Perth Glory’s seven match undefeated streak in the Westfield W-League came to an end as Despotovski’s side fell 2-1 to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday.
Natasha Dowie and Christine Nairn scored the all-important goals either side of half time for the hosts, with Rachel Hill claiming a late consolation for Glory in the 90th minute. The result sees Victory climb to the summit of the Westfield W-League, whilst Glory drop to third place in the league.
Despite the attacking prowess of both sides, chances proved few and far between throughout the first 25 minutes. The first clear cut opportunity fell for ex-Glory midfielder Ella Mastrantonio, who fired her well-struck volley straight at Glory custodian Eliza Campbell after 27 minutes. Two minutes later, Sam Kerr would find herself one-on-one with Victory’s goalkeeper Dumont but could not retrieve her first touch past the goalkeeper to roll it into an empty net.
Both sides defended well through the first half until Natasha Dowie drew first blood 10 minutes from the break. A rapid counter-attack from Victory saw the ex-Liverpool striker outmuscle Gale on the left side and place her shot under Campbell to open the scoring with her seventh goal of the season.
The half concluded with Victory ahead by the solitary goal, despite both sides being inches away from adding to the scoresheet. Following the goal, Victory’s Emily Gielnik and Dowie both hit the post, whilst Glory’s pacey American striker Rachel Hill had two golden chances saved brilliantly by Victory’s Dumont; the first a one-on-one block after Kerr robbed Samantha Johnson of possession at the back, the second a near post header parried around the goal for a corner.
The half started with Gielnik’s close range opportunity saved brilliantly by Campbell in the after just three minutes, before Glory began to find chances in the front third. In a frenetic six minute spell, Glory’s front three of Kerr, Alyssa Mautz and Hill all have off-target opportunities, with Kerr coming the closest with a low strike just trickling past Dumont’s far post.
20 minutes later. Victory doubled their advantage with a controversial second goal. A challenge between Glory defender Jamie Lee Gale and Gielnik seemed to take the ball out of play, before the Matilda recovered to chip a delicate cross onto the head of Christine Nairn, who tapped home from point blank range.
The second goal sparked determination in Glory’s attack and the visitors were rewarded for their late fight with a well-taken goal by Rachel Hill. Kerr’s perfected through ball found Hill in front of Dumont, as the American scooped her left footed shot over the sprawling ‘keeper into the back of the net to give Glory hope of rescuing a point. However, the goal proved to be in vain, as Victory would eventually run out 2-1 victors.
Glory will regroup back in Perth before next year’s January 3 home clash against Canberra United at Dorrien Gardens.
Bobby Despotovski on the performance
“We were below our best and we didn’t deserve anything out the game.”
“Melbourne Victory wanted to win the game more than us and that was the bottom line.”
“We couldn’t break down their defence, we played long too many times and the midfield wasn’t involved and that didn’t work out for us.”
Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season Round 9
Melbourne Victory 2 (Dowie 35’, Nairn 83’), Perth Glory 1 (Hill 90’)
Melbourne Victory: 1. Casey DUMONT (GK), 3. Teigan ALLEN, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 7. Christine NAIRN, 8. Angela BEARD, 9. Natasha DOWIE (c), 15. Emily GIELNIK, 16.Samantha JOHNSON, 17. Danielle WEATHERHOLT, 19. Lia PRIVITELLI (10. Kyra COONEY-CROSS - 73’), 21. Ella MASTRANTONIO
Subs not used: 20. Bethany MASON-JONES (GK), 6. Annabel MARTIN, 18. Grace MAHER
Yellow Cards: Beard (22’)
Red Cards: nil
Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Alyssa MAUTZ , 5.Shannon MAY (12.Jenna ONIONS 79’), 7.Nicole STANTON , 9.Rachel HILL, 10.Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI (11.Leticia McKENNA – 45’), 13.Jamie-Lee GALE , 20.Sam KERR (c) , 24.Natasha RIGBY, 25.Katie NAUGHTON
Subs not used: 21. Morgan AQUINO (gk), 22.Abbey GREEN
Yellow Cards: Kerr (63’)
Red Cards: nil