The top half of the Toppserien kept a familar feel with a round of little surpises.
Grand Bodø 2-3 Avaldsnes
After taking the lead just a minute in at the Nordlandshallen when Emily Gielnik looped her shot over Siiri Välimaa, the table-toppers were left stunned when Bodø restored parity late in the half.
Anne-Marthe Birkeland happy to flick Amalie Lillevold Johnsen’s dinked cross over the line, Hildegunn Sævik left frustrated as the ball bounced off of her shoulder before dropping in. End-to-end at times the equaliser was no undeserved although it catalysed the visitors who took the lead once more through captain, Elise Thorsnes as she tucked the ball into the bottom corner on the half-volley.
When Meryll Abrahamsen made it three on the stroke of half-time there looked to be no coming back for the hosts, the attacker able to take advantage of the lax defending as she chased a long ball around the ‘keeper before rolling it home. However, having already shown they’re capable of scoring goals Bodø pulled themselves back into the game after the hour through Ingeborg Nordheim, the substitute’s arced shot enough to beat Sævik as it dropped just under the bar.
The chances continued to flow for both though Avaldsnes were able to see the match out with their goal advantage and not surrender top-spot, Bodø still hugging the floor of the table.
Continuing their strong start to the year, the hosts kept themselves in the top two with a win over a Kolbotn team who refused to make it easy for them, Stine Reinås’ second-half flick enough to see them take the lead. Reinås in the right place to knock the ball home from Victoria Ludvigsen’s header on at Elise Liane’s whipped corner.
Synne Jensen doubled the lead less than ten minutes later from the spot after Sanna Svensson was adjudged to have handled in an attempt to stop Jensen’s by-line run. Aurora Mikalsen sent the wrong way as Jensen delivered the ball into the left side of the net, the half hour left on the clock not long enough for Kolbotn to find their best and really test the hosts.
Marita Holmen Iversen’s effort from range had Odo Bogstad well beaten as it smashed the bar full in the face before bouncing into the six-yard box, the ‘keeper unable to spring to her feet in time to stop Lisa-Marie Utland from bringing the ball down and whacking it into the roof of the net.
With both teams having their fair share of struggles already this season, both were hungry for the second-goal, the visitors searching for a cushion as the hosts were desperate to get themselves back into the game. Though it arrived in no hurry the second goal fell in favour of the Tractor Girls, Hanne Kogstad able to pick out the bottom corner from outside the box as Røa struggled to fully clear from Maria Thorisdottir’s deep throw-in.
Whilst the draw does little to help either climb the table both sides will be glad of taking something from the close-run game.
Anna Jennie Nordin’s goal was all that could separate VIF and Sandviken when the pair clashed at the Vallhall, her 86th minute strike enough to give Vålerenga their first win of the year, the visitors still looking for their first three-point haul.
The game started relatively open with both sides seeing chances, Sandviken rather falling away after the break as the hosts turned up the heat, Nora Neset Gjøen doing enough to keep her clean sheet until the last knockings. Synne Christiansen’s corner delivery late in the game provided the tonic for the hosts, Nordin’s delayed run timed to perfection to run onto the whipped ball in the heart of the 12-yard box, Gjøen caught cold as the substitute’s first-time shot rocketed past her.
Trondheim were left frustrated five minutes into their match away to Arna when Emilie Nautnes fluffed a clearance on the line and was left kicking the air as Helene Gloppen’s header slipped past her. Not having the best of season’s so far, TØ struggled for a firm footing in the match, not able to fully test Alyssa Giannetti but still alive with the scores so close.
With time fast running out, Ine Marie Thoresen Wedaa’s found herself with space on the right, the substitute able to get her shot away from the top of the box, Kristine Nøstmo well beaten as the shot arced through the air and dropped just under the bar.
Despite having dropped six points already this year, Bjørnar remain one of the three yet to be beaten, Trondheim still looking for consistency.
Grabbing her sixth of the year, Sophie Haug nodded her side ahead in the fourteenth minute at the LSK-hallen before her teammate Guro Reiten cemented herself as the top goalscorer so far this year. Reiten able to sidefoot Anja Sønstevold’s pull-back under Megan Kufeld and into the far corner, the fourteenth goal Medkila have conceded this year and not the first that was preventable.
There was yet some joy to be had for the lowly side after the break when Anja Rasmussen dispossessed Isabell Bachor of the ball in the middle of the park before spotting debutant Lene Lauve off of her line and chipping her from 45-yards. The goal well-deserved for the visitors who’d done well to carve out chances over both halves.
The win sealed for the hosts ten minutes from time when substitute Silje Blakstad, wrapped the ball around Kufeld from just wide of the six-yard box to finish into the far corner. Not LSK’s most convincing win of the year but enough to keep the current champions in check with Avaldsnes and Stabæk early in the year.