Box Hill United’s senior women slumped to their first defeat in five league outings, following this afternoon’s 2-0 Round 19 loss to FC Bulleen Lions.
Under difficult ground conditions at Wembley Park due to a lashing rain, the visitors prevailed through first-half goals from Margot Robbine and Caitlin Friend.
It was Box Hill making the first foray into the opposition area though, as a sweeping move down the right saw hotshot Maja Markovski collecting a floated cross, only to shoot just wide from close range on the swivel.
But Bulleen took cruise control soon after, bombing down their right wing on three minutes. Robbine was the first to react to a cross, which the former Bayside United forward flicked home at the far post over Box Hill shot-stopper Bethany Mason-Jones.
The visitors doubled their advantage on seven minutes, as Friend’s left-footed piledriver from 25-yards curled home past Mason-Jones at full-stretch.
Although the hosts found it difficult to cut their teeth into proceedings against a very technical opposition, enterprising striker Emma Hubbard snatched possession along the left touchline and tried her luck from distance, but to no avail.
Going into the half-time break, the Lionesses carved up two more chances, but failed to extend their lead.
While Mason-Jones excelled between the posts to deny Alexandra Natoli on 25 minutes, the visitors were repelled by the post five minutes later after a Box Hill clearance had bounced off a Bulleen forward player inside the box.
With the rain pelting down, the Lionesses continued to dictate terms after the breather, forcing Mason-Jones to successive saves.
The former Melbourne Victory ladies’ custodian denied Friend via a finger-tip stop to turn the ball off the upright on 52 minutes, and conceded a corner while thwarting Rachael Quigley’s effort on 59 minutes. Olivia Ellis was on hand to nod the danger away from the resulting flag-kick, making a timely intervention off the goal-line.
But just past the hour mark, Box Hill looked to turn the screw, forcing a corner on 62 minutes. As captain Hayley Geurts whipped in her delivery from the arc, a Box Hill header from the goalmouth melee was palmed away by Bulleen goalkeeper Teresa Morrissey.
Morrissey then jumped the highest to foil another of the hosts’ goal-bound effort moments later, as Box Hill looked to close the gap.
With the match edging nearer to the final whistle, both sides traded one final attempt on each other’s goal, but neither managed to affect the scoreline.
While Mason-Jones was excellent once more to rush out of her line and keep Kelsey Zafiridis at bay on 77 minutes, Markovski tested Morrissey at the other end with a driven effort on 80 minutes.
Box Hill United starting-XI: N Dakic, H Geurts © (N Griffen, 89’), B Mason-Jones (GK), O Ellis, R Fensom, E Hubbard, A Kakazu, E Langley, M Lantieri-Bartley (E Vatcky, 65’), M Markovski, C Storay (L Pickett, 82’).
Unused substitutes: M Martinez, M Heysen.