ALW Report: Newcastle 0-4 City

Melbourne City has returned to action in the A-League Women with a bang, getting back in the winner’s circle with a dominant 4-0 win over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday afternoon.

After withstanding some initial Jets pressure, City took control of the contest and three late goals from Rhianna Pollicina, Bryleeh Henry and Hannah Wilkinson added an exclamation mark to a strong performance on the road.

Team News

With City back in action after the international break and a bye, there were reinforcements ready for Dario Vidosic’s side.

Maria Jose Rojas returned from international duties with the Chilean national team and Holly McNamara made her highly anticipated return to the starting XI.

Starting XI: 1. Sally JAMES (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 14. Katie BOWEN, 15. Emma CHECKER (C), 7. Julia GROSSO, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 9. Holly MCNAMARA, 19. Maria Jose ROJAS, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 33. Sophia VARLEY (GK), 21. Isabella ACCARDO, 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 25. Darcey MALONE.

What happened?

City took some time to hit its straps in what was its first match in three weeks, unable to find the back of the net despite seeing plenty of the ball in the opening 20 minutes.

The game’s first real highlight came when Sally James produced a great save in the 19th to deny Cassidy Davis, City’s number 1 diving to her right and getting behind the ball to push it into the post and eventually out of the danger zone.

City was buoyed by the return of McNamara and Rojas to the starting XI and both stamped their authority on the contest, having a hand in City’s opening goal.

McNamara set off down the left wing after a good ball from Rhianna Pollicina and cut it straight back in the number 10’s direction.

While Pollicina’s shot may’ve clattered into the post, the rebound was straight into the path of Rojas who tapped it in for City’s first at the 25-minute mark.

After a lengthy stint on the sidelines, McNamara wasted little time in picking up from where she left off last season, looking the most dangerous of the City frontline as she created a handful of great chances in front of goal.

City set up camp in the Newcastle box for the final 10 minutes of the first half, with Pollicina whipping ball after ball into the box from corners as City searched for its second.

City almost had a carbon copy of its first goal in first-half stoppage time, McKenna’s strike saved by Jets goalkeeper Georgina Worth but into the path of an oncoming Rojas, only for her attempt to also be saved.

City was more than happy to pass the ball around and be patient in possession for the majority of the second half, starving Newcastle of any chances in the final third.

Pollicina was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in the 66th minute, Worth again coming up with a big save.

The City defence was rock solid, limiting the Jets opportunities in front of goal before Pollicina was finally rewarded for her stellar performance in the midfield, finding the back of the net in the 80th minute.

Some nice build up play from City resulted in the ball falling for Pollicina who took a nice touch on the edge of the box and curled a shot into the left corner to double City’s lead.

City burst to the life off the back of that Pollicina goal, with Bryleeh Henry only moments later timing her run perfectly and executing a clinical finish in the 82nd minute.

Pollicina came within inches of scoring a double, firing off a shot that was denied by the crossbar but Hannah Wilkinson ensured the chance didn’t go to waste, getting in on the party with a tap-in off the deflection to see City record a dominant 4-0 win.


City will now turn its attention to its away Melbourne Derby clash against Victory next Monday.