It was not the most polished performance but Merewether coach Scott Ellis was heartened by United’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle Olympic on Sunday as Adamstown seized top spot with their own one-goal win against defending champions New Lambton.
Olympic have been widely tipped as Herald Women’s Premier League title favourites and opened the season with an 8-0 rout of Mid Coast.
They dominated possession in their round-two match at Darling Street Oval but it was Merewether who struck first on the counter attack through Ellie Butler around the 30-minute mark.
United goalkeeper Alison Logue then denied Olympic’s Jemma House twice before sending one of her kicks long to be nodded into space by Katy Gray for Lori Depczynski to pick up and calmly slot past advancing shot-stopper Hillary Anthony-Benson for a 2-0 half-time lead.
Georgia Little put Olympic on the score sheet 10 minutes into the second half.
“We’re a long way from the finished product,” Ellis said.
“We gave the ball away a lot when we shouldn’t have … but we were pretty lethal on the counter attack, which I was really happy with.
“It was one of those grinding wins where the girls worked really hard to shut down their threats, and they’ve got a lot of them. We needed this to see exactly where we are.”
Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill felt her side dominated but were not “as clinical as we needed to be”.
“We didn’t finish as well as we could have or should have,” Attwill said. “We got in behind a lot but we just couldn’t put it in the back of the net and obviously when you’ve got Al in goals it makes a difference.”
Jets striker Jenna Kingsley is expected to make her first appearance for Olympic next weekend.
Adamstown backed up their 4-1 win over Thornton in round one by beating the Eagles 2-1 at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday.
The back-to-back victories propelled them to six points, two ahead of second-placed Merewether.
Rosebud led 1-0 at half-time after New Lambton’s Kate Heap scored into her own goal around the 10-minute mark. Kimmy Trappett made it 2-0 with a long-range effort from just outside the box around the 70th before Eagles captain Stacey Day scored shortly after from a corner.
Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell described the match as “a good challenge” for his young side.
“It was probably one of those ones where we looked like we were a bit worried about playing New Lambton, so it was good to get a result,” Campbell said. “I don’t think it was our greatest performance but I think they probably needed to get a result like that to start to believe they’re actually going to be competitive.”
Sophia Laurie and Ellie Brown scored as Warners Bay opened their season with a 2-1 victory over Mid Coast in Taree on Sunday. The Panthers led 2-0 at the break. Chelsea Hall scored for the hosts.
The round-two match between Broadmeadow and Thornton scheduled for Friday night at Magic Park was postponed as a precaution after an unwell Magic WPL player awaited test results for coronavirus.
The player was cleared of coronavirus on Sunday and Magic’s rescheduled round-one clash with the Panthers is set to go ahead at Magic Park on Tuesday night.
Points: Adamstown 6, Merewether 4, Olympic 3, Warners Bay 3, New Lambton 1, Thornton 0, Magic 0, Mid Coast 0.