Melbourne City suffered defeat for just the third time this A-League Women’s season, going down 3-1 to Western United on Thursday evening.
We went into half time on level pegging after Hannah Wilkinson cancelled out the Western opener, but two second half goals to the visitors meant we’d walk away empty-handed.
Dario Vidosic was forced into two changes to his line-up as Emina Ekic missed through suspension and Julia Grosso was ruled out with a calf injury.
Leticia McKenna also missed through a quad injury, meaning there was plenty of youth named on the bench.
Starting XI: 44. Lysianne PROULX (GK), 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 13. Rebekah STOTT, 19. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 14. Laura HUGHES, 24. Daniela GALIC, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.
Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 2. Leia VARLEY, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 19. Tijan McKENNA, 20. Caitlin KARIC.
The rain was bucketing down when the referee blew her whistle to kick off the contest, which ultimately got off to a slow start in tricky conditions.
Lysianne Proulx was forced into an early save from a Chloe Logarzo free kick, tipping the effort over the bar with relative ease.
The chances would come with a flurry after we ticked over the halfway point of the first half, but it would be Western who would open the scoring in the 28th minute.
Proulx made a good save from Logarzo’s initial effort, but it would fall to a waiting Hannah Keane who headed calmly into the back of the net.
Determined not to be behind for long, both Daniela Galic and Bryleeh Henry had great chances to equalise in the immediate moments after the goal, but couldn’t capitalise.
We were back on level pegging in the 32nd minute though after a smart bit of ‘head tennis’ following a Rhianna Pollicina corner.
It was first Taylor Otto at the near post nodding it on to a waiting Kaitlyn Torpey at the back post, who in turn put it back in the mixer where Hannah Wilkinson was perfectly positioned to finish the job.
We weren’t far off making it two on the stroke of half time, and it was Wilkinson once again who went close.
Henry did well to win it back high up the pitch and put a dangerous ball into the box which Torpey initially killed to tee up Wilkinson, but our striker could only force a good save out of Hillary Beall.
It was a case of ecstasy to agony within just two minutes early in the second half, Wilkinson looking to have scored her second of the game only to have it chalked off for offside.
Western would then go up the other end virtually in the next phase of play, Keane capitalising on a mix-up at the back for City to net her second of the evening.
A smart ball from Laura Hughes 10 minutes later played Wilkinson 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper, but her shot was just inches the wrong side of the post and the golden chance went begging.
A few minutes later up the other end, Kahli Johnson would make it 3-1, all but sealing the three points for Western.
We’ll look to bounce back away to Canberra next Sunday, set to kick off that clash at 5pm.