Nothing Butt brilliance as City fire ominous warning
It would have been ridiculous to count the back-to-back-to-back Champions out of an enthralling race to the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Finals Series.
An emphatic 4-0 trouncing of Newcastle Jets has Melbourne City with their noses up yet again, even if their chances of an historic four-peat remain ever so slim.
A Yukari Kinga double and goals to Steph Catley and new American striker Hailie Mace excited fans of the reigning Champions, however it was the quality of Tameka Butt’s work on the attacking end that made much of the difference at C.B. Smith Reserve on Sunday night.
It was Butt who was fouled to set up Kinga’s first goal from the spot, and a minute later she worked her magic in the box again before teeing up Rebekah Stott, whose shot cannoned off of the bar.
The 27-year-old failed to score, but she kept herself busy throughout the contest, with much of City’s build-up play going through the Westfield Matildas star.
Butt eventually earned an assist for her efforts, streaming down the right wing before laying the ball on a platter for the debutant Mace to net the fourth goal of the night.
At the final whistle, the attacking midfielder – who ranks second in the league for assists – had created the most chances for the hosts, earned the most fouls and took the most shots (alongside Kinga).
Now as Rado Vidosic’s side presses toward a shock finals appearance, Butt’s commanding display will not go unnoticed by other sides.
Melbourne City sit in fifth on 16 points with two rounds remaining, equal on points with fourth-placed Perth Glory and within a result of the higher-positioned Brisbane (17 points) and Sydney (18 points).
However the Westfield W-League’s most decorated side have played a match more than all of their closest opponents, and will sit out of next weekend’s fixture with a bye.
All of this considered, any hopes of progressing to the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Finals Series rests on a difficult away fixture against Sydney FC on January 31.
With Kyah Simon still out of action, Vidosic’s charges will need their star player at her very best to take down their high-flying Sky Blue opponents.