Strikers blast past Leeton United with 3-0 win at O'Connor Park

ON THE BALL: Stacey Boxsell commands possession during the Strikers' 3-0 victory over Leeton United at O'Connor Park. Picture: Lachlan Grey
ON THE BALL: Stacey Boxsell commands possession during the Strikers' 3-0 victory over Leeton United at O'Connor Park. Picture: Lachlan Grey

A second-half brace to Shae Godbier lifted the Strikers to a 3-0 win over Leeton United at O’Connor Park on Sunday.

The victory marks the Strikers fourth win of the 2017 season and came in emphatic fashion after Godbier produced her maiden double in front of a vocal home crowd.

Both sides traded early pot-shots in the opening half, however no real opportunities went begging until a 17th minute heart-in-mouth effort from Tanaelle Ecclestone bounced off the top-right corner.

The scare seemed to jolt Leeton into action and the visitors struck back in 23rd minute, only to have the goal disallowed for offside.

Cootamundra experienced similar frustration with a 27th minute goal to Taya Smith also denied for offside, however a strong interplay down the right-hand flank saw Ecclestone put the Strikers ahead with a strong finish in the 31st minute.

Leeton continued to frustrate the home side with a scrambling defence and territorial game-plan, continually sending the ball downfield to see the 1-0 scoreline into halftime. 

The visitors came out a different side in the second term, driving forwards and retaining possession more easily to put Coota on the back foot. 

Fitness inevitably proved the difference though as the Strikers regularly exposed United on the wings, using counter-attack ball to punish Leeton from inside their own half.

It was Shae Godbier who proved the beneficiary of such breaks, netting twice in the second half to notch her first double this season and put the result beyond doubt.

Coach Mick Simons was pleased with his side’s performance and noted a number of standout efforts across the park.

“It was a great win, well deserved,” he said.

“Michaella Webb took a huge workload on board and went well … she covered lots of ground and was everywhere at times.

“I had to put a rope on her at halftime as she was running herself into the ground.

“Tanealle Ecclestone also played a real captain’s knock and organised her troops really well.

In a strong team performance, Alana Simons was again influential down the right flank while Matilda McPherson, Maddison Spencer and Talia Smith were rock solid in defence and goals. 

The win solidifies Cootamundra’s position on the Leonard Cup table ahead of Leeton and Young and will give them great confidence heading into next weekend’s derby with Junee.