Craig Atkins was much happier with the performance Warners Bay produced in a resounding 8-1 rout of New Lambton in round two of Herald Women's Premier League last Friday night.
Most pleasing for the Panthers coach was seeing the eight goals shared among six players. Alannah Russell and Mattiese Loretan both scored match doubles and Elodie Dagg, Sian Keating, Zoe Horgan and Annika D'Amico also found the back of the net.
The Panthers are still adjusting from the last-minute loss of superstriker Jen Hoy, who is not playing, and were well beaten by Newcastle Olympic in round one.
D'Amico was not planning to play this season but answered an SOS for Atkins to play on Friday night.
"I flicked her a message and said would you be keen to sit on the bench for reserves as we had a couple of people away," Atkins said.
"She was keen. She's signed up and I ended up putting her on the bench for first grade as well and she came on and scored one. So that was nice to have her back. Whether she comes back full-time, I'm not sure yet but it's a good resource to have if we need it."
Atkins was also impressed with Horgan, who has joined Dagg and Ryley Field in the midfield in place of Sophia Laurie who is not playing this year.
"Zoe came from Tasmania last year just after the halfway mark and I could see she was quality when I first saw her train, but she obviously had to bide her time," Atkins said.
"The combinations between those three were quite good to watch and hopefully a good sign for things to come."
Midfielder Kirrilly Hughes had instant impact in her return to Mid Coast after a stint playing college football in the United States. The 22-year-old is part of a midfield combination with Evie Bobilak and Chelsea Hall that coach Michael Grass said will be key to their success this year.
Hughes scored with a free kick in a 3-3 draw with Adamstown in round two. It was Mid Coast's first hit-out of the season after their round-one clash with Charlestown was postponed.
"If our midfield can create opportunities and stay tight defensively, I think we can stay in any game for long periods," Grass said.
"Kirrilly, Chelsea and Evie were great for us against Adamstown and, overall, I was really impressed with the effort. I didn't really know what to expect. We hadn't played a game for nine weeks and training had been sporadic but, if that's the starting point for us, it's definitely looking positive."
There are plenty of new faces stating their cases in Herald WPL this season and one is 18-year-old Jannali Hunter.
The younger sister of Broadmeadow captain Kalista Hunter has joined Magic from the Emerging Jets program and has been used in both games so far. The intense clash with defending champions Newcastle Olympic at Magic Park on Saturday was somewhat of a baptism of fire but she held her own in a 2-0 win.
At left-back she formed a makeshift back four with wide-backs Erin Wilson, Katie Oliviera and Alice Munro all out. Kalista, normally a centre-back, played right-back and Maddie Dean, an attacking player, formed a centre-back pairing with new signing Kirstyn Antoni.
The Emerging Jets kicked off their NSW National Premier League Women's season with a 1-0 loss to Macarthur at Lynwood Park on Sunday. They host Football NSW Institute at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility this Sunday at 3pm.
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