ALW Report: City 2-0 Newcastle

Melbourne City secured an important A-League Women’s win on Sunday evening, knocking off Newcastle 2-0 at a warm City Football Academy.

A Hannah Wilkinson double was enough to get City back on the winners’ list at home for what could be a huge three points as we stake our claim for a top-two spot.

Team News

Dario Vidosic made two changes to last week’s starting XI with Kiera Meyers making her second professional start and Leah Davidson joining her in the lineup.

Leia Varley and Leticia McKenna both shifted to the bench as a result.

Starting XI: 88. BÁRBARA (GK), 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 13. Rebekah STOTT, 5. Taylor OTTO, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 14. Laura HUGHES, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 11. Emina EKIC, 15. Kiera MEYERS, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 2. Leia VARLEY, 6. Leticia McKENNA, 12. Shelby McMAHON, 21. Isabella ACCARDO.

What happened?

After the warm Melbourne weather forced the game to be delayed twice due to the heat, we finally got underway at 6:00pm.

Possession traded hands early as both teams felt the heat, and Bárbara was called into action by a speculative long ball as we approached the half-hour mark but handled it with the expected experience.

We looked to have gone ahead in the 35th minute, Wilkinson showing her composure to draw the defence and play through Kiera Meyers to finish cooly past the keeper for her first-ever A-League Women’s goal.

As City players began to wrap up the celebrations, a late consultation between the referee and linesman would eventually rule out the goal for offside – sparking plenty of confusion.

We weren’t done searching for a goal there though, Taylor Otto winning the ball back and feeding through a perfect ball to Emina Ekic whose curling shot from the right was rising just over the bar in the 42nd minute.

Ekic again tried her luck just before the interval, leaving a defender on the floor as she once again had the keeper diving for a shot going just wide.

We picked up where we left off in the second half, taking just five minutes to find the opener.

Playing in a new position at right back, Bryleeh Henry worked her magic to drive the ball forward towards the byline, finding Wilkinson in the middle to control and lift the ball over the keeper to make it 1-0.

It didn’t take long for our all-time leading goalscorer to find the back of the net once again, Henry thriving in her new role and picking out Wilkinson in the box six minutes later.

Some credit must go to Leah Davidson too – our defensive midfielder playing a lovely lofted ball over the top to send Henry on her way down the wing.

Bárbara stood firm on the few occasions she was called into action in the second half, her strong positioning able to close down any Newcastle attempt at goal.

As the light faded at CFA and stoppage time dwindled down, Ekic worked wonders off a short corner, moving left and right in the box before passing off to Wilkinson.

Our star striker fired at goal but saw her effort touched into the crossbar by the keeper – agonisingly missing out on a hattrick with the final whistle sounded moments later.

What’s next?

It’s an away derby ahead next Sunday, our City Women having a great chance to stake our top-two claims as we take on Melbourne Victory at The Home of The Matildas in Bundoora at 2:00pm.