Sydney FC have claimed a valuable win in Melbourne as they keep their unbeaten start to the season alive while simultaneously ending Melbourne City’s.

Luke Wilkshire’s first club goal in nine years was all that separated the teams in a defensive 1-0 win at AAMI Park as Melbourne City’s bid to equal the best start to an A-League season with five wins was soiled.

The preeminent concern from the match surrounded Melbourne City and Australia striker Tim Cahill who suffered an ankle injury in the 22nd minute.

Sydney FC centre back Jordy Buijs took Cahill down in a bundling challenge near the sideline, forcing Cahill’s ankle to awkwardly contort under the Dutchman’s torso.

Cahill’s health was given priority ahead of the first leg of Australia’s World Cup qualifier play-off against Honduras on November 11 (AEDT) as he was removed from the game and taken to hospital for an MRI scan despite the 37-year-old walking off the field unaided.

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Nick Fitzgerald made himself the most prominent outlet for Melbourne City from his left midfield position in a classic 4-4-2 formation.

The forward broke the line of Sydney’s defence after ten minutes to send in a dangerous cross but was left hanging as no City forward met it.

Fitzgerald would later have the best chances of the half when he first went down in the box but vehement appeals for a penalty fell flat.

The 25-year-old tried to make up for the non-existent penalty when he made a tight turn and struck from the top of the box but was denied by Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s fingernails.

Sydney found it hard to find a fissure in City’s defence with Bart Schenkeveld manning the ship in the centre, his physicality a tricky obstacle for Bobo and Alex Brosque to overcome.

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Cahill’s injury in the middle of half changed the mood of AAMI Park as the attention of all the 11,000 fans turned square to the wellbeing of the Socceroos legend.

The forward was drafted into the starting XI for the suspended Osama Malik.

Bobo fired Sydney’s first shot with a hit from distance but slide the ball left of the target and the visitors tapered out of the first half as City increasingly found more possession and entrances into the area without finishing off their moves.

The lone goal came just shy of the hour mark when new Sydney signing Luke Wilkshire worked himself into an unmarked position on the back post of a Michael Zullo cross to bunt the ball in for the reigning champions to take the lead.

The goal marks Wilkshire’s first competitve club goal in nine years; his last coming in October 2008 when playing in Russia for Dinamo Moscow in a game against rivals CSKA.

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Fitzgerald again made himself the centre of the action for the home side as he wove his way into the box just minutes after Sydney scored and darted in a low ball across the teeth of goal but it evaded all, including Redmayne and striker Ross McCormick whose lunge on the line missed by inches.

The goal turned the vibe of the game, disheartening Melbourne and lifting Sydney to control the game until its conclusion.

Sydney had a chance late in the game to extend their lead when Jordy Buijs head the ball narrowly over the bar from a cross.

The result lifts the visitors back into a familiar position on top of the A-League ladder, one point ahead of City with both sides having played one more game than the rest of the competition.

Melbourne City 0
Sydney FC 1 (Wilkshire 59′)

AAMI Park, Melbourne (Crowd: 11,034)

Referee: Jarrod GILLETT
Assistant Referees: David WALSH & Luke BRENNAN
Fourth Official: Jonathan BARREIRO
VAR: Chris Beath

Melbourne City
18. GALEKOVIC Eugene, 2. MUSCAT Manny (9. CARRUSCA Marcelo 75′), 5. SCHENKEVELD Bart, 7. FITZGERALD Nick, 11. KAMAU Bruce, 13. MAUK Stefan, 17. CAHILL Tim (27. BUDZINSKI Marcin 25′), 22. JAKOBSEN Michael, 25. LA ROCCA Iacopo, 26. BRATTAN Luke (8. KILKENNY Neil 75′), 44. McCORMACK Ross

Unused substitutes: 1. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 21. TONGYIK Ruon

Sydney FC
1. REDMAYNE Andrew (GK), 4. WILKINSON Alex, 5. BUIJS Jordy, 6. BRILLANTE Joshua, 7. ZULLO Michael, 9. BOBO, 10. NINKOVIC Milos (8. RETRE Paulo 90+2′), 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 14. BROSQUE Alex (18. SIMON Matt 82′), 17. CARNEY David, 26. WILKSHIRE Luke

Unused substitutes: 30. HEWARD-BELLE Thomas (GK), 16. KALIK Anthony, 22. RYALL Sebastian

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Football and Aussie rules commentator, writer and radio host/producer from Melbourne.