McLaughlin hat-trick thriller at Deakin

Article courtesy of Capital Football

Sunday 24th April 2016
Canberra FC 5 (Kat Conroy 27’, Alice Churchill 69’, 89’, 90+2’, Bridget Wright 82’) Tuggeranong United 4 (Jamie Berkeley 5’, Meg McLaughlin 25’, 70’, 84’)
(Deakin Stadium)

By Isaac Norwoozi

Two hat-tricks, two penalties, and plenty of drama, Canberra FC fought back from 2-nil down to win 5-4 in a thrilling affair at Deakin Stadium. Tuggeranong United were the underdogs coming into Deakin, but started off the game as if they were favourites, dominating the early possession. They were rewarded early, as a ball across goal by Meg McLaughlin beat the keeper, and was forced into the net by Jamie Berkeley who was under pressure from Canberra FC’s Alice Churchill.

Tuggeranong got the opportunity to lead by two just moments later via a penalty, however Canberra FC goalkeeper Georgia Stewart denied Dianne Wilson in spectacular fashion. However, soon after Tuggeranong would score their second, as McLaughlin beat Stewart from close range. It took two goals to wake Canberra FC up, as the home side got one back just a minute after conceding via a spectacular long range effort from Kat Conroy. Canberra FC pushed forward trying to get the equaliser, but the half would end 2-1 in favour of the away side.

Canberra FC looked like a different side coming into the second half, and found the equaliser after just two minutes. Bridget Wright found herself with the ball in front of an empty net, and made no mistake to take the game to 2-all. Twenty minutes later, Churchill made up for her own goal, intercepting a pass, taking the ball into the box and hitting it into the back of the net to give Canberra FC the lead for the first time in the match. Tuggeranong however, would not quit, finding an equaliser via McLaughlin to take the game to 3-all with just over ten minutes remaining. Five minutes later, Churchill found herself being the hero once again for Canberra FC, hitting the ball into the bottom corner to give her side the lead for the second time.

Tuggeranong still refused to quit, as ended up winning a penalty in the 90th minute for a chance to salvage a draw. McLaughlin stepped up and made no mistake, picking up her hat-trick to make it 4-all. However, the drama did not end there, and McLachlan was called to the plate once again for Canberra FC. Churchill capitalised on a defender’s mistake, and made no mistake hitting the ball past the keeper to earn herself a hat-trick, and give her side the lead for the third and final time. Canberra FC held the ball until the final whistle to earn the 5-4 win in one of the greatest Women’s Premier League matches in history.

Canberra FC head coach Peter Kavouras was pleased with his sides result, however feels that his side has things they still need to work on. “I think that the girls got a bit nervous when they saw that they had some W-League players,” he said. “They were rushing their passes and there was no real structure in the midfield, but the end result, 5-4, with the players we had, I’m happy.”

Tuggeranong FC head coach Michael Aldred was pleased with his side’s performance, but felt his side deserved better. Aldred also praised the quality of the Women’s Premier League after an incredible game. “I thought it was a fascinating advert for the WPL, anyone who watched that would see that there is some real quality football being played,” he said. “I think we were a little bit unlucky, the result was a little bit harsh on us.”

Canberra FC: 1. Georgia STEWART, 2. Amy MCLACHLAN, 3. Meg MCFARLAND, 4. Nida MOLLISON, 6. Alice CHURCHILL, 7. Kristy BABINGTON, 10. Jennifer BISSET, 11. Ella-Jane RILEY, 12. Sheridan MCELLIGOTT, 13. Bridget WRIGHT, 16. Kat CONROY

Substitutes used: 5. Kate THORNTON, 22. Malli MALLINSON, 31. Diarna GENOVESI
Tuggeranong United: 1. Jill SCOTT, 2. Renae SHATZMAN, 3. Anna DOYLE, 6. Rachael CORBETT, 8. Meg MCLAUGHLIN, 9. Alex LAWRENCE, 10. Miranda SUMMERSBY-MITCHELL, 12. Sophie EVANS, 13. Sandra HILL, 24.  Jamie BERKELEY, 25. Dianne WILSON
Substitutes used: 7. Kimberly MORGAN, 15. Beth WILLIAMS, 23. Stephanie TRIMBLE
YELLOW CARDS: 3. Meg MCFARLAND, 6. Alice CHURCHILL, 10. Jennifer BISSET (Canberra FC)