Melbourne City FC has maintained its perfect start to the Westfield W-League season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Adelaide United at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
City were in control right from the first whistle but were met by a resilient Lady Reds defensive unit, until Larissa Crummer pounced on a loose-ball in the penalty area to give Joe Montemurro’s side the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Welsh international Jess Fishlock wrapped up the three points in the second half, turning home a stellar cross from Kim Little, as the win moved City eight points clear at the summit of the Westfield W-League table.
Fresh from being named the PFA W-League player of the month, City winger Marianna Tabain nearly opened the scoring in the 7th minute after latching on to Little’s cross at the back post, but Reds’ keeper Kaitlin Savage made an excellent block with her legs to clear the ball to safety.
City were fluid in transition and found themselves firmly camped inside the Lady Reds’ half with a considerable amount of possession, as Amy Jackson went close with powerful a long-distance strike that narrowly sailed over the crossbar.
Defender Rebekah Stott was in the thick of the action in the final third as City pressed forward, with Savage intervening to claim her cross ahead of Jackson, before the Lady Reds’ keeper made a good save low to her right to thwart the New Zealander’s effort from outside the area.
Savage was instrumental in preventing City from taking the lead in 36th minute, this time flying to her left to parry a scorching drive from Jess Fishlock out of the bottom corner, but her resistance was soon breached only two minutes from half time.
The Adelaide stopper did well to parry Tabain’s initial cross out of harm’s way, but Crummer displayed her predatory instincts once more, pouncing on the rebound and threading the ball through a sea of defenders to open the scoring as Montemurro’s side went into the break with a deserved lead.
City continued in the same fashion right from restart as they searched for a killer second goal. Jackson went close with another long-range effort, before Kim Little was only a whisker away from turning home Stott’s driven cross.
The Scottish maestro dazzled the crowd with some fancy footwork after latching on to a piercing ball from Steph Catley, dancing around two challenges before her thunderous effort was charged down by a desperate Adelaide defence.
Despite the Lady Reds defending valiantly for majority of the second period, City eventually broke through in the 71st minute when Jess Fishlock doubled her side’s advantage, tapping home a drilled cut-back from Little to net her first ever W-League goal for the Club.
Chances in-front of goal were few and far between for Adelaide, who came close to pegging a goal back in the 75th minute through Abigail Dahlkemper when her free-kick only just sailed over the crossbar. But the Lady Reds rarely forced City goalkeeper Trudy Burke into action, as Montemurro’s side notched up its fifth consecutive victory in comfortable fashion.