Melbourne City is now undefeated in four games after it secured a 1-0 win over Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Sunday.
After a first half where neither side was able to land a decisive blow, Rhianna Pollicina scored the match winner midway through the second half to ensure City took home the full three points as it continues to jostle for positions at the top of the table.
Dario Vidosic made three changes to the line-up that secured a 1-0 victory over the Western Sydney a week earlier.
The blow of losing Melissa Barbieri during the week to a calf injury was softened by the timely return of Sally James after she overcame a finger injury which kept her sidelined for two weeks.
Youngsters Leticia McKenna and Bryleeh Henry returned to the starting XI, while Karly Roestbakken was rested as a precaution after she pulled up sore from last week’s win and Daniela Galic also moved to the bench.
Starting XI: 1. Sally James (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 15. Emma CHECKER (C), 7. Julia GROSSO, 14. Katie BOWEN, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.
Substitutes: 30. Charlotte HREHORESIN (GK), 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 20. Caitlin KARIC, 24. Daniela GALIC, 25. Darcey MALONE.
Both teams took their time working their way into the contest but it was City who began to gain the ascendancy, its midfield beginning to assert its authority on the contest as it controlled the possession and tempo.
Back into the starting XI, 20-year-old Leticia McKenna showed some nice moments in the midfield, creating the first proper chance of the evening for Kaitlyn Torpey in the 11th.
McKenna looped a ball over the top and found Torpey in the box but the defender was unable to hit the target on the volley.
It was then Julia Grosso in the 19th minute who had City’s next best chance, cutting back onto her right foot and going for goal after seeing the goalkeeper slightly off her line.
It was a great attempt from the American winger, with the shot denied by only the crossbar as she searched for her first goal in City colours.
Neither side was able to created much for the remainder of the first half, heading into the break with the scoreline remaining at 0-0 and the game very much in the balance.
It would then be Rhianna Pollicina who would stamp her authority on the contest early in the second 45, showing a nice turn and finish to give City the lead in the 54th.
Grosso threaded through a lovely ball to Pollicina in the box who quickly turned it onto her right foot and went for goal, with her attempt taking a slight deflection on its way into the back of the net.
City then continued to control the contest, limiting Adelaide’s chances in front of goal as they looked to close out the victory.
City went close to putting the game to bed through Hannah Wilkinson, with Chelsea Blissett beating her defender and putting the ball on a platter for the Kiwi who put it just over the bar with a lunging effort.
While City was unable to find a second to really kill the game off, its defence continued to offer little to Adelaide meaning the sole Pollicina goal was enough to seal the points.
City now turns its attention to a blockbuster clash against Sydney FC next Saturday at Allianz Stadium.
The Sky Blues do currently trail City by four points in third but with two games in hand, it’s shaping up as a must win on the road for City if it is to keep its Premiers Plate hopes alive.