ALW Report: Western 2-1 City

Melbourne City went down in disappointing fashion at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon, suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Western United.

Despite controlling large parts of the contest, it was a similar story to the last meeting between teams as Western were the ones to walk away with the points.

Team News

Head Coach Dario Vidosic maintained the faith and stuck with the same starting XI that faced Sydney FC last week.

This was forced to a degree as Karly Roestbakken missed again through foot soreness and Caitlin Karic was suspended due to yellow card accumulation. As a result of this, City signed 15-year-old Southern United product Kiera Meyers, who was named amongst the substitutes.

Starting XI: 1. Sally JAMES (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 14. Katie BOWEN, 15. Emma CHECKER (C), 7. Julia GROSSO, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 30. Charlotte HREHORESIN (GK), 21. Isabella ACCARDO, 24. Daniela GALIC, 25. Darcey MALONE, 40. Kiera MEYERS.

What happened?

On a warm afternoon at AAMI Park, City started the better of the two teams, creating plenty of chances from the opening whistle.

The first of which came in the fifth minute after a well-placed ball from Rhianna Pollicina found Bryleeh Henry, but the Young Matilda couldn’t generate enough power on her header to trouble the keeper.

Leah Davidson was a barometer in midfield as usual, keeping a cool head and ensuring City would control possession.

While she may not have gotten her name on the scoresheet, Hannah Wilkinson provided a valuable outlet for City, dropping deep and getting involved in the build-up time and time again.

A tick after the half hour mark it was Pollicina once again finding Henry with a lovely ball from midfield, but the attacker’s shot from a tight angle was across the face of goal.

All of City’s good play would finally culminate in the opener a little under 10 minutes later.

Julia Grosso spotted the opening in the Western defence and drove forward before laying off a pass to Henry, who then found Leticia McKenna waiting at the edge of the box.

The midfielder didn’t waste any team hitting the ball first time and finding the bottom corner with a lovely strike.

All of City’s good work in the first half came undone just moments into the second after a mistake defensively gifted Western striker Hannah Keane the equaliser.

City quickly set its sights on re-taking the lead, putting plenty of pressure on the Western defence.

Although it continued to control much of the game, it was almost the home side that took the lead in the 62nd courtesy of a swift counterattack, but Sally James pulled off a great save to deny Tyla-Jay Vlajnic.

Grosso and Chelsea Blissett went on a pair of great runs down the left in the space of just a few minutes as City continued to search hard for the winner, but neither of the left-sided players were able to find the finishing touch.

The scoreboard got even worse for City in the dying stages, with Western converting a penalty following a handball in the box.

Wilkinson had City’s best chance for the remainder of the contest, going close to finding the back of the net in the 90th minute but seeing her attempt from a tough angle go tantalisingly wide of the target.

What’s next?

It’ll be a little while until you’ll next be able to see our City Women in action as the international break now begins and then a bye is on the cards immediately after.

Their next clash will be on Saturday 4 March, away to Newcastle Jets.