Kerr double sends Glory top

Glory climbed to the top of the Westfield W-League ladder for the first time this season after two headed goals from Sam Kerr secured a battling 2-1 win over Sydney FC.

The hosts had to come from behind in fiercely hot conditions at nib Stadium, with a stunning Alana Kennedy free-kick putting the Sky Blues ahead on 27 minutes.

Immediately after the restart, however, Kerr nodded home Nikki Stanton's corner to make it 1-1 and the club skipper repeated the feat, this time from a Rachel Hill cross, to bag a dramatic winner five minutes from time.

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Head Coach Bobby Despotovski was understandably delighted with the result and in particular, the way his side fought their way back in the second half.

"It was incredibly hot and that meant it probably wasn't an enjoyable first half for anyone," he said.

"At half-time I didn't want to bore our players with the tactical decisions and this, that and the other.

"What I said to them was that I'd rather give it a go and lose 4-0 than stay safe and lose 1-0.

"I took all the pressure away from them and said to give it a shot at least. And they did that."

Despite the temperature sitting in the high 30s, the game got off to a lively start with both sides going close to finding the net in a dramatic seventh minute.

First, Sydney FC goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe pulled off a fine save to keep out Kerr's header from a Stanton free-kick and when the visitors then immediately broke downfield, Katie Naughton was forced to produce a superb last-ditch challenge to foil Princess Ibini as she prepared to pull the trigger.

Bledsoe was called into action again moments later, this time to keep out a close-range effort from Alyssa Mautz, but the deadlock was eventually broken at the other end just short of the half-hour.

Mautz conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Kennedy showed her class by bending the resulting free-kick around the wall and into the top corner.

Savannah McCaskill and Sofia Huerta then both threatened for the visitors, before Kerr responded by riding four challenges and rifling in a shot which Bledsoe did well to parry away.

The Glory skipper was not to be denied two minutes into the second half, however, beating her marker to Stanton's corner and powering home an emphatic header.

Lifted by that leveller, the hosts seized the initiative and came agonisingly close to going in front when substitute Jacynta Galabadaarachchi sent Kerr racing away, but after she unselfishly slid the ball across the face of goal, Hill was unable to convert at the far post.

It looked as if the spoils would be shared as the pace inevitably dropped during the latter stages, right up until another touch of class from Kerr sealed a vital victory.

Hill was the provider on this occasion, whipping in an inviting cross from the right and the Matildas star out-muscled her marker to head her eighth goal of the season.

Match Details

Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season Round 8

Perth Glory 2 (Kerr 47', 85') Sydney FC 1 (Kennedy 27')

Half-time: 0-1

Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Alyssa MAUTZ , 5.Shannon MAY, 7.Nicole STANTON , 9.Rachel HILL, 11.Leticia MCKENNA (10.Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI 46') , 13.Jamie-Lee GALE , 20.Sam KERR (c), 24.Natasha RIGBY, 25.Katie NAUGHTON

Substitutes not used: 12.Jenna ONIONS, 22.Abbey GREEN, 23.Stacey CAVILL (gk)

Yellow cards: Mautz, Stanton

Red cards: Nil

Sydney FC1.Aubrey BLEDSOE (gk), 2.Teresa POLIAS (c) (18.Taylor RAY 90'), 4.Elizabeth RALSTON,  6.Chloe LOGARZO, 8.Amy HARRISON (5.Ally GREEN 83'), 9.Caitlin FOORD, 10.Savannah McCASKILL, 14.Alanna KENNEDY, 20.Princess IBINI (11.Lisa DE VANNA 65'), 22.Sofia HUERTA, 23. Danielle COLAPRICO, 

Substitutes not used: 30.Trudy BURKE (gk)

Yellow cards: Huerta, Colaprico

Red cards: Nil

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