Saturday night football and two undefeated teams with all to play for. It was the prefect recipe for a cracking game of football which did not disappoint as the Lions downed The Gap 4-3 at Walton Bridge Reserve.
The Lions’ pressed hard early, but the Gap got the early lead courtesy of Charli McLennan and a little bit of luck. Her cross from just inside the left-hand sideline drifted over the keeper and into the top right corner.
But the Lions’ pressure paid off just two minutes later, Mariel Hecher not hesitating to capitalise on a mistake by the Gator’s defence that saw her left with only Noran Abaza in goals to beat.
Once again, the teams were level, but not for long, after The Gap’s follow-up effort from a corner saw a beautiful little through ball to Greta Bodey who honoured it with a goal.
It looked like once again the Lions reply would be near instantaneous but it was not to be, despite three good chances within two minutes. The Lions were not dissuaded for too long however, as Jessica Hogg found the back of the net.
With four goals in the first 30 minutes it seemed like we were in for a goal-fest but the scoreboard would only be troubled once more before half time through a Lions penalty. Lana Harch’s shot was too good as Abaza, despite diving the right way, could only watch the ball fly past.
The second half was a much slower affair with both teams playing a little more reserved. The few chances that came, amounted to little for either team. That was until 22 minutes into the second half when Tiarne Petterwood opened her account to draw the Gators level.
From then on it looked like a draw was on the cards but Tanesha Stanley had other ideas. With just over five minutes remaining, she put the visitors in front with what turned out to be the match winner.
A thoroughly enjoyable affair with seven goalscorers saw the Lions win 4-3 on the road.
- 4’ Chances for Lions – Set piece from the left hand side. It’s a good cross but the Lions just fail to get a touch on it. Possible early let off for The Gap.
- 9’ Goal for Gap – It looked like an attempted cross by Charli McLennan but they all count as it floats in for the opener.
- 11’ Goal for Lions – The Lions’ high press pays off. The Gap defenders caught mucking around with the ball and Mariel Hecher pounces on what looked like a communication error. She’s one-on-one with the ‘keeper and squeezes it into the bottom left corner.
- 19’ Goal for Gap – Lions manage to defend the corner but an aggressive run and nice little through ball breaks them open as Greta Bodey gets The Gap’s second.
- 21–23’ Chances for Lions – First it comes off the crossbar and The Gap clear, then it squeezes through the players for a quarter chance but well defended, and finally what looked like an attempted pass-back nearly goes in for an own goal.
- 29’ Goal for Lions – Jessica Hogg draws Lions level.
- 38’ Penalty for Lions – Controversy as Lions get the penalty. The Gap don’t seem happy but the ref is unswayed.
- 39’ Goal for Lions – Abaza goes the right way but Lana Harch’s shot is too strong as she fires it into the bottom left corner.
- 53’ Chance for Gap – Kaitlyn Winter makes an aggressive run selling some candy in the process. She has a long shot which forces Ellen Hepburn to dive to her left she just manages to push it wide.
- 59’ Chance for Lions – Fantastic chance for Lions but the shot just goes over the crossbar. In all honesty they probably should have scored and the fans thought they had.
- 60’ Chance for Gap – Nice cross from the corner but the header goes wide.
- 67’ Goal for Gap – And it’s level at 3-3 as Tiarne Petterwood scores. This one is going down to the wire.
- 83’ Goal for Lions – And the Lions take the lead with a little over 5 minutes to go! Tanesha Stanley with what could very well be the match winner.