Stocky’s Scribbles – The sinking of the Titanic

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What a difference three months of a season of football can bring.

Words and images by Craig Stockdale

Under grey skies and traditional cold and windy conditions, last season’s premiers Sandringham ran into an iceberg out at the State Football Center in Darebin, sinking to a 2-0 loss against the fresh faced NTC U17 Girls in round twelve of the SportsMart Victorian Womens’ Premier league clash.

Having lost their main striker Emma Runnalls to a red card last week against Heidelberg United, Sandringham would still have remained confident that they could over power the younger NTC U17 Girls brigade by imparting their experience and physical approach to the game – the same style that saw them win convincingly back in round one of the season.

Not the case at all – in fact what we witnessed may well be the sinking of the Titanic.

Overall, it was a very lackluster effort by Sandringham who allowed the NTC to play their game style dominating possession for the majority of the game and eventually culminating in a two nil defeat for the maroon and blue. This would undoubtedly have them leaving Darebin with many things to ponder in the run-up to their next match against a rampant Bundoora United placed second on the table.
Right from the onset the FFV U17 Girls pushed forward applying pressure to the Sandringham defensive line. The midfielders led by the Taranto Twins and Feakes controlled play searching for Goad, Sepe, Lawson and Martin out wide who were all weaving in and out of the defenders creating space and looking for Harbis to capitalise.

Sandringham had their chances early and at the nine minute mark, Vatcky streamed down the left wing and crossed to a well-positioned Gibney who was unable to convert the shot on goal for Sandringham under close surveillance from the NTC defensive center backs of Williams and Pitts.
Minutes later, play was halted as a serious injury was sustained by Sandringham’s Captain Hannah Stuart who fell awkwardly jarring her knee in a tackle. Stuart had to be stretchered off the pitch where physiotherapists rushed her back to the change rooms for treatment and later to the hospital for scans.

At the resumption of play, Vatcky was again running hard for Sandringham but without support up forward slotting the ball into the box only to be safely captured by the NTC keeper Erin Hudson. Not much was happening for either side at this stage of the match but all that was about to change in a sensational six minute period.

At the 36-minute mark of the game, an errant Sandringham foul was awarded to the NTC U17 Girls just outside the box and up stepped NTC Captain Jess Pitts to take the shot. The right foot missile smashed into the cross bar, ricocheted down to the awaiting feet of Melissa Taranto who nonchalantly tapped the ball into the goal to register the first major of the match.

Five minutes later at the 41-minute mark, Martin once again ran un-marked down the right wing finding the feet of Lawson who managed to weave through traffic to create a one-on-one with the Sandringham keeper Alina Kapusta. Lawson saw an opening nut-megging the keeper and running onto the ball to then slot home the second NTC goal of the day. 2 nil as the whistle sounded for half time at Darebin.

With regular coach Sean Parton missing in action, the crowd had expectations the experienced Sandringham team would come out firing in the second half and arrest the lead from the young NTC outfit. Sure enough, several advances forward saw Nicola Prins and Sienna Fogarty threaten the NTC defensive line but the youngsters remained steadfast and managed to repel every Sandringham threat.
A number of corners at both ends failed to change the score line and as the game progressed late into the final stages, NTC showed their fitness by maintaining and controlling possession which further frustrated Sandringham. Let it be said, Vatcky was valiant in defeat for the entire game but had little support from her team mates as Sandringham now slump to sixth position on the league ladder.

MATCH DETAILS

NTC U17 Girls 2 (Melissa Taranto 36’; Janna Lawson 41’) defeated Sandringham Womens 0

NTC U17 GIRLS ELEVEN: 20. Erin Hudson (GK); 2. Giulia Sepe; 3. Jaimee Williams; 4. Jade Feakes; 6. Adriana Taranto; 7. Emily Harbis; 8. Melissa Taranto; 10. Jess Pitts; 13. Annabel Martin; 18. Beatrice Goad; 19 Janna Lawson.

Subs:  14. Maddy Stockdale; 12. Alexi Garcia; 5. Sky Jensen; 1. Jamie Brown;  16. Sabahat Rexhep

SANDRINGHAM WOMENS ELEVEN: 13. Alina Kapusta (GK) 11. Alex Cuss; 16. Emma Robers; 5. Kristen Stensholt; 7. Kirstie Shearing; 20. Hanah Stuart; 18. Sienna Fogarty; 8. Nicola Prins; 2. Annabelle Gibney; 15. Elaina Vatcky; 10. Stephannie Tanti.

Subs:  12. Eliza Gleadell; 32. Phoebe Parker; 6. Stephanie Parton; 1. Lucyna Kapusta

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