olympic: Kaytlyn Ronan, Allira Toby, Kirsten Jamieson, Liz Doherty, Nat Tathem, Rachel Smith, Kristi New, Lorena Maggio, Rebekah Horsey, Kate Morton, Cara Mowbray. Subs: Bronte Watson, Matalena Daniels, Amber Glew, Eloise Wadsworth, Teani Karaloula.

The Gap: Noran Abaza, Talitha Doro, Bec Price, Ashleigh Bucknall, Hayley Riccardi, Greta Bodey, Jess Dillon, Megan Price, Charli McLennan, Catherine O’Neill, Eden Jones. Subs: Zali Eason-Coutts, Kaitlyn Winter, Charlotte Bohl., Ruth Blackburn, Beth Ashton.