Melbourne Victory have blasted their way to outright first on the ladder after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Latrobe City Stadium.
First-half goals to Natasha Dowie and Christine Nairn got the ball rolling, before a Kylie Ledbrook screamer from outside the box gave Victory fans an anxious final 20 minutes.
Victory were determined to capitalise on Adelaide United’s slip-up the night before, and assaulted Jada Whyman’s goal.
Emily Gielnik had her long-range effort blocked, and Mindy Barbieri’s bullet flew over the Wanderers’ goal.
But on 13 minutes, Dowie would do what she does best.
The England international latched onto a Gielnik through ball in behind the defence, and slid the ball past an onrushing Jada Whyman to grab her fifth goal of the 2018/19 Season.
Victory continued to dominate the affair and would receive their just reward on 40 minutes. Dowie and Gielnik pressured Whyman in possession, who coughed it up just outside her own box.
Gielnik’s cross sailed over Whyman but struck the crossbar, and Christine Nairn was the quickest to react, sliding in for her first goal of the campaign.
Desperate for goals and points, Dan Barrett’s side mounted a comeback and pulled one back in some style. Servet Uzunlar played Kylie Ledbrook, who let fire from more than 40 yards out to beat a shocked Casey Dumont.
Dowie appeared to restore Victory’s two-goal lead but was adjudged to have been offside.
It mattered little though as Victory held onto their lead and grabbed all three points to sit five-points clear of Perth Glory and Adelaide United.