Barkerettes back on track but men suffer heavy losses

The Mooroolbark Barkerettes have taken another win bringing them up to second on the ladder. Picture: MOOROOLBARK SOCCER CLUB.

By Peter Stephenson

The Barkers’ women’s and men’s soccer sides experienced contrasting fortunes on Friday night.

A cold, drizzly night at Esther Park saw the Barkerettes (third) host their first-ever league meeting with Yarra Jets (fifth), in round three of Women’s State 3 East. Barkerettes needed to bounce back quickly from the dropped points at Swinburne last week, to keep in touch with league leaders Banyule City and Lilydale Montrose United.

The first half was mostly Barkers, but both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances. Lucky, then that we’re with Amy. On 24 minutes, a pass from Lisa Walsh found Amy D’Ortenzio, who hit a low shot past an out-of-position Gerty Daly in the Jets’ goal, into the corner of the net for 1-0 Barkers.

Jets didn’t really threaten until the closing minutes of the half, and when they did break through the Barkers defence, keeper Ashleigh Fraraccio was alert enough to snuff out the danger with a dive at the forward’s feet. Half-time: Mooroolbark 1-0 Yarra Jets.

The second half saw Barkers hit their straps and they put the game to bed with two goals in quick succession. On 64 minutes, a lovely through ball was sent into the path of Walsh, who hit a sweet shot past Daly for her fifth of the season to make it 2-0.

Barely a minute later, a beautiful ball from D’Ortenzio found Isabella Vorpasso in space on the right, and she hit a lovely chip over Daly to make it 3-0. All was set fair for another clean sheet until two minutes from time when Barkers repeatedly failed to clear their lines, allowing Kirsten Pedder to lob the home keeper, but it was too little too late for Jets as Barkerettes ran out 3-1 winners.

An excellent second half from Barkerettes led to a comfortable win. Not for the first time this season, they simply ran the legs off their opponents. They move into second spot, two points behind Banyule City. Next week they face a local derby and a real six-pointer as they travel the short distance to third-placed Lilydale Montrose United for their first-ever meeting.

Meanwhile, over at Kevin Bartlett Reserve in Richmond, the Barkers’ men’s sides endured a night to forget in round eight of the men’s State 2 South-East. First the reserves lost 0-5 to the league leaders Collingwood City. The senior side fared little better, going down 0-4. To rub salt into their wounds, Josh Newman suffered a nasty injury towards the end of the game. Next for Barkers is a home game against Heatherton United next Saturday.