A brace from skipper Samantha Kerr* helped Perth Glory score a gutsy 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory in Sunday’s Westfield W-League clash at nib Stadium.
Despite Victory captain Natasha Dowie putting the visitors ahead seven minutes into the second half, Glory quickly hit back through Rachel Hill and Kerr to claim their third win from four matches this season.
The win ensured Glory remains top of the league for a fourth consecutive round.
Kerr, who missed last week’s shock loss to Adelaide United with a quad injury, along with US import Hill, provided a constant threat to the Victory defence from the opening whistle, but neither were able to break the deadlock in the first half.
Opposing goalkeepers Melissa Maizels and Casey Dumont were both called into action within minutes of each other as half-time approached to make telling saves and keep the match on level terms at the break.
Victory snatched the lead in the 52nd minute when Dowie coolly headed home a perfectly-weighted cross from Melina Ayres, silencing the boisterous Perth crowd.
The silence didn’t last long, however, as Hill latched on to a flick-on from Kerr before sidestepping Dumont and finding the net via the underside of the bar to notch her sixth goal of the season.
Hill then combined with Nicola Bolger ten minutes later to set Kerr up for her first goal of the afternoon, with the Matildas star calmly slotting the ball past Dumont to give the home side the lead for the first time in the match.
With Victory players tiring in the Perth heat as the match wore on, Kerr completed her brace when she sprinted on to another clever pass from Hill in the 77th minute, sealing the three points for Glory.
Glory coach Bobby Despotovski said he was always confident his side would claim the victory despite conceding the first goal.
“It was a game of two different halves,” he said. “I reckon the first half we struggled to get into the game in terms of the speed of the game. To be fair, they put us under pressure, we turned over cheap possession and then we were on the back foot all the time.
“The girls were confident, you could see from their demeanour. They didn’t drop their heads, they knew what they had to do. Once we scored that first goal, they started taking on the game and we started taking over the midfield.”
Glory’s next game is away to Canberra United on Saturday.
Perth Glory 3 (Rachel Hill 54’, Samantha Kerr 64’, 77’)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Natasha Dowie 52’)
Referee: Katie Patterson
Assistants: Avrol Beecham, Joanna Charaktis
Fourth Official: Matthew Southern
PERTH GLORY: 2. Sarah CARROLL, 3. Kim CARROLL, 4. Natasha RIGBY, 8. Shawn BILLAM (6. Danielle BROGAN 52’), 9. Rachel HILL, 10. Raquel RODRIGUEZ, 11. Nicola BOLGER (5. Patricia CHARALAMBOUS 90’+1), 12. Shannon MAY, 16. Amanda FRISBIE, 18. Melissa MAIZELS (GK), 20. Samantha KERR (C, 17. Marianna TABAIN 79’)
Subs not used: 24. Morgan AQUINO (GK)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
MELBOURNE VICTORY: 1. Casey DUMONT (GK), 3. Alexandra GUMMER, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Annabel MARTIN, 7. Ga Eul JEON, 8. Angela BEARD, 9. Natasha DOWIE (C), 10. Kyra COONEY-CROSS, 14. Melina AYRES (16. Lia PRIVITELLI 71’), 17. Gulcan KOCA (18 Tiffany ELIADIS 69’), 31. Christina GIBBONS (11. Melindaj BARBIERI 76’)
Subs not used: 20. Bethany MASON-JONES (GK)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
*Samantha Kerr is Western Australia's latest 'Young Australian of the Year 2018' - Congratulations Sam.