2013 has been a fantastic year for Port Elizabeth’s Mustangs on the soccer field. The ladies ran riot in the regional league ending the season with a perfect record of 18 wins from 18 matches scoring a massive 105 goals.
During the June holidays the team hosted its Inaugural Mustangs-Prism Inter-Club Football Tournament and in this tournament achieved third place behind two provincial league teams, City Lads and Manchester Babes. In the month of August SAFA NMB hosted its annual Women’s Celebration Tournament where Mustangs once again shone by earning 3rd place behind Sophakama and City Lads. In LFA football, Mustangs earned the double for the first time in their four year history by winning the PEFA Women’s League and the PEFA Women’s Knock-Out Cup. We had 3 players selected for the junior and senior provincial teams this year as well as 3 others who were chosen to be in the SAFA-NMB “Dream Team” following PEFA’s success in the Annual Inter-LFA Tournament held in September.
This past weekend, (23 November 2013), Mustangs Ladies FC earned promotion to the Sasol Provincial Women’s League after playing two tough play-off matches in Jeffrey’s Bay against the winners of Cacadu (African Connections) and the winners of Amathole (All Stars). In the first match against African Connections, Mustangs squandered numerous chances to take the early lead, while their opponents took their chances very well and raced to a 3 – 0 lead within the first 30 minutes of the game. It all looked gloomy for the Nelson Mandela Bay champions, but the team’s revival started with an excellent goal from team captain Jessi Heatley with 5 minutes left in the half sending the teams into the half time break with scores at 3 – 1. The ladies were clinical in the 2nd half scoring two quick goals through Courtney Nanan and the winner eventually came from Sandisiwe Nohayi with 5 minutes left in the game. Mustangs defended very well to ensure African Connections could not secure a point from the match.
30 minutes later, Mustangs took on All Stars who had not yet played on the day and needed a win to secure promotion. The ladies took to the field with heavy and bruised legs, and although tired, feeling confident after the excellent come-back victory in the previous match. The ladies created few chances and it was not surprising when All Stars took the lead after being awarded a penalty in the 20th minute of the match. Mustangs, once again dug deep and pulled a goal back through Courtney Nanan just before half time to ensure they stayed in the game. The second half saw the girls from the Bay displaying superior tactical and technical ability, scoring 8 unanswered goals to win the match 9 – 1!! Courtney Nanan ensured Mustangs took the lead in the 5th minute of the second half with Sandisiwe Nohayi scoring the team’s 3rd goal of the match shortly afterwards. Jessi Heatley scored a cracker from a free-kick to make the score 4 – 1, much to the delight of the packed stand. Sandisiwe Nohayi added to her tally for the match with a second halfway through the 2nd half and Anelisa Tuswa capped off her fantastic performance on the day with a lovely solo run from the heart of midfield and gave the keeper no chance. Their goals were followed by brilliant goals by our three substitutes who all got on the score sheet: Justene Watermeyer ran onto a long pass from goalkeeper Simmy Clarke and beat the on-rushing goalkeeper. Ameera Daniels beat two defenders before unleashing a 25-metre drive that gave the keeper no chance! The final goal of the match came from another substitute, Khanyi Hliso who ran onto an excellent pass from Ameera to seal the victory for Mustangs. The two wins guaranteed Mustangs a place in the elite Sasol Provincial League in 2014. Huge congratulations go to all the players who played their hearts out and showed just how determined they were to win promotion!!
Some outstanding contributors to the clubs success on the field this year include:
- Simoney Clarke: (Goalkeeper), Mustangs’ goalkeeper played in 12 regional league matches keeping 8 clean sheets and scoring 2 goals from the penalty spot. She was named goalkeeper of the tournament in the Mustangs-Prism Inter-Club Football Tournament and the Women Celebration Tournament. She collected the Goalkeeper of the Season and Most Valuable Senior Player.
- Courtney Nanan: (Striker) is the regional league’s top goal-scorer by far. Her 38 goals in 14 matches included 8 hat tricks and one double hat trick. Her performances earned her the Striker of the Season, Top Goal-Scorer and Rookie of the Year as she completed her first season for Mustangs. She also scored 3 crucial goals in the Sasol League Play-Offs.
- Cassandra Pengelly: (Defensive Midfieler) has played as utility player for Mustangs this season, turning in the heart of midfield as well as in all the defensive positions. She won the Best All-Rounder, Most Valuable Junior, Junior Players’ Player of the Year and Junior Player of the Year.
- Jessi Heatley: (Offensive Midfielder) – captain fantastic scored 20 goals across the two leagues. She occupies an offensive midfield position in the team and is always at the forefront of the team’s attack as well as our defensive structures. She represented the Eastern Cape when we hosted a touring side from Germany in March and was voted as the Midfielder of the Tournament in the Mustangs-Prism Inter-Club Football Tournament. Jessi scooped a Certificate in Recognition for her provincial representation, special Leadership Award, Midfielder of the Season, Most Promising Senior Player, Senior Players’ Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year. Scoring the goal that to Mustangs’ revival during Sasol League Play-Offs, Jessi’s leadership qualities are unrivaled as she inspired her team mates to two of the club’s most famous wins.
The rest of the players all made invaluable contributions to the fantastic year the club has had and we all look forward to the challenge of playing in the Sasol Provincial League.
Author: Marlon Louis
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