Altona’s Womens Premier League side had their best start to a season in recent years on the weekend, overcoming Mentone 3-1 in front of a great crowd J.K. Grant Reserve.
The game didn’t go all the Seagulls way with Mentone taking a lead 20 minutes into the first half, making the most of one of the first opportunities of the game. It took until the 32nd minute before Ellen Polacsek levelled the game, opening her goal-scoring account for 2016. Polacsek calmly trapped a bobbling ball and slotted it on the right post, finishing a fast breakaway from Danni Schubach and Steph Young.
An even first half finished at one goal apiece, however, it was the A’s who came out firing in the second half. It took only 10 minutes for the experienced combination of Schubach and Young to add a second goal. With confusion around a free-hit, Schubach ran to take it, found Young 60 yards downfield with a great ball, before she calmly rounded the defence and the keeper to give Altona a 2-1 lead.
Mentone kept pushing and it took some great work from Taylah Brennan in the net, German recruit Luisa Hohenhövel and the Altona defence to keep them to just one goal, before the game was put beyond doubt with 10 minutes to go. It was again Schubach, this time taking the shot herself from deep on the left hand side, putting it past the Mentone keeper with a classy effort on the reverse.
The final result stayed at 3-1, giving the A’s their first win over Mentone in the Women’s Premier League competition, and best start to the season in recent times. It was a great debut for internationals Lisa Schrock, Hohenhövel and Georgie Coote, as well as youngster Sophie Martin who made the step-up after a stellar season with the Reserves in 2015, while Bronte Kerley was strong through the middle in her first game back post knee surgery. Next week the team travel to Waverley as they look to continue their winning start, and are further strengthened by the return of Mairaed Crawford for her first game of 2016.
Altona 3 – 1 Mentone
Goals: Polacsek, Young, Schubach