Slice of Cheese

Lions Roar to Victory Over South In WSL Opener

Solstice Photography

The Kingborough Lions eventually converted their dominance to claim the 2019 Women’s Super League season opener 3-0 over South Hobart at Lightwood Park. It took an hour for the Lions to break through, as heroics in goal by McMullen for South, weren’t enough to keep the home side. Laura Davis starred, finding her composure as the game grew to come away with a double, whilst a solo effort by Watkins saw out a convincing victory.

Early fire by Kingborough signalled their intent to start the season with a bang. The Lions were firing shots away frequently, registering fourteen first half shots, with most of them target. But they were stopped in their tracks as South weren’t going to take any of it, remaining resolute in the back, despite playing some hospital passes that invited danger on themselves.

South suffered some early injury blows with Wood coming off with barely five minutes under her belt and Dick soon following twenty minutes later. Kingborough worked hard to capitalise on South’s rough start. So often they were doing all the hard work to create the opportunity, but then lost their composure when the opportunity came to capitalise. Meanwhile South grew into the half the longer the game remained a stalemate. South looked to push the ball forward at times, but couldn’t find the support to really challenge Kingborough, instead it acted as more of a respite for their defence.

The Lions missed some golden opportunities before they buried their first. On at least three occasions the ball was served on a platter from the right flank, to free players waiting in and around the mixer. However said waiting players were unable to find their composure, with the opportunities slipping through their hands like jelly sliding off a plate.

South kept the Lions at bay for the first half- Solstice Photography

Enter the second half, enter the game opening up into a more yoyo style of play. South grew in confidence, searching to get something out of the match through quick transitional attacks. Unfortunately their forwards were too often left isolated and the Lions had clicked into gear. Though possibly not as dominant in the second half, the Lions found their scoring boots, and that’s what counts in games. This was a side far more clinical with their chances in front of goal.

Laura Davis opened the scoring on the hour mark. Presented with an absolute gift from a wayward back pass intended for the South centre back, Davis latched onto the ball like a kid in a candy store. Soon in behind the defence, a clear one on one with McMullen in goal and there was no doubt the forward was going to bury it, spoiling any potential for South to keep a clean sheet.

Soon after, with the confidence of a goal under their belt, Samantha Watkins got in on the act. Stealing the ball in what was looking like a game of piggy in the middle for half a second, Watkins, ball at feet, put on the jets to get into the box. Through one on one, she fired into the top corner and doubled the Lion’s lead.

There were a couple false starts for Kingborough’s third goal as twice the offside flag was raised to deny them goals. But it Davis who eventually provided the last goal of the night. Finding the ball at her feet, with only one defender in front of her, she dropped her shoulder a couple times, opened up the space and cracked it into the back of the net. 

All in all, it was a tough day at the office for South. They put up a good fight and were up against it from the start with injuries, forcing midfielders to make up their central defence for large parts of the second half. Meanwhile Kingborough are a team building confidence from a strong summer. The Lions created some thrilling opportunities, however it was picking the pocket and what they from forcing turnovers that pulled them ahead here.