It was a strong showing by the Camden Haven Redbacks Ladies side as they took on Port FC in their final regular match of the season on August 12.
Travelling to Port Macquarie, and off the back of some difficult and at times disappointing games, the Ladies were keen to get a win under the belt and gain some momentum for the upcoming finals.
With a renewed line-up and some revised positioning, the Redbacks took control of the match early on, and never looked in danger.
The first goal came 10 minutes in, when a cross which was unable to be controlled by either team was quickly pounced upon by Amelia Clacher and beautifully put away with a long high shot from outside the box, putting the Redbacks on the board, and opening the flood gates.
A number of opportunities continued to become available off the back of some great teamwork, passing, grit and determination. Typical defender Yas Egan wreaked havoc for the home side as she stepped into the midfield for the bulk of the game and created a number of chances for the Redbacks.
Bri St Ledger and Lani Slade combined beautifully in the midfield, and with the support of right and left halves Aishar Hamdan, Mia Windred, Amelia Clacher and Under 18’s recruit Krystal Bird, were unstoppable in their attacking plays. Up front, the new combination of Shannaye Hartland and Sonya Bell held strong, with both finding themselves on the scoreboard by the end of the match.
“We played this match exactly how a team needs to play coming into finals,” coach Tamara Burns said after the game.
“We worked well together, and put into play some of the combinations we’ve been speaking about all season. We were hungry for the ball, and we wanted to win. The challenge now is to repeat that effort.”
The final score ended at an impressive 10-0, with St Ledger topping the scoring tally with four goals, followed by Egan and Clacher with two each, and Hartland and Bell with one a piece.
Despite the convincing win, Burns is only looking forward towards the finals.
“It was great to get that win, but the past 16 rounds don’t count for anything now. The team which will come away with the ultimate prize will be the team that performs during the finals.
“We have beaten, drawn or narrowly been defeated by three of the four teams above us (and haven’t played the fourth), but we’ve also been defeated heavily.
“This is the toughest competition in a number of years, and whilst we’ve got what it takes, so does every other team. We’ll need to knuckle down and give it our all.”
The Redbacks will play in an Elimination Final this Saturday, at a venue to be decided upon during the week.