Written by the Football Federation Australia
The Central Coast Mariners womenís team has joined Queensland at the top of the Westfield W-League ladder with a comprehensive 5-1 win over the Newcastle Jets at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
The Mariners dominated the first half with striker Michelle Heyman picking up a brace after Lydia Vandenbergh had opened the scoring with a clinical goal in just the fifth minute of play to help the visitors to a 3-0 lead at the break.
The Jets looked the better team in the second half holding the bulk of the possession and territory but couldnít convert a host of chances as the Mariners defended doggedly. The visitors extinguished any hope of the home side mounting a comeback when Kendall Fletcher converted from the penalty spot.
Mariners substitute Trudy Camilleri made it 5-0 when she scored against the run of play in the 82nd minute before 15-year-old Tara Andrews earned some respectability for the Jets when she headed home two minutes from full-time.
The win sees the Mariners keep the pressure on top placed Roar drawing level on 12 points with the rest of Round 4 still to play. The Jets remain winless with just one point from their opening four matches.
Central Coast coach Stephen Roche was understandable ecstatic with his teamís performance.
"We have been working on playing three up front and using that to get in behind the defence and it worked perfectly today," he said.
"From there it was good finishing that gave us the win."
The match started in good conditions before a healthy crowd in Newcastle and the honours were shared early in the piece before the Mariners started to find space on the wings.
Central Coast midfielder Kelly Golebiowski was making inroads down the left wing and it was her incisive run that led to the opener. She took play to the byline before crossing for Vandenbergh to slot home from close range.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Heyman took advantage of a defensive error to pounce on the ball on the edge of the penalty area. She danced around Jets goalkeeper Alison Logue to stroke the ball in for a 2-0 lead.
Heyman had her second five minutes later when she was on the spot to poke home in a goal-mouth scramble following a corner kick.
The Central Coast threatened again before the break but the Jets managed to hold on to go into the break trailing 3-0.
The home side made some changes in their line-up and structure around half-time and it seemed to have an effect as they began to dominate proceedings. Left winger Andrews and Leia Smith looked dangerous launching a number of promising raids on the Mariners goal.
However, the Central Coast extinguished any hope of a comeback when Kendall Fletcher converted from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after Kirsten Pearce was shown a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Heyman in the area.
The Jets continued to press for an elusive goal but were punished at the back when Mariners substitute Trudy Camilleri, who had replaced Golebiowski just moments earlier, popped up to poke home inside a crowded penalty area.
Newcastle eventually earned some reward for its endeavours when Andrews head home in the 88th minute after Smithís 20-yard shot cannoned off the crossbar only to see the teenager launch herself to nod home her teamís first goal of the season.
Newcastle vice-captain Amber Neilson said she was disappointed with the results but buoyed with her teamís performance in the second half.
"We needed to be organized a bit more and communication let us down. But they knocked the ball around really well."
"We had a run at them in the second half and showed lots of heart but just couldnít convert our chances."