Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Football Queensland
Gold Coast City coach Dave Thompson is adamant his team will bounce back after falling to 10-0 to league leaders Peninsula Power at A.J.Kelly Park on Sunday.
Two goals down at half-time, City’s hopes a fightback were quashed by a pair of quick-fire red cards to Neesa Doyle and Ellen Hepburn around the hour mark.
Doyle was dismissed for a tackle on a Power player – her second bookable offence following a first-half caution – while goalkeeper Hepburn was shown back-to-back yellow cards for dissent after Power were awarded a penalty.
With outfield player Allana Giggins replacing Hepburn in goal, Power took full advantage and slotted a further eight goals against the nine-member City team remaining on the field.
Power’s large number of American imports claimed the scoring spoils – Brooke Barbuto scoring a late hat-trick, Jenny Chiu and Alexandra Schaefer a brace each, while Sarah Elnicky and Jessica Davis netted one apiece.
The result equals City’s club record ten-goal defeat at the hands of last season’s Champions, The Gap FC, last year.
His ability to comment severely limited under competition media regulations, Thompson would not be drawn on the specifics of the send-offs that precipitated the blow-out scoreline.
“I think the referee didn’t have a good day but I made a point of not going and talking to her afterwards because she was a young girl and she was under pressure,” he said.
Instead, Thompson praised his side’s performance that saw them keep pace with the league-leaders until the hour mark.
“I said to the girls at half-time that in open play they hadn’t let the other team make too many chances, because they only scored from set-pieces.”
“I thought we were doing quite well, we kept the ball a little bit, passed it around and it was an open game, but once players started getting sent-off it was a one-sided affair.”
Thompson conceded not having a reserve goalkeeper on the bench was telling in the final scoreline.
“We don’t have a reserve goalkeeper – it’s as simple as that.”
He added, “If you’re going to blame anybody (for not having a reserve goalkeeper), then you have to blame me.”
City are now mathematically unable to qualify for the league top four and a place in the competition’s Semi-Finals, however, Thompson says there is still plenty to play for in the coming rounds.
“After the game we weren’t talking as if we were defeated. We were talking about the work we need to do for next week and how we need to get on with it.”
“There’s a fair bit of football to be played before the end of the season and we have no intention of giving up now.”
“We had an unpleasant experience, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. We just have to deal with the fall-out and move on,” he concluded.
City’s attention now turns to their next scheduled match against Brisbane Olympic in a fortnight’s time – with previously postponed matches against Eastern Suburbs and Olympic yet to be officially scheduled by Football Queensland.
Under competition rules, Doyle and Hepburn will be suspended for their next match due to their dismissals.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Women’s Queensland 2017 – Round 16
Sunday, July 30
A.J.Kelly Park, Moreton Bay
Peninsula Power FC – 10 (Sarah ELNICKY 4’, Alexandra SCHAEFER 23’ 84’, Jessica DAVIS 64’, Jenny CHIU 69’ 78’, Kelly JENKS 73’, Brooke BARBUTO 77’ 81’ 89’)
Gold Coast City FC - 0