Inner West Allstars 2 – Western Raiders 1
High flying Inner West Allstars maintained their position at the top of the league despite encountering some unexpectedly tough opposition from a determined Western Raiders team.
The game began as expected with the Allstars settling quickly and dominating possession perhaps a bit too easily at first.
Gabrielle Baker went very close a with a shot across goal, Sarah Yatim was making several weaving runs from deep and peppering the Raiders goal while Kiara Farqhuar was involved of much of the build up play.
The Raiders were working hard to keep the Allstars in check whose shooting was off target and the Raiders were starting to match their opponents for possession as both sides challenged hard for the ball in a physical and tense match.
The Raiders introduced Vanisha Kumar into the game and she started to cause the Allstars some problems with her ability to retain possession which enabled the Raiders to mount some sustained attacks on goal.
The Allstars broke the deadlock when a long pass from defence saw Emily Koss burst down the left side and shoot at goal. Her dipping shot was not fully grasped by the keeper and the ball crept over the goal line to make it 1-0.
The Raiders answered their opponents in the best possible way when moments after kick off Vanisha Kumar slotted the ball home to make it 1-1.
Realising they had a game on their hands the Allstars put the fast and skilful Sarah Yatim upfront and this paid immediate dividends at the start of the second half as she slammed the ball home to give the Allstars a 2-1 lead.
Like the first half the Allstars began with a flurry of shots on Shamiran Khamis in the Raiders goal as they sought to extend their lead but again their finishing was off target and the Raiders held on.
The Raiders with Jessica Elliott in particular were marking Sarah Yatim very closely and this helped the Raiders mount longer and longer spells of possession on the Allstars goal.
Rhianna Pollicina was providing a good foil for Vanisha Kumar upfront as Channelle Kim in the Allstars goal was being called in action more and more.
This was a physical encounter with no side giving in and as the game entered its final minutes Sarah Yatim picked up her second bookable offence and was red carded.
The game swept from end to end as both defences and keepers made crucial blocks to prevent their opponents from scoring. But the Raiders could break the determined Allstars defence.
In the end the Allstars held on for victory in a riveting game. Both sides played their heart out with the Allstars maintaining top spot and the Raiders putting on a mighty brave showing of their own.
Source : Football NSW
Published : 8/12/2008