The Western Sydney Wanderers were dealt a harsh lesson in their Westfield W-League Round 4 match against Perth Glory on Saturday.Despite missing key players Linda O’Neill and Keelin Winters, confidence was high amongst the predominately teenage squad as they walked onto Marconi Stadium to face the West Australian outfit.
That confidence looked justified early as the Red & Black created a number of opportunities in a fiercely competitive first half that saw young Lorena Budgen star in her first start for the Wanderers.
Combining with Michelle Carney and US import Kendall Johnson, the trio were creating the majority of chances and had Perth on the back foot.
It was those three involved in the best chance of the match late in the half as the ball finished with Carney who twisted and turned her way through the penalty box only for no-one to meet her tantalising ball across an open goal.
In what has become a worrying trend this season that missed opportunity was to be rued immediately as Glory went straight up the pitch for Sam Kerr to score the opening goal in the 45th minute.
Adding insult to injury Kerr scored again a minute later in additional time for the Red & Black to trail 2-0 heading into the break.
Whatever was said at half time by Perth’s coach must have worked as they launched themselves out of the blocks at one hundred miles an hour with Kate Gill scoring the Glory’s third just four minutes in.
There was a glimmer of hope for the home side as Carney crossed into Helen Petinos to pull a goal back.
Petinos’ finish was one of quality with an impressive volley across the keeper that was never going to be saved.
The thoughts of a comeback lasted no longer than 60 seconds though as two quick goals from Gill gave her the W-League’s equal fastest hat-trick and ensured that the match was as good as over.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the developing Wanderers side who have put together progressively improved performances over the first three rounds.
The opening half continued that trend as they played their best 45 minutes of the season but the experience of Glory stood out in the end.
It leaves coach Norm Boardman with valuable lessons to pass on to the players who will come out better for the experience and with a trip to Brisbane Roar next weekend the side has a chance to erase these memories quickly.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Helen Petinos 51’)
Perth Glory 10 (Samantha Kerr 45’, 45+1’, Kathryn Gill (49’ , 53’, 60’, 69’, 78’, Caitlin Foord 54’, 86’, Alanna Kennedy 73’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Shamiran KHAMIS (GK), 2. Caitlin COOPER (C), 3. Jessica SEAMAN, 5. Helen PETINOS, 6. Rachel SOUTAR, 7. Kendall JOHNSON, 10. Michele CARNEY, 11. Lorena BUGDEN (15. Rhianna POLLICINA 71’), 12. Hannah BEARD (8. Grace HENRY 71’), 14. Demi KOULIZAKIS (18. Tia GAVIN 68’), 22. GUZMAN.