Melbourne City FC has pulled off a remarkable 1-5 away win in the Melbourne Derby, with Hannah Wilkinson netting all five goals in a record-equalling performance from the Kiwi. Maja Markovski netted the late consolation for Victory.
It was a third-consecutive unchanged lineup for Rado Vidosic, with the lack of any early season injuries certainly helping the City Head Coach to establish a clear-cut first-choice XI.
Things couldn’t have started any better for City, who were on the front foot from the first whistle and had their first goal within five minutes. A defensive error – a prominent theme throughout the first half – enabled Holly McNamara to slide a ball through for Hannah Wilkinson, who took a touch to take the keeper out of play and passed accurately into the back of the net from a challenging angle and distance.
Captain Emma Checker nearly netted a stunner to put City two ahead just three minutes later, shooting first time from the edge of the area to curl her effort mere inches away from the far upright, with Casey Dumont well beaten.
However, it wouldn’t take long before City did have that second, with Wilkinson netting again in the 13th minute. The lively McNamara pressed Dumont as the keeper was about to clear the ball and her effort paid off, though she had to cop the full force of the clearance into her back, allowing Wilkinson to pounce on the spillage and place her effort into the far corner.
Just 15 minutes later, Wilkinson would secure herself the fastest hattrick from kick-off in A-League Women’s history, again capitalising on a defensive error – this time a collision between Victory players contesting the same ball – to finish unchallenged into the back of an empty net.
The chances kept coming for City, with Dumont forced into two important saves in the 32nd minute to limit the damage ahead of half-time. Rhianna Pollicina got the first opportunity, teed up by Rebekah Stott for a driven effort that forced a good, low save from the Victory keeper. Dumont had to pull off an even bigger stop in the next phase of play, denying McNamara one-on-one as the young City striker drove into the box in an attempt to make it 4-0.
The onslaught continued immediately in the second half, with McNamara forcing a brilliant one-on-one save from Dumont just three minutes in, before Wilkinson netted her and City’s fourth in the 56th. McNamara had received the ball near halfway and dribbled all the way to the edge of the box where she clipped a ball in for her more senior strike partner to chip over the onrushing Dumont.
Wilkinson then grabbed a record-equalling fifth goal in the 75th minute when TJ Vlajnic was played through wide and squared a ball for the Kiwi to tap in at the back post.
Just when it looked like City were headed to a record five-goal Derby margin, Maja Markovski popped up in the 84th minute to score a late consolation, with the final scoreline reading 1-5 in the visiting City’s favour.
The Derby win represents a huge result for City, who are in a great position with nine points from our opening four games to the 2021/22 season in which we’ve already played the reigning Champions twice. Next up in the Liberty A-League we’ll host the Newcastle Jets at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex next Sunday.