Craig Atkins' request for a more clinical performance was answered on Sunday and the Warners Bay coach hoped it was a sign of things to come.
The Panthers improved to 12 points and third position in Herald Women's Premier League with a 5-0 win over Adamstown. The victory put them within one point of leaders Newcastle Olympic and Broadmeadow.
"That was our focus on the training ground all week, that final third, and the girls really showed up against Adamstown," Atkins said.
The return of American Jen Hoy from missing a game due to illness "added some spark" but it was not just the efforts in the front third that impressed the Panthers coach.
"Sophia Laurie does a fantastic amount of work for us in the middle of the park and was enormous again," he said. "Ellie Brown was fantastic and Elly Cook at the back. Their work-rate and they're really improving as footballers, which is fantastic. But all across the park it was an excellent performance."
Warners Bay lost a host of experience leading into this year but Atkins felt they were in a good position as the competition reached its mid-way point.
"Obviously losing who we lost, it was always going to be starting again," Atkins said. "But it's exciting with the girls that have come across. We know what style of football we want to play and it's starting to click which is nice.
"There's still a lot of work to do but we're really enjoying it and the girls seem to be getting better with each week."
Warners Bay and Adamstown, sixth with seven points, are the only sides to have played all of their seven games.
"I think we're in a good position now with the table being so tight but we've got a big one coming up against Magic," Atkins said.
Magic eye top spot
Broadmeadow will be without midfielder Kobie Ferguson as they look to seize the outright competition lead with a win over Thornton at Magic Park on Wednesday night.
The match is the fourth game of five in a hectic fortnight for Magic and coach Jake Curley felt fatigue was starting to show as they downed Mid Coast 3-1 on Sunday.
"The reality of August is they're in 18 days and off 12, so they've got a busy schedule at the moment," Curley said. "But we've had a draw, a win, a win, so that's pretty good."
Ferguson is nursing a thigh complaint and will not play against the last-placed Redbacks.
It may not have been the result Adamstown were after on Sunday but coach Ryan Campbell said there were plenty of positives to take from the match.
One was the first-grade debut of Charli O'Connor, who earned Rosebud's player of the match accolade for both the reserve and top-grade games.
Campbell said the 16-year-old centre-back "did really well against Jen Hoy" when she came on against the Panthers.
He also said 14-year-old striker Ella Spicer "made a really big difference" when she came on in the second half and defender Rachel Duffin "did a good job on Jen Hoy on the whole".
The loss to Magic on Sunday was Mid Coast's first since the WPL resumed after the COVID-19 break and although they did not leave Magic Park with any points coach Michael Grass believes "we're not that far away".
"I don't think the scoreline probably reflects the game in the end," he said on Sunday. "We probably dropped our intensity with about 20 to go. It's something we'll learn from. If we can maintain intensity for 90 minutes against teams like this, I think we compete and we get results."
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