The Illawarra Stingrays are confident the return of attacking weapon Hannah Beard will help fire the side to a crucial NSW Women's National Premier League victory over Blacktown on Sunday.
After scoring five goals in two games, Beard was absent for last week's nil-all draw with Manly United, with the Stingrays generating numerous attacking chances but unable to convert them into goals.
With fourth-placed Illawarra taking on fifth-placed Blacktown, Stingrays coach Scott Chipperfield knows his side must do a better job executing in front of goal.
"We have to score some goals," Chipperfield said. "We had two good games then last week we couldn't score. The girls are working hard, training hard, we just need to be more clinical in front of goal and take our chances.
"We missed Hannah last weekend, she creates a lot of opportunities, likes to score goals and gets in position to score goals. She was missed a little bit last week, but will be back this week."
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While the Stingrays acknowledge their chances of finishing on top of the table are likely extinguished, Sunday's match is a crucial one for locking down their spot inside the top five.
A second-place finish remains on the cards, however the Stingrays will likely need 12 points from their final four games to achieve that.
"It's an important game for us. Our aim at the start of the season is to finish in top spot, eight points is probably too far a gap now, so we're looking at second and third to get that extra chance in the playoffs."
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