Image courtesy @KaiMoebus

Match of the Round: Woden-Weston v  Gungahlin United

While Woden-Weston overcame Gungahlin in their recent Women’s Federation Cup match, Gungahlin have displayed enough promise to suggest that these two clubs will be among those jostling for a finals berth by season’s end. Obtaining the points here could be vital, but it was Gungahlin United who stole the prize after scoring twice for a 4-3 comeback victory in an astounding last five minutes of the game.

Woden-Weston had an interrupted preparation for the game with Jemima Millar-Carton injuring an ankle in the warm-up, which meant that Michelle Aurousseau was a late inclusion on the bench, with captain Cassia Mcglashan relinquishing her #9 role for a role in central midfield.

The game started as it was to finish, with a frantic five minutes stunning the crowd. A Woden-Weston corner in the first minute was headed wide of the goal by Mcglashan, and from the goal kick the ball quickly made its way to the opposing keeper after the Woden defence tidied up a left side move. A pass from the Woden keeper was neatly intercepted by Gungahlin’s Erika Pennyfield and quickly centred to Freya Jacobsen just inside the penalty box. Her first shot was blocked but she was given enough room for a second attempt, and this time the ball sailed into the top left of the net, all before the third minute.

The reply was swift by Woden-Weston; a minute later a Gungahlin defender was shepherding a goal over her goal line for a goal kick but Woden-Weston’s Alana Bain thought differently and managed to get a foot to the ball before it crossed the line. The resulting touch ended up in the path of Annica Schoo near the penalty spot, who made no mistake with an assured finish to the right of the keeper.

Over the next 15 minutes Woden-Weston were industrious in midfield through the efforts of Mcglashan and Taylor Zanotto, while Gungahlin were finding space down their right attacking flank with two successive efforts coming to naught, including a one-on-one opportunity versus the keeper for Samantha Briggs.

Not to be outdone on her right wing, Bain for Woden-Weston was able to fire in an impressive cross of her own in the 21st minute. The ball was taken first time on the volley by Anna Vandenbroucke, but the shot went straight to Gungahlin keeper Kailey Toinini.

Against the run of play in this period of the game, Gungahlin were able to pull ahead 2-1 in the 27th minute after Erika Pennyfield delightfully chipped the keeper from outside the right edge of the penalty box.

In the 31st minute, the impressive Mcglashan managed to turn both her Gungahlin defenders inside-out but her lobbed cross into the six yard box was just beyond the reach of her fellow attacker.

A deep run by Woden-Weston left back Bridget Plummer was rewarded with a corner in the 36th minute and Mcglashan was able to equalise 2-2 with a quality touch to bring the ball down under pressure and another to finish.

Just before half time, Woden-Weston made a tactical switch of their left and right fullbacks in an effort to curtail the inroads being made out wide, but this was to have limited impact with Gungahlin’s Alex Paterson at right back continuing to be a threat with tireless overlapping runs.

A halftime substation saw Woden-Weston’s Bain make way for Laura Croft.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first with a dangerous Woden-Weston backpass intercepted, but this time there was no impact to the scoreboard.

Overlapping runs from Gungahlin’s Paterson and room to move in midfield were bringing the Gunners more into the game, so it would have come as a relief to Woden-Weston when they regained the lead in the 61st minute due to a Gungahlin defensive lapse in leaving Vandenbroucke unattended in the penalty box when she was the recipient of a fine Plummer through ball.

Both teams made substitutions shortly after the goal, and five minutes after a Woden-Weston goal was disallowed in the 64th minute for offside, Gungahlin made a final additional substitution, with attacker Jade Brown coming off for Elke Aitolu.

The introduction of a fresh Aitolu was to prove a masterstroke for Gungahlin, who were pushing forward with greater urgency with right wing attacks still proving fruitful. Woden-Weston were doing well at getting numbers back to deal with fast breaks but the pressure finally told in the 85th minute when a messy skirmish on the edge of the penalty area was unable to be dealt with by Woden-Weston, with the ball popping up invitingly on the bounce for Aitolu. Aitolu connected with a fierce left-foot volley that hit the inside of the left post and ricocheted into the net on the other side to square the game again at 3-3.

A minute later Aitolu was in the action again with a solo run down the left side of the field, rounding a defender, and culminating in a fine shot just over the right edge of the crossbar.

Gungahlin’s winning goal occurred in the 87th minute. A Woden-Weston goal kick was played to a defender but resulted in a throw-in. The ball made its way into the Woden-Weston penalty box and a short pass was played to the left of the six yard box to Gungahlin’s Jacobsen. Jacobsen managed to guide the ball perfectly onto the head of Ella Brown right in front of the goal, who made no mistake nodding it into the net.

Having controlled swathes of the game, Woden-Weston will look back wistfully at what might have been in those last five minutes when the game was wrested away from them.

Gungahlin will be pleased with the win away from home and their strong finish to the game. They tend to defend quite deeply and this can sometimes create space for enterprising central attackers.

Both teams will be aiming for greater consistency in performances in the weeks ahead.

Woden-Weston 3
Gungahlin United 4


Woden-Weston Wanderers – Coach: Mark Boyd

Cristina Esposito; Bridget Plummer, Rosie Hughes, Sarah Whitfield, Iesha De Andrade; Taylor Zanotto, Cassia Mcglashan (c) (36’), Annica Schoo (4’), Samantha Briggs; Anna Vandenbroucke (61’), Alana Bain

Subs: Laura Croft (Bain 46’), Michelle Aurousseau (Plummer 63’)

Yellow/Red cards: nil

Gungahlin United – Coach: Diego Iglesias

Kailey Tonini; Ruby Gambale, Brigitte Sander, Alex Paterson; Rachael Corbett, Maddie Perceval (c), Freya Jacobsen (2’), Jade Brown; Erika Pennyfield (27’), Ella Brown (87’), Cameron Jackson

Subs: Marija Rathouski (Gambale 63’), Elke Aitolu (85’) (Jade Brown 69’)

Yellow/Red cards: nil

Around The Grounds:

Belconnen United 8 – 0 Tuggeranong United

Monaro Panthers 0 – 4 Canberra United Academy

Canberra FC 13 – 2 Wagga City Wanderers

Canberra Olympic – bye


Pos Team P W D L For Against GD Pts
1 Canberra FC 4 3 1 0 27 2 25 10
2 Canberra United Academy 4 3 0 1 18 2 16 9
3 Belconnen United FC 3 2 1 0 13 0 13 7
4 Gungahlin United FC 3 2 0 1 10 8 2 6
5 Woden-Weston FC 3 1 0 2 5 12 -7 3
6 Wagga City Wanderers FC 3 1 0 2 6 18 -12 3
7 Tuggeranong United FC 4 1 0 3 4 20 -16 3
8 Monaro Panthers FC 2 0 0 2 2 7 -5 0
9 Canberra Olympic FC 2 0 0 2 0 16 -16 0