AFTER a slow start at Morshead Park the Eureka Strikers dispatched Lara United on Sunday afternoon, scoring three goals in 20 minutes to take the round 10 fixture.
In their first match without spearhead and league leading goal kicker Lulu Al-Huneidi, the Strikers were out to prove they could still find the goals.
New recruit Keryn Walters looked dangerous for the home side in the opening minutes from attacking midfield, creating chances for the strikers who were unable to capitalise.
While some defensive errors allowed United an opening on goal, young keeper Kate Lyons stepped up to the challenge to make three crucial saves as the two sides went into the change at a scoreless deadlock.
The Ballarat outfit began to play with more flair in the opening moments of the second half, with the breakthrough coming in the 68th minute when Claire Demuth slotted the ball past the keeper from the edge of the 18 yard box.
It wouldn’t take long for Tessa Curtain to double the Strikers’ lead, with a swinging corner kick in the 73rd minute beating the keeper outright.
With the result beyond doubt, Nat Barbara put the icing on the cake by landing a creative shot from the right wing in the 89th minute.
Strikers coach Laura Brady said she had been impressed by her side’s ability to remain composed after heading into the change on even terms.
“Once we got that first goal we started to relax,” Brady said. “Lara didn’t really threaten all day except for when we screwed up.”
Tess Meadon and Erin Plucke were both important for the Strikers in left and right back, while Holly Williamson controlled the tempo from central defence.
The fifth-placed Strikers will now prepare for a month of tough contests, starting with South Melbourne away from home.
Despite sitting in second place, South Melbourne has lost some form in the past month by dropping two of its last three fixtures.
While the Strikers will be missing Plucke and Vanessa Yung for the upcoming clash, Brady said her side would go into the game with the knowledge it can match it with the best in the competition.
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