Sirens Round 13 Match Report
Picture perfect conditions were upon us today as the Sirens travelled out to Burwood to face Deakin Lions at Gardiners Creek Reserve. Heavy rain over the last few days left the surface in average condition, however the sun was shining on a day that OXSC looked to light up the pitch. Goalkeeper Natalie Deans was a late withdrawal from the side, failing a fitness test in the warm up on her bung knee – Tien Polonidis back into the side, donned the gloves. It was a big welcome back to the returning Kirsty McInnes and Georgia Courtney who made their first appearances for the Sirens in two years, keen to hit the ground running and make their mark.
Deakin Lions 0 – OXSC Sirens 4
OXSC – Abriani, Albrecht, Ardern, Campbell, Courtney, Deans, Du Moulin, Furst, Hosken, Longden, Marson, McInnes, Polonidis, Zaharias
Goalscorers: A Campbell 2, C Abriani, E Marson
Assists: G Courtney, A Campbell, K McInnes, C Abriani
For the second week in a row, the referee was late and kick off was delayed. The game finally got underway 15 minutes behind schedule when the match official rocked up sporting his impressive pair of Edgar Davids-esque goggles. The first ten minutes were cagey as the Old Xavs looked to find their feet, but finally settled and began to boss the game. The ball was sucked into the OXSC forward half as the ladies searched for the critical first goal to ease the tension. Chance after chance was created, however the Deakin goalkeeper was alert and comfortable in rushing out to cut out Sirens attacks. The elusive breakthrough would be so valuable to open up the game, and Deakin did a great job to hold the Old Xavs to 0-0 at the half – despite the best efforts of the OXSC to nab a goal, Christina Abriani going closest with her strike narrowly clearing the crossbar.
The message at half time was to remain patient. The goal was coming; we just needed to maintain our composure – now wasn’t the time to panic. The point was justified within the first minute of the 2nd half as Alexya Campbell held the key that finally unlocked the Deakin defence. Georgia Courtney seemed to be in on goal within the first 30 seconds, the Lions #1 rushing out to block her effort that fell kindly into the path of Campbell, who calmly slotted the ball into an empty net with her opposite left foot to take her goal tally to 13 for the season. What a fantastic response, exactly what the doctor ordered. 3 minutes later, and the Sirens found themselves 2-0 up. The play was constructed nicely into the final 3rd; Campbell then received the ball with her back to goal. She laid it off to the lurking Abriani outside the 18 yard box, to which coach Zancan was on the brink of barking “TAKE A TOUCH CHRISSY!” Before this instruction could be delivered however, the ball was of course struck first time with venom and rifled into the top right hand corner, an unbelievable hit. What would the coach know anyway? Abriani opening her account for the season in stunning fashion after being robbed of a goal last Sunday.
Old Xavs had regained their mojo and began to turn the screws on the opposition. Confidence was oozing through the squad, with debutants Courtney and McInnes displaying tremendous energy on the flanks and providing great attacking foil for the front pairing of Abriani and Campbell. This was the look of a side that was hungry to kill off the game. The Sirens defence remained sturdy, with Kirby Du Moulin and her new fullback entourage of Ardern and Hosken having impressive games playing in these roles. OXSC captain Claire Longden was on the receiving end of a falcon as she copped a ball to the face that left her dazed and forced her off temporarily. The Old Xavs continued to find joy on the wings, and Kirsty McInnes drifted inside to win a foul on the edge of the area. With free kick specialist Longden off the field, housemate and vice captain Emily Marson seized the opportunity and claimed the set piece. The ball was hit over the Deakin wall, and remarkably sailed into the top right hand corner via the underside of the crossbar. Checkmate. 3-0 to the away side with 20 minutes to play as they looked destined for the victory.
With 5 minutes to play, the Sirens notched their fourth as Alexya Campbell doubled her tally for the afternoon after being fed through by Abriani – this partnership was beginning to gel nicely. GC had an opportunity to cap off her debut with a goal, as she burst through the line to create a one on one situation with the keeper. Her strike cannoned of the left post and bounced wide to deny the Sirens a 5 star second half performance.
4-0 the score as Mr Davids blew for full time – a very impressive 2nd half that saw the Old Xavs get the result that the performance deserved. Finally, the killer instinct was there for OXSC as they managed to put away their opposition. After a rough patch where they could only muster one victory in 6 games, the Sirens claimed all 3 points and now remain unbeaten in its last four appearances. A make-or-break spell looms for the Xavs, with the 3rd placed outfit facing opposition in 2nd, 4th and 5th in the next 3 weeks in a period that will shape their season.