Macarthur Rams end Stingrays' streak

FOOTBALL

Stingray Chloe Middleton tries to break free from Macarthur's Teresa Polias on Sunday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Stingray Chloe Middleton tries to break free from Macarthur's Teresa Polias on Sunday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Illawarra Stingrays let slip a half-time lead to fall to a 2-1 defeat against league-leaders Macarthur Rams at JJ Kelly Park on Sunday.

The 2012 runners-up had stolen the advantage midway through the first half through skipper Michelle Carney but were pegged back in the second stanza courtesy of goals to Kate Hensman and Nicola Bolger.

It brought to an end a three-game winning steak for the Rays and stemmed their rise up the competition ladder.

Coach Graham Shaw said the loss was difficult to take.

"It was hard to take the result knowing that we could have got more from the game," he said.

"We reflected after the match and thought maybe a point would have been fair.

"They are a top team and you only have to look at their squad and see they have I think nine W-League players and a couple of Matildas so they were always going to have their chances."

While the Rams were creating opportunities in the first half, it was the home side who took the advantage on the half hour mark. Carney was first on the end of a Daila Borg corner to head home from close range.

The competition's leading goal scorer last season had the chance to double the Rays' advantage before half time but had her headed attempt was tipped over the bar impressively by Rams' keeper Trudy Burke.

Macarthur then ramped up their performance in the second half and found the equaliser through Hensman before Sydney FC star Bolger got on the end of a whipped in cross to steal the points for the Rams.

"It is disappointing that we didn't get more out of the game but the football that we have been playing is still evident," Shaw said.

"We had good spells in the game so not too disappointed in that sense but we just have to make sure we keep picking up points in the next few weeks."

The Stingrays sit in seventh with 18 points but remain just four points behind third-placed Sydney University and Football NSW Institute (both 22 points).

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