Last weekend saw a further three matches in the Westfield W League. Impetus editor Ben Gilby reports.
Melbourne City took advantage of previous leaders Western Sydney Wanderers being one of three teams with a bye to replace the New South Wales side at the top of the table after recording an impressive 2-0 win at Brisbane Roar in front of 2,693 fans at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium.
With no game for the past two weeks, some City fans may have been concerned that their side might be rusty, but any fears were dispelled when the Sky Blues took the lead after just six minutes. Yukari Kinga played in Australian international Steph Catley, and her cross was diverted straight into the path of Melbourne City forward Milica Mijatovic by Roar goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, and the Serbian striker couldn’t miss.
Brisbane hit back strongly, with Matildas star Hayley Raso denied three times – first from a header which Lydia Williams saved, then her fierce effort crashed off of the bar and a third effort which failed to trouble Williams.
Melbourne could have settled matters when they awarded a penalty after Aivi Luik was fouled by Katrina Gorry. Steph Catley’s spot kick was comfortably saved by Arnold. However, the second goal finally came when Mijatovic played in Luik who smashed the winner home.
Melbourne Victory took advantage of Brisbane’s defeat to replace them in the top four following a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets in front of an impressive crowd of 4,961 at AAMI Park.
It took just ten minutes for Victory to take the lead thanks to Natasha Dowie’s goal which came at the end of a great build-up. Lia Privitelli played in Darian Jenkins whose cross was flicked on by Rosie Sutton for Dowie to head home.
Melbourne’s lead was doubled fifteen minutes later when Sutton’s header came back off the post and Jenkins prodded the ball in.
Despite Victory continuing to push forward, the only remaining goal of the game went Newcastle’s way. Tara Andrews’ cross rebounded off of Melbourne’s Rosie Sutton into the path of Gema Simon and the Jets left-back’s shot went in off of the post.
The remaining game of the round took place at the Marden Sports Complex where Adelaide United hosted Perth Glory in the battle of the only two sides yet to win a game this season.
Perth started strongly but due to a combination of poor finishing and fine goalkeeping from Sarah Willacy in the United goal, had nothing to show for it.
The South Australians punished Glory for the profligacy when Chelsie Dawber was played in and coolly slotted past Glory keeper Eliza Campbell. Just before half-time, it was 2-0 to Adelaide when Dawber turned creator to play in Mary Fowler who smashed the ball into the corner of the net.
The vast majority of the 565 spectators were in dreamland, but to their credit, Perth came out firing at the start of the second half.
Within seven minutes of the restart they were back in it when Crystal Thomas ran onto a through ball, turned a Reds defender and hit a lovely shot into the top corner.
Perth were going all out for the equaliser and Adelaide almost caught them when Mary Fowler’s effort went narrowly wide and Charlotte Grant hit a shot over the bar.
Just as it looked like Adelaide would earn their first three points of the season, Glory were awarded a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time and up stepped Morgan Andrews to earn Perth a share of the spoils – and leaving both teams still searching for their first wins.
Western Sydney Wanderers, Canberra United and Sydney FC were all not in action. The next round of matches takes place between 9-12th January with Sydney FC, Adelaide United and Perth Glory all receiving a bye during that weekend.
Latest Westfield W League Table:
|Melbourne City||7||6||1||0||10||3||19||+ 7|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||6||5||1||0||16||3||16||+ 13|
|Sydney FC||7||5||0||2||12||8||15||+ 4|
|Melbourne Victory||7||3||2||2||8||9||11||– 1|
|Brisbane Roar||7||3||1||3||10||12||10||– 2|
|Canberra United||7||3||1||3||10||12||10||– 2|
|Newcastle Jets||7||1||1||5||7||12||4||– 5|
|Perth Glory||7||0||2||5||6||13||2||– 7|
|Adelaide United||7||0||1||6||6||13||1||– 7|
Teams in bold qualify for the Finals play-offs.