Captain Neesa Doyle in action (photo Chris Simpson)
It took a late surge from United to reel in a fast starting Logan at Cornubia Park last night and head back down the M1 with a share of the points.
Lightning struck early when winger Brie Bond cracked a powerful left foot shot that had too much fizz for Kealy-Hawkins in the United goal. The lead was doubled just after the half hour mark when Pinkney’s speed down the left flank got her in behind and she finished calmly for the hosts.
A touch of McElligott class stemmed the tide for the visitors, a nice piece of skill on the edge of the box to outwit a defender and make space for a powerful low strike, 2-1 at half time.
The second half was all United, they peppered the Lightning goal from the get go but couldn’t find the net. This proved costly 15 minutes in when Bond scoring her second on the back end of a Logan counter attack, the hosts stretching their lead to 3-1.
But this United team is resilient and rallied on the back of some strong leadership from Captain Neesa Doyle and telling surges up front from wingers Teleya Reynolds and Deeanna Thompson.
When McElligott’s second power-strike from the edge of the box found the net with twenty left, United were in with a sniff. Mackenzie Akins then squared things up two minutes later and the Surfsiders looked set for a ‘come from behind’ win.
But the home side was not to be denied something from the match, defending stoutly to the whistle. It finished all square in Logan, 3-3.
Post game Cook was full of praise for the response from his squad.
“We were definitely not good enough in the first half, and the squad knows that.
“To perform the way they did during the last 30 minutes shows that this is a wonderful group of young women. Full of courage and character, this group refuses to give up.
“After all of the challenges they’ve faced this season – injuries, disruption to so many training sessions due to Commonwealth Games, and having to play 10 out of the 12 matches away from home, to be on a run of one defeat in four games is a credit to the players.”
Cook had high praise for his skipper and singled out his wingers for special mention.
“Neesa Doyle was huge for us, at times playing the part of three players. And Teleya Reynolds was outstanding in an unfamiliar role for her.
Dee Thompson was like a caged tiger on the sideline, waiting for her chance to get back out there.
“We’re all so excited to see Dee Thompson get through 35 minutes, and while a little rusty after such a lengthy time out, she definitely made a difference for us.”
A home game for the Women next start, Saturday the 12th of May, a weekend off to shake out the travel bugs and refocus ahead of the final game of the first half of the season.
“Bring on Sunshine Coast and the rest of the season, my women are ready.”
National Premier Leagues Women, Rd 12
Monday, April 30, 2018
Cornubia Park, Shailer Park
Logan Lightning 3 (Bond 21’ 70’, Pinkney 33’)
Gold Coast United 3 (McElligott 38’ 71’, Akins 73’)