Harrison's drought-breaking goal sees Wanderers dispose of Jets in the wet
Amy Harrison’s first Western Sydney Wanderers goal - and first in the Westfield W-League in almost five years - was enough for her side to secure a well-deserved 1-0 win over a brave Newcastle Jets in a weather-affected clash on Friday.
A severe thunderstorm hit Bankwest Stadium not long after kick-off which forced a 30-minute delay in the first half.
And after the break it was Westfield Matildas midfielder Harrison who calmly converted a penalty just before the hour mark to ensure back-to-back wins for Dean Heffernan’s side to begin the 2019/20 Season.
In truth, the Wanderers should have won by a bigger margin with a combination of the woodwork, wasteful finishing and some excellent saves by Claire Coelho keeping the Jets in the contest right until the end.
USA international Lynn Williams was superb in her first match for the home side and was only denied a debut goal by an incorrect offside call.
But in the end it mattered little as the Wanderers were able to see out the result, taking them to top spot on the Westfield W-League ladder on six points, already two more than they managed in the entire 2018/19 campaign.
It's also the first time the Red and Black have started a Westfield W-League campaign with back-to-back wins in a promising sign as the club look to end their finals drought in the competition.
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Buoyed by their win in the season-opener last weekend, the Wanderers started on the front foot and were the width of a post from taking the lead inside nine minutes.
The Jets failed to clear a cross leading to a goal-box scramble, with the ball eventually falling to Harrison whose shot took a slight deflection and cannoned onto the post, with the visitors able to clear the rebound.
USA international Williams was making her debut for the Wanderers and was keen to make an impact, firing off two shots in as many minutes which forced Jets keeper Coelho into action.
The home side continued to make all the running and it was the Round 1 match-winner in Kyra Cooney-Cross who was next to threaten the Jets goal.
The talented teenager showed her class as she skipped past a couple of defenders before firing a shot from distance which went inches over the cross bar. It was the last bit of action before thunder and lightning forced played to be halted for 30 minutes to allow the storm to pass.
The weather delay didn’t halt the Wanderers momentum as they continued to look the most dangerous of the sides, with only an incorrect offside flag denying Williams her first goal.
Fellow US import Kristen Hamilton was also a threat to the Jets goal, with her two quick-fire chances before the break seeing the home side go to the sheds having had 16 shots to Newcastle’s two.
The Wanderers finally got a reward for their dominance just short of the hour-mark when Jets midfielder Clare Wheeler was adjudged to have handled Williams’ attempted shot.
Harrison took responsibility and coolly slotted into the corner of the net for her first goal of the campaign.
The Jets gave the hosts a reminder of their threat and had their best chance for an equaliser 20 minutes from the end.
After capitalising on a poor clearance from Wanderers keeper Abby Smith, Tara Andrews turned her marker inside and out before unleashing a strike which went just wide of the post.
The Wanderers continued to create - and squander - excellent opportunities in the latter stages but they were always in control to maintain their 100% record so far in 2019/20.