NPLW Round #5: Late Heroics put us back on Winning Terms


After a demanding match that seemed set to end all square, Tegan Riding un-did Peninsula Power’s late equaliser with a 91st-minute winner at Luxury Paints Stadium.

Despite our competitive nature, it hasn’t been the start we wanted for the 2024 campaign. A lone victory in four games after a series of high-scoring defeats and a draw has left us with a ladder to climb after only four matchdays, so when we stepped onto the field against Peninsula Power, there was only one result that we would accept.

We started with strong energy, creating several early chances through Alyssa Cox, Jessie Rasschaert, and Tui Tugan before Sam DeBien broke the deadlock ahead of the 25th minute. Capitalising on a kind goalkeeping effort, Sam recovered the ball inside the box, planting a first-time strike into the back of the net.

Peninsula Power didn’t stay quiet for long, with Anna Hirakawa firing home with a powerful header at the back post. Alyssa Cox stepped up to re-capture our lead, forcing an own goal after rising at the near post and flicking a glancing header over the keeper, who was unfortunate to punch the ball into the roof of the net as she attempted a clearance.

2-1 at the break, and our goal was clear.

The second half was far more physical, with Peninsula Power fighting to get an equaliser as our Lions Women continued to forge chances in transition. Our resistance was broken right after the hour mark with a stunning Sophia Cuba freekick catching Emily Clark off-guard from the halfway line.

Amy Gunston, who was almost last weekend’s hero against Mitchelton, came off the bench in the final twenty minutes. She once again showcased her immense value to this team, guiding us back in front with her fifth goal of the NPL campaign. A subtle finish across the keeper trickled into the net with ten minutes remaining.

For the third time on the night, Peninsula Power struck back. Another great header from Anna Kirakawa restored parity with less than ten minutes remaining. Emily Clark made a crucial one-v-one save in the final moments to preserve the draw, but we needed something else to change the trajectory of our season.

Who else but Tegan Riding. A defining finish in the 91st minute, measured at the back post after a sharp cross Meaghan McElligott. Euphoria, but the game wasn’t over yet. A week prior, Amy Gunston’s 91st-minute would-be-winner was cancelled out in the 93rd minute. We had to stay focused.

Kaho Nakatate won a penalty in the 93rd minute that would surely seal all three points, but her spot-kick was saved, and we were forced to hold on until the referee’s whistle blew, sounding a momentous three points.

Our second win of the season and a crucial one. Six points off first, and we have already faced four of the top teams in the competition. There is work to be done, but this victory could mark an early turning point in what is certainly going to be a difficult and competitive campaign.


NPL Women 2024 Round #5

Lions FC 4 – 3 Peninsula Power

Luxury Paints Stadium, Richlands


NPL Women 2024 Round #6

Lions FC vs. Souths United

Wakerley Park, Wakerley

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