BALLARAT Lady Devils finally tasted victory in Football Federation Victoria state league one this season.
The Ballarat Scrap Metal Lady Devils had a 2-1 win against Preston Lions on Sunday.
It has been a rollercoaster season for the Lady Devils, with captain Holly Williamson ruled out for the season a fortnight ago with a hip injury.
The young squad claimed a lead in the first couple of minutes of the game when there was a scramble in front of goal.
While the ball eventually came off a Lions player, the goal was awarded to Alyson Pym.
Lulu Al-Huneidi added to the scoreline on the 15-minute mark with a thundering left foot strike from outside the 18-yard box.
She gave the goalkeeper no chance.
Preston scored its goal in the 75th minute. Lady Devils’ keeper Jasmina Zdelar looked like she had successfully tapped it over the top of the crossbar, but it fell off her gloves into the goal.
Zdelar made crucial saves in the last 15 minutes’ play and managed to tap the ball over the crossbar right at the end to ensure victory.
Lady Devils’ coach Rick Romein was ecstatic. “We played better football than Preston and for the first 75 minutes played well within our structures,” Romein said.
“Our defensive shape was excellent and we had the opposition playing in areas that were good for us.
“Preston had to resort to shooting from distance and the majority of their shots were easy pickings for our keeper, Mina.”
Romein was pleased with his players’ improved aggression at the ball.
Jasmine Emselle and Tess Meaden were instrumental in screening forwards so Preston had to go in wide.
Tarryn Harris and Natalie Barbara worked hard to make sure their opponents were unable to cross the ball into the forward line.
Lady Devils’ forwards Al-Huneidi, Pym and Sophie Emota were running loose and finding space between the defenders and midfield defensive lines.
Romein said hard work paid off in the result.
Ballarat Lady Devils under 16s travelled to Brighton and lost a tough game, 8-2.
Alyssa Britten scored Ballarat’s goals.