Box Hill United’s senior women were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Bayside United this afternoon away from home, where both goals arrived in the second-half.
The hosts took the lead through Jesse Kotsikas, but Box Hill speedster Elaina Vatcky negated Bayside’s advantage with a superb solo strike.
Following a scrappy opening few exchanges, Box Hill turned the screw to earn no less than five corners in the first quarter, but failed to cash in on the pressure.
Tasmanian duo of Emma Langley and Caitlin Storay were the only ones coming close to troubling the opposition goalkeeper Lauren Farrugia during this flurry of flag kicks, but the latter ensured the sheet remained clean.
Faruggia further tipped Vatcky’s swerving attempt on 35 minutes away from goal after the visitors had broken free down the left.
For Bayside, Emma Runnalls saw her close-range header off a left-flank cross sail over the crossbar, while Box Hill’s combative centre-back Rhiannon Fensom threw in a timely tackle to deny Runnalls a clear shy at goal just before the breather.
The hosts bagged the opener after some lacklustre defending from Box Hill after a corner from the right, when they failed to boot the ball away from danger, and an unmarked Kotsikas stabbed home from 18 yards on 46 minutes.
Box Hill almost registered a riposte when Maja Markovski buried the ball expertly into the net on the back of Vatcky’s fine delivery over the opposition rearguard. But the goal was disallowed due to an offside call from the referee.
Bethany Mason-Jones was then put to test by Bayside on 54 minutes, but the Box Hill stopper flew to her left to thwart Sienna Fogarty’s long-ranger.
Box Hill, now chasing the game, switched gears, which saw Storay’s goalbound header saved by Faruggia, who then foiled the Vatcky-Langley pairing from scoring down the right of the area.
However, the Bayside custodian was powerless to stop Vatcky’s equaliser, who muscled her way past her marker down the left flank and fired a dipping right-footer that landed in the top-right corner.
Box Hill aimed to increase their lead further, but Faruggia was unbeatable – first denying Langley’s point-blank attempt on the turn, and then displaying shrewd judgement to snatch the ball away from a lurking Storay following a feed from Niamh Griffen.
This afternoon’s draw meant Box Hill will remain unbeaten against Bayside in the NPLW this term, having won (6-1) and drawn (1-1) the previous two encounters, respectively.
Box Hill United starting-XI: N Dakic, O Ellis, R Fensom, H Geurts © (M Markovski, 46’), A Kakazu, E Langley (N Griffen, 87’), M Lantieri-Bartley, B Mason-Jones (GK), L Pickett (G Norbury, 60’), C Storay, E Vatcky
Unused substitutes: M Martinez, M Heysen