Jackson double helps Victory win in Perth
Melbourne Victory are within touching distance of the top four after a brace from Amy Jackson handed them a 2-1 win over Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday night.
Two goals from Jackson on either side of half time - one from the goal line and one from 30 yards - decided the contest in the Victory's favour as they moved to within two points of Canberra United in fourth place on the Westfield W-League table.
Fans at Dorrien Gardens were treated to an entertaining start to the clash with both sides going close to opening accounts within minutes of the kick off.
Ex-Glory striker Rosie Sutton looked to have scored the first goal of the game for the visitors but she was ultimately chalked offside in the build up, and only moments later Perth were down the other end with Kat Jukic firing a stunning strike off the post which had Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont well beaten but just failed to find its way into the back of the net.
The hosts wrestled themselves into the ascendancy as they continued to threaten and they were ultimately handed a gilt-edged chance to go ahead when Emily Menges clattered into Glory striker Crystal Thomas in the box.
Thomas gathered herself off the deck and took the ball to the penalty spot but fired a meek attempt on goal which Dumont safely collected, diving to her right to stop the Glory taking a well deserved lead.
After Dumont stopped her side going behind, Victory midfielder Amy Jackson stepped forward to put the visitors ahead with a stunning strike from long range, hammering a shot on her left peg off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Victory striker Natasha Dowie became more of a nuisance for Perth as the half drew on and almost doubled the lead when she leapt to meet a cross at the back post, but lobbed her headed attempt toward goal just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
Celia created a late chance for the hosts, dragging her shot from the left side of the box which almost found a sprawling Jukic at the opposite post who just couldn’t connect her outstretched leg with the ball as it drifted out for a goal kick.
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Ari Romero threatened to score an equaliser for the Glory in the second half when she sent a header toward goal but Dowie was on hand to do the defensive duties, using her own head to divert the chance to safety.
And moments later the Victory compiled Perth's misery when Jackson popped up to score her second of the game.
Her first was a wonder strike from some distance but her second was from a header on the goal line as Jackson followed up two headed attempts from Dowie and Rosie Sutton which pinballed around the goal mouth before Jackson made it a certainty.
It seemed the Victory were set to cruise to a comfortable win before Leticia McKenna made it interesting, capitalising on another defensive error from Menges to hammer a strike off the post and in to bring her side back in the game.
With half an hour to play the Glory pressed hard for an equaliser but the chances dried up at both ends, and as the game drew to its conclusion the Victory took charge once more, dictating possession until the final whistle blew, as they secured all three points secured in a tough win on the road.
Thomas misses from the spot
The Glory were presented with a terrific chance to go ahead after Menges clattered Thomas in the box and handed the hosts a penalty.
But the American striker's attempt was a weak one, and Dumont was down quickly to make the save and wrap the ball up in her arms, denying the Glory any chance of scoring off the rebound.
Jackson launches monster strike to put Victory ahead
The visitors spent most of the opening half hour of play soaking up the pressure as Perth pressed for an opener, but one individual moment of brilliance from Victory midfielder Amy Jackson turned the contest on its head.
Jackson sniffed an opening as soon as she received the ball outside the box, taking a quick touch onto her left and firing a strike of her left foot which continued to rise along its path toward goal until it cannoned off the bar and into the net.
Jackson pounces to score her brace
The Victory looked to have made hard work out of an easy chance to score when both Dowie and Sutton failed to hit the target with headers from close range.
But Jackson, fresh from scoring her marvellous first-half strike, could sniff a second goal of the night and got just that when she arrived to head the ball off the goal line and into the net for her second of the night.
McKenna hauls the Glory back into the contest
Victory defender Menges was at fault for the first half penalty and she was once again the culprit of a defensive blunder when she headed Morgan Andrews' long ball directly into the path of Glory youngster Leticia McKenna.
With the ball bobbling toward the right of the penalty box, McKenna drilled a strike across goal off the left-hand upright and into the back of the net, breathing life back into the contest.