Lady Devils' coach heartened despite loss

A SPIRITED performance from the Ballarat Lady Devils wasn’t enough to steal a point off competition benchmark South Yarra in Football Federation Victoria women’s state league one action on Sunday.

Coming through: Jasmine Emselle weaves her way through two South Yarra opponents on Sunday.

Coming through: Jasmine Emselle weaves her way through two South Yarra opponents on Sunday.

The Ballarat Scrap Metal Lady Devils went down 2-1 in a tight tussle at Fawkner Park on Sunday.

Striker Lulu Al-Huneidi handed the visitors the lead with a beautifully drilled shot at the four-minute mark.

Al-Huneidi has now registered at least one goal in the past four  weeks, and sits outright second on the leading goalscorers’  tally, with seven for the season.

However, Ballarat was unable to maintain its lead, with South Yarra scoring the equaliser at the 19-minute mark and then the sealer with 15 minutes left in the second half.

Alyson Pym was again good in pressuring the opposition defence, making it predictable for the Ballarat midfielders to challenge 50/50 balls.

Quality strikes from the Lady Devils in the closing stanza forced the South Yarra keeper to make quality strikes to keep her side in the lead.

Central midfielders Tessa Curtain and Jasmine Emselle were instrumental in setting up the play going forward amid bone-jarring defensive tackles. 

Lady Devils coach Rick Romein said his team would take momentum from the contest, despite not securing the points.

“The last three weeks we’ve been building momentum right across the park and, although we lost the game, the momentum continues,” he said.

“We lost to a very good squad that are third on the ladder, but our young squad pushed them to the limit.

“I am very heartened to see the structures that we’ve put in place with the attitude and desire of our players forcing the opposition to work extremely hard to break us down.”  

Ballarat maintains its eighth spot on the ladder, but is now four points behind seventh-placed Keilor Park

Earlier in the day, an undermanned development squad lost 9-0, and the under-16s were defeated 5-2 in a hard-fought battle at Heidelberg.

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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