Wallsend goalkeeper Danielle Redding made the crucial save as the Red Devils defeated defending champions Warners Bay on penalties to kick off the Northern NSW Women’s State Cup on Friday night.
Sophie Milton scored for Wallsend in the second half and Warners Bay, missing W-League stars Cassidy Davis and Jenna Kingsley, equalised with 10 minutes to go.
Wallsend claimed the shootout 8-7 after Redding saved a strike from Jets player Tara Pender.
Coach Marc Hingston said it was a deserved win for Wallsend, who were “outstanding”.
“I wish the State Cup was on every week, if that’s the way we are going to play,” Hingston said.
“We create plenty of one v ones, dominated possession and kept the ball well. Warners Bay had Cass and Jenna out but they are still a quality side, so it’s a massive confidence boost for us.”
South Wallsend defeated New Lambton 3-1 in the other opening clash of the three-day competition at Speers Point.
Later, Adamstown defeated Barnsley 8-0 and Thornton beat Mayfield on penalties 4-3 after a 1-1 draw.
Group games continue Saturday. Knockout games are Sunday with the final at 4pm. Warners Bay, Wallsend, Boambee and University are group A. New Lambton, South Wallsend, Thornton and Mayfield make up group B. Merewether, Mid North Coast, Cooks Hill are group C, while Adamstown, Kurri Kurri and Barnsley are D.