W-League Report: City 5-2 Newcastle

Melbourne City made it two wins in two weeks on Sunday, beating the high-flying Newcastle Jets five goals to two.

Defensive errors by Lydia Williams and Alanna Kennedy allowed the Jets to wipe out an early goal to Kyah Simon, before Larissa Crummer would grab her first goal in City colours to leave it two all at the half.

The second half was all City however, with Crummer scoring her second and Jess Fishlock securing a brace of her own as a rampant City overran the Jets.

City will look to make it three wins on the trot next week when they travel to Sydney to face Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.  

Starting XI

Head Coach Paddy Kisnorbo rewarded the side that notched up City’s first win of the W-League season last week, running out the same starting XI that defeated the Melbourne Victory in another successful Melbourne Derby. Fifteen-year-old Sofia Sakalis made her professional debut on the City bench, brought into the squad to replace Tyla-Jay Vlajnic, who missed the contest with a knee injury.

What Happened?

City drew blood early in the contest when Simon grabbed her first goal in City colours in just the 4th minute of play.

Recycling an attack that the Jets had initially repulsed, City worked the ball out on the right to winger Ashley Hatch. The 22-year-old California native played a dangerous ball into the area, which Jets defender Nikola Orgill could only deflect into the path of Simon – who put the ball into the bottom corner to open her City account and give City the early lead.

The early goal marked the highlight of an initial period of City domination, with Kisnorbo’s side dominating early possession and frequently piercing the Jets press with some pinpoint passing from the back.

Disaster struck for City on the 15th minute however, when fate gifted the Jets Katie Stengel the easiest equaliser she is ever likely to score.

Receiving a back pass from Kennedy, the normally safe as houses Williams slipped attempting to clear the ball upfield and Stengel was able to pounce on the rebound to grab both the equaliser and the Jets first ever goal against Melbourne City.

Errors would again haunt City five minutes later, when this time it was Kennedy that committed the out of character ever to gift the Jets the lead.

Attempting to control a deflected ball that looped towards her, the Matilda fluffed her attempt to control the ball and had it roll behind her into the path of a forward running Stengel.

The 25-year-old from Melbourne, Florida collected the ball and blasted it into the top left corner of the net to grab her second and give the Jets the lead.  

Looking shaky at the back and finding themselves down to a team they had been dominating in the initial stages, City pushed forward to find an equaliser, looking particularly dangerous as they advanced down the right of the play, with Jess Fishlock, Rebekah Stott and Hatch linking up well and presenting problems for the Jets defence.

It was through attacks down the right that City almost found themselves level twice in two minutes. Fishlock beating the Jets Hannah Brewer and sliding a ball across to Crummer, whose backheel flashed just wide of the post in the 28th minute and Hatch cutting inside from the wing and launching a chipped effort that just bounced off the top of the crossbar and out of play.

However, the two early goals had clearly shaken City, whose normally fluid build-up play from their backline was characterized by uncertainty and sloppy mistakes.

A breakdown in communication between Williams and Lauren Barnes was almost enough to give the Jets a third, with City’s American defender inadvertently playing the ball backwards past an advancing Williams, the ball narrowly passing just to the right of the City post.

Despite the shakiness at the back, City still looked dangerous going forward and their attacking endeavour was rewarded, aided by a defensive error by the Jets defence, with an equaliser in the dying moments of the half.

Breaking down the left in the 45th minute, City captain Steph Catley played a speculative low ball into the penalty area that was directly at the Jets superstar Emily Van Egmond. The Matilda however, couldn’t control the ball and it bounced directly to Larissa Crummer on the edge of the six-yard box.

Crummer had the space to turn and blast the ball past Britt Eckerstrom in the Jets goal to ensure that the game would go into the break level.

What was said in the dressing rooms at the half time seemed to settle City, and they looked a much more confident team after the restart, and they were soon rewarded on the score sheet.  

Collecting the ball just inside her own half in the 54th minute, Simon unleashed Catley with space to run into down the left. Getting to the byline, Catley cut back inside and played a dangerous ball into the Jets penalty area that somehow found its way to Fishlock on the edge of the six-yard box.

The Welsh superstar adjusted herself magnificently as the ball came to her at near head height on the half volley, contorting her body in order to swing her right foot at the ball and blast it into the goal to give City the lead back.

A scary moment soon followed, when play was temporarily suspended in the 59th when Jets defender Natasha Prior went down after receiving a hard-hit ball to the face as she blocked a shot from Hatch.

Down for several minutes, Prior was eventually helped off the field by two trainers and was immediately led down the tunnel as she was replaced by Panagiota Petratos.

Prior would later emerge from the rooms and watch the rest of the game with her Jets teammates on the bench, allaying fears of serious damage to the Jets defender.

City would resume their dominance following the restarting of play, and took firm control of the game in the 71st minute when Crummer grabbed her second goal of the game to make it four goals to two.

It was the quintessential poachers goal, with Crummer first to the loose ball in the six-yard box after a magnificent long range effort from Hatch ricocheted off the cross bar and of the back of Eckerstrom.

Four minutes later Fishlock would put the cherry on the cake when she made it five goals to two.

A City cross was cleared only as far as City’s Welsh superstar, who launched an absolute thunderbolt from 25 yards out and into the top left corner to put the game beyond doubt.  

Match Details

Westfield W-League Round 3

Friday 12, November 2017

Melbourne City FC - 5

Newcastle Jets - 2 

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Melbourne City FC: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (GK) 2. Yukari KINGA, 3. Lauren BARNES, 4. Ashley HATCH, 5. Lia MULDEARY, 7. Steph CATLEY (C), 9. Larissa CRUMMER, 10. Jess FISHLOCK, 11. Rhali DOBSON, 13. Rebekah STOTT, 14. Alanna KENNEDY, 15. Amy JACKSON, 16. Sofia SAKALIS, 17. Kyah SIMON

Substitutes not used: 23. Melissa HUDSON (GK)
Head Coach: Patrick KISNORBO

Newcastle Jets: 2. Hannah BREWER, 3. Natasha PRIOR, 5. Arin GILLILAND, 6. Cassidy DAVIS, 8. Sophie NENADOVIC, 9. Katie STENGEL, 10. Emily VAN EGMOND, 11. Cortnee VINE, 16. Nikola ORGILL, 17. Jenna KINGSLEY, 18. Clare WHEELER, 21 Pana PETRATOS, 23. Victoria HUSTER, 28. Britt ECKERSTROM (gk)

Substitutes not used: 20. Claire COEHLO (gk)
Head Coach: Craig Deans