Honours even in W-League Sydney Derby

The Western Sydney Wanderers have played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in this season’s second Westfield W-League Sydney Derby at Lambert Park on Sunday.

The Wanderers fought back twice in the game and could have walked away with more had American star Keelin Winters converted a first-half penalty.

The game opened at a frenetic pace, with neither side being able to hold onto sustained possession.

Though just as the game appeared to be settling down, the deadlock was broken in spectacular fashion.

Sydney FC striker Kyah Simon, who returned to the side following international duty last week, was brought down just on the edge of the box by Ellie Carpenter.

From the resulting free-kick, it was another Matilda who stepped-up to the plate as defender Alanna Kennedy curled one into the top left-hand corner to give the Sky Blues the lead.

Yet ten minutes later, the scores were level once again.

Hannah Beard collected the ball down the right-hand side, before beating her marker and slotting home from a tight angle inside the box.

It marked the beginning of a period of ascendancy for the Red & Black, who were looking particularly dangerous from set-pieces.

That pressure would soon yield a golden opportunity for Norm Boardman’s side, as the Wanderers were awarded a penalty after a goal-mouth tussle from a corner.

Captain Keelin Winters was given the chance to put her side up going into the break but her tame spot-kick was held onto by Michelle Betos in goal.

The beginning of the second stanza was earmarked by a series of typical derby-style challenges, as neither side was keen to sit back and let the other dictate proceedings.

It was the Sky Blues were looking most likely to find a second, their front pairing of Simon and Jasmyne Spencer giving the Wanderers rearguard plenty to think about.

In the 73rd minute, it was Simon who would give Sydney FC the lead, the striker turning smartly in the box and rolling the ball past the outstretched fingertips of Whyman.

Boardman emptied his bench in search of another equaliser and it was two substitutes who would combine to produce the goods.

With just six minutes of normal time remaining, Liz Grey flicked home a smart cut-back from Alix Roberts to seal a much-deserved point for the Wanderers.

The result means the Wanderers will have to wait for next week’s away trip to Melbourne Victory for a chance to climb their way back into finals contention.