Melbourne City moved a step closer to securing a Westfield W-League finals berth after a 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar at CB Smith Reserve on Sunday.
City were in complete control from the first whistle but only had a solitary goal to show for their dominance in the first half, courtesy of Marianna Tabain’s 18th minute strike.
Rebekah Stott doubled City’s advantage with a sweet finish into the far corner on the hour mark, until the Roar came out of their shell as Katrina Gorry responded only minutes later to ensure a tense finale.
The New Zealand international sealed all three points with a stunning strike in stoppage time, as Jess Fishlock’s side ran out comfortable winners in a commanding display.
City were on the front foot from the very first whistle, monopolising possession and attacking the left side of the Roar defence at pace through the adventure of Steph Catley and Beverly Yanez.
Stott – who last found the back of the net in the W-League all the way back in 2012 – had her shooting boots on as early as the second minute, with her snapshot brilliantly saved by Brisbane keeper Georgina Worth at the near post.
Melina Ayres then nodded wide from Teigen Allen’s cross and Yanez missed the target after a neat square pass from Fishlock, until Tabain made City’s dominance count with the opening goal.
It took a couple of neat touches to bring down Fishlock’s raking long pass, as Tabain showed composure and poise to fire across Worth and into the far corner to make it 1-0.
It took a superb reaction save from Worth to prevent City from extending its advantage, with the goalkeeper doing enough to prevent Summer O’Brien’s miscued header from reaching the back of the net for an own goal.
City began the second half as they ended the first with Yanez and Fishlock both firing efforts over the crossbar in the opening minutes, before Stott doubled City’s advantage in the 60th minute with a tracer bullet from the six-yard box.
It looked like it would be the hammer blow, but the goal sprung Brisbane sprung into life, who managed to pull a goal back only seven minutes later.
A fizzing cross from substitute Allira Toby proved too hot for Lydia Williams to handle, leaving Gorry to bury home the easiest of tap-ins to make it 2-1.
City were made to work hard to preserve its advantage in the latter stages of the match as Williams made a superb save to deny Emily Gielnik, before Amy Chapman blazed the follow up over the bar.
In the end it was Stott who put the icing on the cake in injury time, completing her brace with a wonderful long range strike to put City in the box seat to claim fourth position, ahead of a do-or-die clash against Newcastle Jets next week.