Maryam Anvari scores on debut at Wembley Park in NPL Women Round 1

Senior Women’s football is back and the fans were excited, as an hour before the game the atmosphere at Wembley Park was already electric.

The stands were already filling up as academy members and families, eagerly grabbed their seats, anticipating a thrilling match ahead. The anticipation and excitement was quite obvious as some fans eagerly lined the sidelines, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite players and perhaps even score a coveted high-five or autograph.

Their enthusiasm painted a colourful scene, with supporters of all ages donning the team’s colours in anticipation of the upcoming clash. It was a heartening display of the deep connection between Box Hill United and its passionate fanbase, setting the stage for a thrilling showdown on the field. It was clear that everyone present knew they were in for a special evening since in the starting eleven, there was a notable presence of new faces, with eight players making their debut.

Inside the first half, both Box Hill United and Brunswick Juventus FC showcased formidable defensive performances, making it difficult for attacks to penetrate into the final third and breach the penalty area. The backlines stood resolute, repelling any advances with steadfast determination.

Bridie Cooling was among the new Box Hill United signings making their starting debut.

All eyes were on number 13, Belinda Stojcevski, as she made her highly anticipated return to Pythagoras. Stojcevski proved to be the rock of Box Hill United’s defence, showcasing her unwavering determination and skill. From the opening whistle, she commanded the backline with authority, demonstrating impeccable positioning and timing to thwart Brunswick Juventus FC’s attacking threats. Her presence alone instilled confidence in her teammates, setting the tone for a formidable defensive performance. In just the second minute of the match, Stojcevski made her mark with a series of defensive highlight plays, expertly clearing the ball from the penalty area and asserting her defensive prowess for all to see.

Maryam Anvari, a debutant and the new number 10, etched her name into Box Hill United’s history with an unforgettable goal. As Asuka Doi orchestrated a masterful play just outside the right side of the 6-yard box, Anvari showcased her exceptional instincts and skill. Positioned flawlessly to exploit the gap created by Doi’s precise pass, Anvari seized the opportunity with finesse. She unleashed a thunderous strike, as the crowd erupted in awe as the goal epitomised not only Anvari’s extraordinary talent but also the sheer excitement and unpredictability of the beautiful game. Doi’s incredible game was reminiscent of her status as last season’s top goal scorer for Box Hill. This goal helped Box Hill United break the deadlock and lead the game 1-0.

Chi Ting is space, lining up the shot.

During the match, just moments after Anvari’s sensational debut goal, a wave of enthusiasm swept through the stands as a group of junior supporters erupted into chants and songs in support of the team. Their voices echoed across Wembley Park, filling the stadium with an energy that lasted for a remarkable 10 minutes straight, capturing the hearts of players and fans alike. Their unwavering dedication and passion demonstrated the deep connection between the club and its youngest supporters, fostering a sense of unity and excitement that reverberated throughout the entire match. It was a heart-warming display of camaraderie and spirit that further fuelled Box Hill United’s determination to succeed on the pitch.

Following a strong opening 45 minutes, Box Hill United took this confidence into the second half.

Stojcevski’s consistency and resilience continued to shine through, as she once again rose to the occasion with a string of outstanding defensive plays. With each challenge that came her way, she remained composed and composed, using her physicality and tactical awareness to outmanoeuvre her opponents and regain possession for her team. Whether it was intercepting passes, winning aerial duels, or making crucial tackles, Stojcevski’s impact on the game was undeniable. Her ability to maintain her high level of performance throughout the match was a testament to her dedication and determination to excel on the field, solidifying her reputation as a defensive stalwart for Box Hill United. 

In addition to Stojcevski’s defensive prowess, Mawa Sumaoro and Chi Ting emerged as key players in leading Box Hill United’s offence. With their relentless determination and skillful playmaking, they created numerous scoring opportunities for their team, keeping the pressure on Brunswick Juventus’ defence throughout the match. Their dynamic contributions not only showcased their individual talents but also highlighted the cohesive teamwork and attacking prowess of Box Hill United. Sumaoro and Ting played pivotal roles in shaping the outcome of the game, exemplifying the depth and talent within the team’s roster.

Mawa Sumaoro brought creativity and skill.

However, the second half saw a determined Brunswick side break through Box Hill’s defence, scoring two goals inside the final 15 minutes.

Despite this setback, Box Hill United demonstrated unwavering passion and commitment throughout the game, fighting relentlessly for victory and honouring the club’s badge with every challenge. 

Although the final score may not have been in their favour, the resilience and dedication exhibited by Box Hill United serve as a testament to the team’s spirit and unity. As the sun set on Wembley Park, the supporters remained proud, knowing that their team had left everything on the pitch.

Chiara Lettieri debuted from the bench, proving a handful for Brunswick Juventus.


Final score:

Box Hill United 1 (Anvari 37′) – Brunswick Juventus 2 (Cooper 76′, Perrone 90′)


Written by Gareth Poon

Images credit: Passion Creations