A youthful Perth Glory Women side held off a spirited challenge from the Newcastle Jets to claim a point from an entertaining 0-0 draw in Saturday’s Westfield W-League contest at Ashfield Sports Club.
Glory Women went into the match without captain Sam Kerr, star attacker Caitlin Foord and goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold – all in China on international duty with the Matildas – but it presented a chance for a host of younger and less experienced players to push their case for regular selection.
American import Nikki Stanton made an impressive debut, playing a defensive midfield role, and showed why her skills and experience will be important qualities for the team as the season progresses.
Carla Bennett and Emily Henderson were awarded starting positions for Glory Women and neither looked out of place on opposite wings.
Sarah Carroll and Katie Holtham were solid in defence while goalkeeper Gabby Dal Busco pulled off a number of spectacular and important saves at crucial stages of the match.
While no goals were scored, the match had the bumper crowd of 714 on the edge of their seats as Glory Women bravely chased the win.
“We were chasing the three points so it was a disappointing result, but one point is better than none,” stand-in Glory Women captain Kim Carroll said.
“We had some young girls stepping in and they did their job as best as they could in the absence of Sam, Caitlin and Macca.”
Bennett had the best chance of the first half, with her cross from the right almost catching Jets goalkeeper Hannah Southwell off her line.
Newcastle striker Jenna Kingsley, who combined well with the dangerous Rhali Dobson in her team’s front half, forced Dal Busco to make a diving save to her left on the cusp of half-time.
Ella Mastrantonio attempted to break the deadlock with a long-range attempt shortly after the break, but the Glory midfielder’s powerful strike sailed over the crossbar and summed up the day for both sides.
Glory Women will now turn their attention to next Saturday’s big game against W-League newcomers Melbourne City.
“It’s a big game next week, everyone knows Melbourne City have got a stacked side,” Carroll said.
“We’ll recover and then focus on fine-tuning how we’re going to play because we haven’t quite got there yet.”
The match against City kicks-off at 4pm at Ashfield Sports Club.