Lionesses Win Double With Come From Behind Grand Final Success

Lions FC                 3 (Riding 47′, 82′; Hecher 49′)
Moreton Bay Utd    1 (Askin 21′)
HT 0-1
Lions FC secured the Premiership and Grand Final double on Saturday night at Lions Stadium with a come from behind 3-1 success over Moreton Bay United.
Trailing at the break to Lauren Askin’s long range strike, the hosts blitzed their way back into the contest early in the second half with two goals on two minutes from Tegan Riding and Mariel Hecher before Riding’s late strike sealed the deal.
The opening period started a little slowly with both sides trying to find their rhythm but it was the Jets who went closest to opening the scoring when Allira Toby was put in one on one with Lions stopper Cassandra Zaffina, the hero last week in Lions penalty shootout semi-final success, and the Lions stopper proved her worth with a good block to deny the Brisbane Roar striker.
However, from the resulting corner, the ball fell to Askin who from 25 yards out smashed her left foot effort over Zaffina to give Jets the lead.
Lions went close late in the half as they piled on pressure to bring the score back to parity. The best of the chances coming right at the end of the half when Riding’s powerful run saw her cross the ball to Hecher on the edge of the six yard box. Under pressure the Brazilian stabbed a shot away only for it to be blocked by Jets keeper Coco Majstorovic on the line.
The second half saw Lions grab the contest by the horns as they struck twice inside the opening five minutes.
A through ball set Whitney Knight away who managed to evade the offside flag. She was joined by Riding and Hecher in a three on one with Riding being fed the ball and prodding it beyond Majstorovic from 8 yards out to level the score.
A throw in shorty after saw Jets fail to deal with it sufficiently with the ball finding Hecher who calmly and expertly curled her shot around Majstorovic to the delight of her team mates as they took the lead.
Majstorovic almost gifted Lions a third with a poor ball out from the back went to Knight but her return shot flew over the bar and Riding, a couple of minutes later, was also guilty of a glaring miss when firing over when set up.
With Jets looking for a way bak into the game and pressing high, a long clearance from the Lions defence with less than ten minutes left on the clock set Riding away. One on one with Majstorovic, the Lions number 10 slotted the ball past the Jets keeper into the bottom left corner of the net and in the process all but seeing the Grand Final.
The visitors tried to find a way back but were unable to break down the Lions defence and following 4 minutes of stoppage time, referee Taylah Scholefield signalled time to spark celebrations from the home faithful.
It was a typical Grand Final type contest overall. As Lions have done for much of the season they owned the opening period of the second half with the kind of display that saw them take the league title.
Rob’s Comment:
“I’m happy with the 90 minutes. The only thing wrong with the first half was that we came out a little bit nervous whilst Jets came out with a little bit more composure and I though they quite ruthless and efficient. When we went 3-1 up I thought we did a good job of managing the game and seeing it out.”
Team line-ups:
Lions FC:
Zaffina (gk), Heatley, Clough, Morton, Hecher, Knight, Riding, O’Neill, Stanley, Westland, Horsey.
Subs: Shuttleworth (rgk), Hogg, Riley, Stephens, Persson.
Moreton Bay Utd:
Majstorovic (gk), Toby, New, Spreadborough, Daniels, Jackson, Dillon, Schaefer, Walker, Baisden, Askin.
Subs: McElligott, Chalmers, Pollicina, Reynolds.

Referee: Taylah Scholefield.

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