Match Report: City perform strongly in first pre-season hit-out

Melbourne City FC finished 2-0 ahead of Melbourne Victory in its first pre-season friendly ahead of the A-League Women season.

City looked strong throughout Sunday afternoon’s clash at Casey Fields, with plenty of players impressing and putting their names forward for selection ahead of next Friday’s season opener against Canberra United.

Starting XI

Rado Vidosic’s named a strong line-up for Sunday’s clash, with the likes of Hannah Wilkinson, Rhianna Pollicina and Kaitlyn Torpey all starting in their first hit-out for the Club.

23. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 3. Darcey MALONE, 5. Tori TUMETH, 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 9. Holly MCNAMARA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 15. Emma CHECKER (c), 16. Meisha WESTLAND, 17. Hannah WILKINSON, 19. Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 22. Naomi CHINNAMA.

What happened?

The fixture got off to an even start, with both teams happy to feel their way into the game in what was their first proper hit-out of pre-season.

18-year-old striker Holly McNamara started the game brightly and had City’s first shot of the contest, firing her effort from the edge of the area just over the bar in the tenth minute. She was again involved a couple of minutes later, using some quick feet as she sliced through the Victory defence and this time forced the keeper into a save.

Emma Checker looked as strong as ever in defence, making a couple of important interventions, while midfielder Rhianna Pollicina played some dangerous balls into the box at the other end of the pitch as City threatened to open scoring.

That moment would come right on the half-hour mark after Hannah Wilkinson received on the edge of the area with her back to goal. The new City striker made a nice turn and teed up Kaitlyn Torpey who’d made a strong run down the right-hand side and coolly finished past the keeper.

Following the goal, Rebekah Stott was substituted on and didn’t take long to get involved in the action. After some pinpoint passing in the build-up, she played a perfectly weighted ball through the Victory defence to find Holly McNamara who hit the back of the net as a City player for the first time with a classy finish.

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with neither side creating too many opportunities early.

City almost had its third on a couple of occasions, thanks to a couple of strong Tori Tumeth runs down the right – all that was missing was the final touch to turn her crosses goalward.

A nice run from Leah Davidson later in the half saw the midfielder find Caitlin Karic outside the area, with the 16-year-old turning and getting off a powerful shot that went just wide of the post.

The match would eventually end 2-0 with City showing plenty of positive signs as we edge closer and closer to the new season.