Eastern Suburbs Women rocketed into top spot with a dominant 14-0 win over SWQ Thunder Women at Cleveland Showgrounds on Saturday night.
The match was moved from Easts’ home ground due to a fire affecting facilities at Heath Park but that didn’t keep the new league leaders from stamping their authority on the competition.
It took fewer than five minutes for the scoring to get underway as Ashlee Watkins netted the opener by capitalising on a defensive error.
Despite creating numerous chances, the de facto hosts had to wait until the 35th minute for a second as intricate play allowed Tegan Riding to cross for a Michaela Hatzirodos tap-in.
It was 3-0 two minutes later when Hatzirodos returned the favour, assisting Riding to get in behind and beat Thunder ‘keeper Jessica Broadfoot.
Watkins next rounded Broadfoot for her second before Riding completed the first half scoring at 5-0 with a similar finish from Chantelle Ryder’s pass.
Riding’s completed her hattrick within a minute of the restart by burying Watkins’ pass and the attacker had another in the 51st minute to move four goals clear in the golden boot race.
Ryder, having notched a second assist, then added her own name to the scoresheet with a clinical finish following good lead-up play from Watkins.
It was an avalanche of goals by this stage and Susanne McKeen was next to open her account for the campaign, making it 9-0 after a searching ball from Riding.
Thunder might have pulled one back through Rosanna Berry, but Adelaide United’s 2013/14 Player of the Year Jenna McCormick snuffed out the opportunity.
Instead, Easts reached double figures in the 74th minute with Harkana Dixon firing arguably the goal of the game from outside the area.
Natalie Mueller then extended the margin after a one-two with Sarah Ryan while Hatzirodos made it a brace a minute later.
There was still time for two more in the final 10 minutes courtesy of Karyn Longbottom and Mueller, whose second sealed the scoring onslaught.
Speaking after the match, Easts coach Garrath McPherson assured his players were pleased to be first but felt performance remained most important.
“I leave happy tonight knowing the football philosophy established by Eastern Suburbs in the NPL has been reflected by our women,” McPherson said.
Thunder captain Madison Franke found some positives in her side’s play despite the result.
“We did have passages that were really good, one touch plays, it was just getting broken down a bit. We got there but it took a while,” Franke said.
Listen to the full post-match interviews below.
Eastern Suburbs FC Women 14 (Ashlee WATKINS 4’ 41’ Michaela HATZIRODOS 35’, 78’ Tegan RIDING 37’, 44’, 46’, 51’ Chantelle RYDER 54’ Susanne McKEEN 58’ Harkana DIXON 74’ Natalie MUELLER 77’, 87’ Karyn LONGBOTTOM 81’)
South West Queensland Thunder FC Women 0