A bitterly cold morning in Bossley Park was the setting for a meeting between the powerful Marconi Stallions and a Gladesville Ravens side fresh from a last gasp draw at UNSW in week 1.
A wind affected game saw Marconi soak up the pressure to take a slender lead in at half time through Raquel Taouil.
Two good finishes from Layelle Quadan and an exquisite free kick from Elana Lekov completed the scoring. Marconi cruised to victory, 4-0 the final score.
Marconi won an important coin toss to turn the visitors around for the first half, the Ravens playing with the wind and under pressure to establish a lead to defend in the second half. Lex Mavraidis was lively down the Gladesville right. An early snapshot tested the home goalkeeper, and Jackie Rice also went close with a good effort from distance. At the other end, Marconi were building, Isabelle Pace getting into good positions but marshalled well by the visitors defence. The goal came as the half neared it’s conclusion, a weak clearance was pounced on by Taouil, who took a touch and curled a magnificent right-foot shot into the right-hand corner of the goal. With Angelina Zampogna in commanding form at the back, Marconi were good value for their lead and the teams went into the dressing rooms separated by the single goal.
The second half fell into a pattern of intense attacking from the home team with rare breaks from the Ravens. The busy visitors’ goalkeeper Chloe Mccredie was struggling to find distance from the kicks, which kept the pressure on the defence. It was after a period of dominance that Marconi stretched their lead, a ball threaded through to midfielder Quadan and a comfortable finish down low to the left of the keeper for 2-0. Ravens then fashioned a chance down the right, Mavraidis taking on her player and shooting well, the Marconi goalkeeper pushing the ball away with no one able to apply the finish on the rebound. Rice then lifted a shot just over as Ravens threatened to rally.
A handball from a Ravens defender gave a free kick to Marconi, a good distance from goal. The wall was set up well, but Elana Lekov curled a shot the other side, just out of the reach of Mccredie and in off the far post for a thrilling third goal. The game was effectively over as a contest, and a further goal from Quadan made it 4-0 with another low shot. The last five minutes of the game did see Ravens grasp some meaningful possession in midfield, but it was all too late.
A fascinating game was brought to a close, Marconi dominant, but perhaps not winning as comfortably as they had expected. This win keeps them in the leading pack at the top of the table, while Gladesville rue their opening day draw at UNSW which leaves them close to the foot of the table with that solitary point.