W-LEAGUE: Melbourne Victory secure narrow win

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It was the clash of the mid table teams – Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets – at approximately the mid-point of the Westfield W-League season, so it was fitting therefore that this was a hard-fought contest.

In the end Melbourne Victory prevailed thanks to two goals from Jodie Taylor after going down a goal late in the first half. Melbourne Victory did not really appear to test Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri early in the first half despite having the better of play and being able to find the holes in the defence.

Newcastle Jets, however, took the lead in the 36th minute after Rebekah Stott misjudged the bounce of the ball and Lisa De Vanna set up Nicola Bolger cleverly inside the penalty box. The latter unleashed a rocket that ended up in the top hand corner of the net to give the visitors the lead in what was a goal that came definitely against the run of play.

Jets coach, Clayton Zane, must have been pleased that his side had found the back of the net despite not having the bulk of possession and at times conceding too much space defensively to the Victory.

In the 41st minute Taylor did score for the Victory after a superb ball from Katrina Gorry found her rampaging towards goal. As Taylor drew Barbieri off her line, in a one-on-one finish, she beautifully placed the ball in the net in what was simply a goal that the Victory deserved.
Both sides went into the break on even pegging, but it was definitely the Victory who had created the better of the chances in the first stanza of play.

Newcastle Jets may have had some reason to feel rusty against the Victory because their game last week against Perth Glory had to be postponed due to the inclement weather. And, now next week, they face a bye which can only disrupt a team’s ebb and flow.

In the second half, the best of the early chances fell to Gorry who, with only Barbieri to beat, couldn’t put the ball past the experienced goalkeeper as she came off her line. Just after Barbieri’s excellent save, De Vanna was brought down in the penalty box by Barbieri’s opposite, Brianna Davey, but it wasn’t given as a penalty. Those are the breaks that sometimes change the course of the game.

Taylor, who was arguably one of the best players on the field, did score her second goal in the 65th minute after receiving a nice long ball forward from her goalkeeper Davey. It was classic route one football and it was effective. Both sides had their chances in the second half which was certainly a much more even contest than the first half of play.

After the match, at Simonds Stadium in Geelong, the main talking point was the non-penalty against De Vanna, but as always with refereeing decisions the human error is something that needs to be taken as part of the game. Melbourne Victory’s three points were deserved but the Newcastle Jest can feel somewhat unlucky too to have come away empty handed.

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