EXPERIENCED players set the tone in Ballarat Lady Devils’ tight one-all draw with Berwick City.
Ballarat Scrap Metal Lady Devils captain Holly Williamson was cleared to play on match day, passing a fitness test for her injured hip.
In tough conditions on Sunday, Ballarat scored first 20 minutes into play via Lulu Al-Huneidi on her return.
The Lady Devils held a one-nil lead into the half-time break.
An unlucky deflection in the back half gifted Berwick an own goal in the 56th minute, Lady Devils’ goalkeeper Jasmina Zdelar had scambled to try and save it to no avail.
Berwick kept pressing hard and in the dying minutes made one late shot that hit the crossbar. The full-time whistle saved the Lady Devils.
Ballarat coach Rick Romein said the Lady Devils’ experienced girls were pivotal in showing young players what to do in pressure situations.
“The discipline our girls showed far exceeded what we did last week in respect to team plays,” Romein said. “Our defensive structure was sound for most of the game and going forward we had good options when they played one touch football, to feet or into space.
“Our midfield exploited the space between the opponents’ back four and the 18-yard box and we were very unlucky not to put two or three more goals on the board. The younger team members are looking to our senior members as role models and this will put us in good stead for the majority of games and the season.”
Earlier, the Lady Devils’ development squad battled a two-all draw. Sophie Emota and Alyson Pym each scored goals.
The under-16s had an emphatic five-nil win at Bulleen. Goal scorers were Alyssa Britten 3 and Kyra Cooney-Cross 2.