The Western Sydney Wanderers showed they have what it takes to mix it with the Westfield W-League’s heavyweights when an outstanding display of attacking football was almost enough to shock current champions Melbourne Victory.Ultimately a brace to US import Keelin Winters, a goal to the impressive Michelle Carney and a host of chances was not enough as the more experienced Victory came out 5-3 winners – but the away team ruffled some feathers and with some more clinical finishing would have returned home with three points.
The first half was all Wanderers with numerous chances created through the work of an impressive attacking four comprised of wingers Hannah Beard and Helen Petinos along with Winters and Carney.
Victory keeper Brianna Davey was the only thing keeping the home team in the game and if it wasn’t for Australia’s custodian the Red & Black would have gone into the sheds with a lead of two or three goals.
A ten minute lapse in the second half where the Wanderers conceded a number of goals cost them the win but with last season’s Player of the Year Linda O’Neill returning for next week’s Sydney Derby at Marconi Stadium, it will be all guns blazing against Sydney FC.
Making her debut, Hannah Beard was a danger all day, constantly exploiting space behind Steph Catley and was the creator of multiple chances including Winters’ second goal; a calm finish to the back post.
Winters also showed her class over 90 minutes mopping up potential Victory attacks while scoring a double of her own; the first coming from a world class free-kick that ended up in the top corner of the net giving Davey no chance.
It was Davey who kept Victory in the match with her continued saves from Petinos, Carney, Beard and Winters avoiding Wanderers taking a big lead. This outstanding display of keeping allowed the home team to capitalise on their good fortune in the second half.
Carney wrapped-up a decent individual performance when she scored the Wanderers third, and her first of the season, in the second half.
Marconi Stadium hosts the Sydney Derby this Saturday 27 September and with the Wanderers attack in this sort of form you do not want to miss the game. Kick-off is 3pm.
Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Trudy BURKE (GK), 2. Caitlin COOPER (C), 3. Jessica SEAMAN, 5. Helen PETINOS (13. Jordan BAKER 83'), 6. Rachael SOUTAR, 8. Grace HENRY, 9. Keelin WINTERS, 10. Michelle CARNEY, 12. Hannah BEARD (15. Rhianna POLLICINA 76'), 14. Demi KOULIZAKIS 19. Chloe O'BRIEN.
Unused substitutes: 20. Shamiran KHAMIS (GK), 18. Tia GAVIN.
Yellow cards: Petinos (71)