After a bye in the first round, a bye for ANZAC Day and a 2-1 loss to Wakehurst in their only fixture for season ‘21, it’s fair to say Beacon Hill have lacked what punters would call “exposed form” after three rounds of MWFA Women’s Premier League competition.
And after fighting back for a 2-2 draw with Seaforth on their home track on Sunday, it’s clear Beacon Hill coach Vince Vescio wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think [Seaforth coach] Chris [Wood] underestimated us,” Vescio said. “They’re the favourites, I think, for the competition. I’m not sure, I guess they thought they had us in the pocket. We played against Wakehurst, if they came to watch they would’ve thought, ‘Beacon Hill, that’s not a problem’. But they found a different team on the pitch.”
Wood denied that his team had underestimated Beacon Hill or their wily coach.
“We never underestimate anyone, especially a team like Beacon Hill that have some talented players and a history of winning the league and grand final under Vince,” Wood said. “He knows what he’s doing,” Wood said.
Wood also confirmed that he hadn’t seen Beacon Hill’s 2-1 loss to Wakehurst.
“As a coach you should never look at another team’s results. Unless you are physically at the game you will not know the full story. For all we know, Beacon could’ve been missing players against Wakehurst; might have missed a lot of chances,” Wood said.
Seaforth opened the scoring through Gemma Woolley before Jessica Salakic levelled for Beacon Hill. Woolley got her second before half-time before Alexia Germione levelled again to setup a barnstorming finish.
“We knew it would be a tough game against Chris’s team,” Vescio said. “We knew physically it would be a big battle and we fought really hard and played well. Silly mistakes cost us two goals. But it was a quality game. The referee said afterwards that it was a long time since he’d seen a game as good.
“I’m very pleased with all the girls. We prepared well. We planned to stay in contact with Seaforth’s pace. We have plenty of good players with skills. But [Seaforth] are very fast, with ex-Manly United players, super-fit. If you make mistakes they can counter-attack with their fast players. We had to be compact and work for each other to cut down their space. And we did it. The girls listened. And right to the end the game could’ve gone either way.”
Wood said that a positive for his team was that they played well and controlled possession for the most part. “A disappointing thing was the way we conceded the goals and didn’t take a couple of opportunities.”
In other games Pittwater RSL lost 5-2 to Wakehurst, Manly Allambie (who won their first round match 10-nil against Pittwater RSL) beat Brookvale 8-1 while Manly Vale thumped BTH Raiders 7-nil. Mosman enjoyed the bye.