A mid-table clash on Sunday morning at Barton Park was won in the first fifteen minutes by St George FC, as they raced to a three-goal lead.
Demi Kandylas was the main threat, scoring one and providing the assist for Victoria Falas. A freak own goal from a Lily Perdikaris corner made it three and the visitors had a mountain to climb.
The Ravens persisted and put on the pressure in the second half, but a Sophie Chew shot right on the final whistle put the icing on the cake for St George and sealed a comprehensive victory to lift them up the table.
It was a crisp morning for the football purists who descended on Barton Park for this NPL2W Under 14s clash, the once proud St George Stadium the venue, and St George FC were looking to kick start their season.
The visitors arrived on the back of a slender defeat at high fliers SD Raiders; unfortunately they couldn’t maintain that form, the home team winning the toss to turn the teams around and dominate the opening half.
The game was barely five minutes old when a corner from the St George right caused mayhem in the Ravens box and up popped Kandylas to slam home the opening goal at the far post. The visitors were paralysed, and it wasn’t long before a sweeping through ball found Kandylas romping down the left to cross with precision for Falas to finish through the legs of the unfortunate Chloe Mccredie in the Ravens goal. Ravens struggled to find any rhythm as the threat down the left continued, and from a corner from that side by Perdikaris, Mccredie could only palm the ball into the net at the near post as the wind swirled the ball goalwards.
Ravens were stunned into action. Jackie Rice was played through by Alessia Rizzuto, the flag denying her a shooting opportunity. Rice again was busy, thwarted by Paige Cuthill in the St George goal who dived bravely at her feet. The visitors enjoyed some possession and started to find space on the expansive field. Ella Moar raced down the left to cross just past the in-rushing players, Lexi Mavraidis teased a cross in which Anna Wroughton got to on the rebound, but the shot was blocked. Up the other end Mccredie made a fine stop from a long range effort from the right to keep the score at three, and the half time whistle sounded with St George having done their best to get ahead before they turned around into the wind in the second half.
The second half was a much more even affair. St George were still the more inventive up front, but with Moar having a great game down the left, Ravens started to turn the screw. Moar’s cross found Wroughton who shot from distance, the effort well saved. Lucy Hardaker began to get some possession and as per the first half, the play was concentrated down the left. St George still posed a threat though, and Eliza Mok was denied by a great save by Mccredie in the Ravens goal, and a series of corners caused panic in the visitors penalty area.
The home team pressed as the game reached its conclusion and there was time for a last-gasp effort from Chew, screwing the ball out of the grasp of Mccredie, the ball ending up in the net off the post for the fourth goal.
A thoroughly deserved home win for St George FC today, Gladesville were left on the starting blocks in the first half and had no answer to the pace of Kandylas. No complaints from the visitors as they left with nothing ahead of a tricky home fixture with Central Coast Mariners.
St George can now go in to their trip to South East Phoenix with their tails up as this strong division looks to take more twists and turns. Well done to the two teams today for a game played in good spirit.